November 2, 2010

This is actually a modified version of a note that I posted on facebook a year ago. I did some soul searching and this is what I found.

I have always been told that the best writers write about something they know. Then they let their imaginations fill in the blanks. I disagree. Some of the best stories come out of pure want and desire for what you wish you had, or what you feel is missing. Everyone dreams of being successful, marrying well or just marrying, becoming famous, or running the world. Everyone has hopes and desires that they want to accomplish. And everyone has secret passion that either no one or only the most special people to you know about. We all go through life at some point living vicariously through other people. And if you don’t then you are one of the lucky few. Very few people know exactly what they want in life. And I tip my hat to those people, but they’re not the people I’m talking to. I am talking to the college graduate who just received their diploma and is stepping out into an uninviting market. I am talking to the girl who just lost her boyfriend of five years. I am talking to the single parents that are more interested in their child’s future than their own happiness. I am talking to you.

We all know someone that thinks they have it all figured out; life, love, success. They think they have it all mastered. But to be honest with you, they don’t. They don’t have the faintest clue. They may understand some of the truth but not everything. The reason tv shows like Sex in the City are so popular is because the entertainment industry admits something you hide from yourself daily. And that something is: We have no idea what we’re doing. Think about it. Why did people watch Sex in the City? It was not for the action or because they were bored. It was for advice. We secretly need it. We thrive off it. That is that is why fortunetellers have a career. And we will go to whatever source can show results and give that much needed advice. We use what these people have gone through as fortunes. We pick the person we want to end up like most then we claim their future and try to find a way to get there. We all do it. Stop and think back to the last time you or a friend said, “ I’m just like ___ from ___, aren’t I?” We spend all of our time and energy thinking that we are the exception to fictitious rules about love. Love doesn’t have rules. That is why it sucks. It can’t be controlled or predicted. It just is, but very few people are willing to accept that so we try to create love. We try to make a person into our ideal man or woman.

Or think back to your last aptitude test. After you take your first one and get results that you don’t like. For example: you have your heart set on being a doctor and your results come back saying you need to be a waiter. Not that anything is wrong with those careers, but you know you don’t want it. Now think about the next time you took one of those tests. I am willing to bet that you didn’t answer all of those questions honestly. No, of course you did not. Who wants to walk up to people and have them see that you’re not fit for the career you have always dreamed of? You need a piece of paper to validate you, so you answer the questions based on what the dream job you want makes you do. In other words, you want to be a doctor, but doctors have to go through a lot of school. You may not like school at all, but when that question pops up and asks, “Would you like to be in school for several more years?” You answer “definitely.” Why? That my friend, is the question. Why do we do things like that? Why do we live our lives around the advice of actors, writers, and singers? Why do we do it? I have an answer to that question. And it is surprisingly simple. We do it because we’re scared. Because we don’t know where we will end up if we take the reins in our own lives. So we spend all of our money and time trying to make ourselves into somebody else hoping that we will inherit what they had. When the truth is that you have more of a chance of winning the lottery than ending up like them. I know I just broke yourheart and I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. Hollywood is not getting paid to help you. It’s getting paid to sell movies. Even if those movies send the wrong message and create false hope. Now I’m not going to say that all the movies they make are always wrong because they’re not. Sometimes. If you watching really carefully you can see you in a character. And not because you want to end up where they do, but because they remind you of you. And sometimes it is true that after we have done all the outlandish things that they suggest that you will end up where you always dreamed you would. And for those of you. I say God Bless, but for the rest of you who manage to find yourself at a cross road, on your own, or feeling like your back at square one, maybe that is where you should be. Maybe you are there for a reason. Have you ever just stopped and looked? I don’t mean at the clock or your clothes or into outer space. Have you ever just stopped, sat down and thought about where you are? Not where you want to go, that’s what we’re programmed to look at. Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe you’re at the beginning because there was something wrong with your plan? Or maybe you’re at a cross road because it’s time for you to stop dodging decisions. Or maybe you made one and you ended up back at the beginning. I want to tell you to try again.

Now you are probably asking yourself. Who are you? Why do you have the right to tell me what to do? Where has your advice gotten you? To be perfectly honest with you. I’m just an average everyday woman looking for love. And where has my advice gotten me? Well I’ll let you know when I finally start following it. Back in high school, there was this girl that I was friends with. She was always in some sort of trouble. I could psychoanalyze why all day to be honest but that’s not the point of this story. Well she always came to me for advice. Something in one of her poorly thought out plans for how to attract and keep and man would back fire then she’d be asking me for help. Why me? Not sure. I mean I hadn’t had sex. I had barely had decent relationships, but she came to me none the less. She would always ask me what she should do. And like a good friend I would listen and offer the best advice I could. She would then smile say thank you and go do the opposite of what I had just told her. And be back at my doorstep with a question on how to fix the current problem. I final told her to stop asking me if she wasn’t going to listen. And she told me something that rings so true. She said that what I told her to do was the right thing and it was much easier to do what was wrong. But she still needed to hear that someone had enough faith in her to give her options. I kept giving her advice because that’s what I do. But to be honest, I think she taught me more than I taught her. Even to this day, I notice how right she is in almost every situation. It’s just easier to do what you want than do the right thing. It’s easier to find a man that is horrible than to spend the time waiting for a good one to come your way. It’s easier to spend time making yourself into someone else then it is to love you for you. It’s easier to accept the instant attention that comes from wearing tops that leave no room for the imagination than it is to wait for someone to approach you because they think you might be a good conversationalist. We want what’s easiest. Not what’s right. That is where some of the problem lies. Nothing worth having in this life comes easy. If it did you wouldn’t appreciate it as much. It’s the amount of time and money you put into making your dream car run that makes you never want to hurt it. It’s the amount of love and affection put into carrying a child for 9 months that makes you want to love it forever and give it everything you can. It’s the amount of work you put into something that makes the outcome so worth while. And that is something we often forget.  One of my favorite quotes in the whole world is from Anne Dudley Bradstreet. ”Without winter, spring would not be so pleasant, without the taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” And if you really stop and think about it, she’s 100% right. Now all we have to do is actually listen and follow through. And that my friend isn’t easy because if it was… well more people would be doing it.