Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream.
Most of us spend a great deal of our lives killing ourselves (physically and mentally) to make someone else’s dreams come true. We spend more than half of each day working a job we don’t even like, much less love, then go home to people we don’t love either. Life seems to be one obstacle after another, we lament, not ever realizing we have become our own obstacles.
A great many relationships today were entered into to satisfy someone else’s dream, whether it be the parent who pressures you to settle down and start a family, the person who you were dating who began pressuring you to take things to the next level (of course you eventually submit to their wishes because you do love them, right?), or the societal pressure to conform to a misguided belief that one can never be truly happy and complete alone.
“A little bit of pleasure’s worth a whole lot of pain.”
Why do we work so hard for others when we are clearly neglecting our inner selves? Do we not believe that we deserve to live a life fulfilled? I mean, we were given the same chance at life as the next person, so why not chase our own dreams? Well, because…It’s the “normal” thing to do, right?
“Good morning, heartache. Sit down.”
It’s not normal to follow your own dreams, especially if it’s something that will take a while to manifest itself in your life, such as writing a novel, writing music, becoming a play actor, being an actress, or becoming an artist. (How will you pay your bills?)
“I’m catching hell living here alone.”
We convince ourselves that a good credit rating, driving the newest car, living in the biggest house, and earning one fat paycheck or lots of average-sized checks will make us incredibly happy. Well that is until it doesn’t.
“We got to prepare for some heartbreak.”
So many people eased behind the wheel of that expensive 2014 car today, deposited those checks in the bank, used their keys to open that McMansion, and then cried themselves to sleep. Or they spend hours drinking, trying to chase away the blues. (“Why am I so blue?”) Anything to fill that hole in their soul.
Back in the 80’s when I was trying to grow into myself, I listened to a bunch of songs that convinced me that it was a noble gesture to suffer for love. Being the teen who I was, one who desperately wanted to feel that love she didn’t have at home, I ate that shit up. “No Pain, No Gain,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and, of course, “Saving All My Love For You.” Self-talk. I was telling myself that it was okay to put myself through a whole lot of shit in the name of love. Well, what kind of message is that to give myself? Sorry, but I call bullshit on that one. I don’t have to suffer to show I “deserve” love. My anthem is no longer some lame ass love song that tells me I need to prove I’m worthy of love or that love is worth having after someone has hurt you as much as possible before getting an epiphany that he/she can’t live without you.
“I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go.”
No one ever says it’s okay to walk away from any relationship (business, person, or any other relationship) that doesn’t fulfill you. That’s why in the book/movie “Eat, Pray, Love” the narrator struggles with her decision to leave a marriage that on the surface seems perfect. She thought there was something wrong with her because a marriage with no real problems wasn’t fulfilling to her. Annihilation of self to accept what others deem as significant experiences, yes, that’s the killing of self we so willingly accept.
“Sunshine, blue skies, please go away.”
Luckily, she realized there was nothing wrong with her and she ended up experiencing life in a way that ended up resuscitating instead of killing her inner self. A life fulfilled. For her.
“It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.”
I started thinking about this when I went to court earlier this week. I was leaving the Criminal Justice Complex downtown when I saw a man leaning over a sewer grate, yelling at people below the street. He was yelling, “What the hell y’all talking about down there?”
“If You Think You’re Lonely Now, Wait Until Tonight.”
Another person’s initial response might have been to shake his or her head and mutter about the man being crazy, but that’s not what I thought. Instead, I wondered why it’s so hard for people to give in to express their true selves? We do things all day long so as not to appear crazy, but really we’re all a little insane, right?
“Take me to the other side of town
In Veronika Decides to Die, a guest speaker comes in to speak to a group of the mental patients. He tells them, “…stay insane, but behave like normal people. Run the risk of being different, but learn to do so without attracting attention.”
“It’s only fair that I let you know that the man you’re in love with, he’s mine from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.”
Ah, so, that’s the key. Be different, just don’t let others know. It’s okay to be insane. Just keep it a secret. Ooops! Guess I blew that, huh?
It’s No Secret, I’m Insane
What the hell you talking bout
down there, he yelled at the
ground. People stopped to stare
at him & to write him off as crazy.
But don’t you know that people
are living in the sewers and we’re
too crazy to notice. Even when we
hear the low rumble of voices from
beneath the streets, we choose to
ignore them, believing we’re free
from being labeled as crazy. So we
become zombies who march through
the streets like simple-minded sheep
being led to the slaughter, halfway asleep
at the wheel, just trying our best to not
appear too crazy. Doing our best to ignore
the voices of the people living beneath the streets.
Peace & Love,