Monday, April 12, 2010

Straight No Chaser

Let's face it: we all do a lot of pretending and self-deluding to make the world just that more palpable to ourselves.  We all live our little lies here and there because, quite frankly, to try to take on the full reality of the world probably would debilitate any hardy-minded person.  Lies and delusions help us navigate those rough patches that we'd either not see or could see but would have difficulty navigating.

It's when these lies build up that we get into deep trouble.  Lies that somehow manifest themselves into a singular contained entity that we fully believe in.  Lies that manifest themselves into something interactive that we have exchanges with and believe exist.

I've always felt an empathy with the main character of The Great Gatsby.  Jay Gatsby was more or less chasing the same thing that I was: a fantasy that may or may not have existed at some point in the past which definitely did not existed in the present.  Sure you can criticize him for the choices he made.  But you can't really blame him either.  As I've found out lately, it's only human nature to want to return to the things that make you happy in life and make getting up and breathing so much easier, even though the things that you have to do might not be for the best.

Like Jay Gatsby, I let myself become motivated and driven by something that had never truly existed.  Whole sections of my life were dedicated in remaking myself for a mere illusion that I created in my head.  I had beliefs that I would be a better version of me.  Somehow find a motivator to improve who I was and create a different persona for myself.  It was a concept that I put too much time, thought, and effort into.  Granted, not to the level of getting involved with bootlegging and got knows what with Gatsby, but you get the full idea. And all that work went for naught.

Well, perhaps not fully for naught.  I've learned that it's not worth it to change who you really are for anyone or anything.  No one really has the power to have agency over how your life is lead.  Letting anyone into your life in that fashion is an egregious mistake that should immediately be corrected.  By giving up control of your actions and especially thoughts in that fashion only leads to a disastrous end where at best you find yourself living a life that's not yours or at worst adrift in a sea of confusion grasping for anything that'll float and gasping for any hope left in the air.  Groveling and grasping like that isn't worth a damn.  You don't spring to mirages in the desert.  All you're going to find is hot, dry sand instead of water.