Jul 20, 2009

Living the Dream, Leaving the Dream

I had been thinking about preparing a post about the so-called "tolerant" people who are intolerants towards "intolerants" such as antisemites, homophobes, racists and so on and the crass contradiction of their actions, but that post and that topic will have to wait a little more. Today's topic was inspired by Dragonfly's entry of the day, and though my entry will be pretty much the anti-post of her post, I don't mean it with ill spirit, but mainly as a complement to her words.

Dragonfly published today a post about fighting for dreams and keep chasing them. The idea is very good and very lovely, to say the least, but it makes me wonder about how wholesome can it be. Indeed, I believe that people must fight and work for what they want, instead of just waiting for other people to get them what they want. Examples for this I can give you plenty. For instance, back in the days when I was engaged to this András dude (back in the last millenium), I remember I couldn't stop being astonished by his sister (Krisztina, if I remember correctly) and her husband. They had lost their jobs and were living in a small cottage, almost a hut or a barn at their parents' place. This was Hungary back in the 90's and, well, things weren't easy, but they were doable at some point. For crying out loud, I've got a job and thought it didn't pay well, it was a good job. So, losing a job wasn't something so terrible, for you could really get a new one. Now comes the tricky question: What do you do when you are looking for a job? Oh, I see hands, yes. Check the adds in papers, call for interviews, leave CV's and fill job applications. You know the drill, now do you? Well, my then sister-in-law and her hubbie locked themselves in their hut and PRAYED all day for a job. I remember, when my former fiancé told me their plan of action, I stood there, flabbergasted. I remember thinking that whether they expected God to come down from Heavens, knock their door and leave them a physician PhD along with a position in a hospital.

Like this, I've known other cases. People that do nothing, but really nothing, don't work, or hardly work and expect their friends an charity in general to take care of them. Some want a big house in a huge property, but don't get a job, don't save, don't seek for opportunities. Dreaming is not enough, and that's what these people don't get into their thick skulls. If you want something, you gara go for it.

Other people go a bit further. They dream, and then they try to get to their dream, but when they fail the first time the leave the whole thing and go "Milli Vanilli": they blame it on the rain, blame it on the stars that didn't shine at night, but whatever they do they don't put the blame on themselves. But if they do, they do it with a victim sense to it. A typical case for this was this former high school mate of mine, Iván, who claimed to want a boyfriend. He went out every night or almost every night to gay bars, came home with, at least one "customer", and the next day all he would do is bitch about the poor dude. Iván preyed always on the younger, however continually went on and on about how immature these kids were and how he wanted a man his age. If the guy left before sunrise, he was an asshole how came only to use him. If he woke up with him, he didn't know his place. If the guy slept with him at once, he was a whore, if he didn't, he was a hypocrite whore. At the end, I think, he went back to an old boyfriend (who's still a child), of whom he spoke terribly ill, and recruited all of his friends to help him get rid of his things.

So, in the end he put a little effort, but didn't really move a finger to get past the difficulties and stick to his goal.

We also know people who left the University, or hop from career to career leaving each after a few courses because they've failed. I've known people who have done an interesting tour going from Economics to Business Administration, to Carthography, to Philosophy, Spanish, Japanese and ended in History or something of the sort before leaving the university all together and enrolling into a call center. I've known people, my ex-fiancé among them, who are totally unable to keep a job. They apply for a job, do it for a month or two, six months max and then they quit. But they don't quit because they've got something better, no, they quit because they ran into trouble and they can't or won't fix things.Yes, these are commonly known as quiters.

For these people I've only one thing to say: know what they want and stick with it!

I'd say that up to this point Dragonfly's advise is a valid advise. Quit moaning, quit quitting and do something for yourself. However there's another kind of people who should really learn when to back off. Those people would probably use the "Quitters never win" motto, or the "fight for what you want, no matter the cost, and never quit" in situations where the smart thing is to back up. One blatantly obvious case of this was Bush and his insane fixation with Iraq. Dude, that was Vietnam all over again! Just say no!

Though the cases of people who should quit and don't are seen in all areas of human life, some of the more notable are regarding family situations, job situations and "love".

In the case of families, there's a whole array of situations that can go into this. The typical case of a family member, usually an older family member, that ties the rest of the family to themselves. The mom, dad or grandparent that's "so sick" he or she tortures the other family members forcing them to give up their lives and dreams to serve them, while constantly telling them how ungrateful and bad they are. Those relative that expect to be supported by the others for whatever reason they have: they are old, they are young, they are sick, they are uneducated, they can't get a job, they are owed that much, they have other obligations... you name it. Sticking with them because you dream about the day you all become a happy, functional family is pointless. Dude, really, wake up and smell the coffee: that ain't going to happen. Talk to them, if you want a change, but if there's no change, the change is only up to you, so get up and either kick their hides out or leave.

In the case of the job, and here I recall the case of my friend Kate, sometimes people is stuck in a place thinking that they have nowhere else to go. Do they? Time after time they fall into the same trick, fight for a promotion that's given 100 times before to people you train, people with less experience, and when you are FINALLY awarded the promotion, that's only an excuse to enslave you more. I know it can be hard, and all those years you've endured the torture weight a lot, mostly for the hope you place on a better position that, really, will never come. I know it can be painful, especially if you think of all you've given to the company, and how little you are taking with yourself, but you really gara know when to quit, when to leave and go for something better before you lose too much.

The final case, and the one of more importance to me is the "love" type. I purposefully placed the word "love" between quotation marks, because my idea of love is opposit to what fuels this insane aberration these people call "love". To start naming people for this particular item would take me too long, so I'll typify the cases. There's the case of the person who loves another who doesn't love him or her back, but the stupid thinks that by "trying hard enough" he or she will win said person's love. There's a level forward, where a gay person loves a straight person but doesn't accept that said person is a. straight and b. really not interested in him or her. Or the reversed case where a straight person loves a gay person, and somehow the imbecile actually believes to have the "power" to "cure" the other one. Really. -_-U Then finally there's the case of the moron who loves someone and can't see that said person is playing with his or her feelings, and actually builds up a castle in the sky where the moron thinks they are living happily ever after.

I guess the problem is that a lot of people don't really know what love is, and then all the myths and tales told around love don't help either. I found it particularly interesting how nobody seems to doubt when they hate, but they get confused when they love.

Unrequested and unanswered love is not something uncommon, it happens often. Both of them can be rather unpleasant feelings, depending greatly on how are they handled by both parties. First of all, I guess people have to know that "love" isn't a two way feeling. Love springs from one person to another, or others, or a plan, animal, object, ideal, thought, feeling, adventure... Love goes many ways, just like hate. You can hate your neighbour, cats, a country, a type of food, bugs, injustice, religion... Well, love goes and does the same thing. Now, though you can, in some cases, teach others to hate this and that, you can't teach people to love that easily, specially you can't make other people love you.

People's hearts are not prizes won in competitions, and are not careers for which you can apply. You can't make someone love you by buying them gifts, or isolate them from all friends and "potential rivals", or by stocking them and telling them how much do you love them, or making all kinds of corny scenes of love and/or jealousy. Someone whose "love" is won in a competition, can be lost to a better competitor any time, and that's not love, that's "attention". Then, when someone has rejected you over and over and over, what makes you think that the next time siad person will say yes? No means no. Didn't you parents taught you so?

As I've friends who had been stuck loving people who don't love them back, and foolishly hoping that one day he or she "will realizes that I'm the best in his/her life and come to me and so we will live happily ever after", I've also have friends what have been victims of unrequested love. I gara say for myself, that I have suffered the pain of unwelcomed suitors as well. The stories are all alike. The suitor believes him or herself to be some sort of Cassanova, and starts trying to spend more and more time with you, comes closer and does all kinds of unpleasant and unwelcome gestures and comments. For the not-interested part it's very uncomfortable to tell someone that "I appreciate your feelings, but I don't share them". It's even harder when the suitor doesn't understand and keeps coming and coming for more. In some cases the receiver of the attention is forced to be blunt and tell the suitor "I don't love you and I'll never will", and yet still, because the suitor believes that he or she should stick to the "dream" and "keep fighting", ignores the rejection and continues with the unrequested, unwelcomed courting.

Unwelcomed courting works in novels, in movies and in slash fanfiction. In the rare real-life cases where it works the courted one gives in as a way to lower the level of psychological agression the suitor is practicing. Not like it works, but the idea is "if I just give in, maybe it will eventually leave me alone". Those are relationships started with the hope of a swift break up.

I put "love" between quotation marks because love is about being happy for the other person, and wishing said person to be happy and flourish. These stalkers, these "suitors" don't care for the happiness of their "loved ones", and don't care for their "loved ones" at all. They don't want love, they seek attention, and they single one person or a given number of people, and push them, press them to give them the attention and the words they want to get. Is that love? No. So, people who believe that if "they work really hard" they can get what they want, should also learn an important lesson: "pick your battles. Know when to quit and when to keep in the fight".

Sometimes something you want is not for you.


Dragonfly said...

Bueno amiga... yo soy una soñadora, pero se que batallas pelear o que si vlae la pena pelear... el problema es que te encuentras en el camino con gente que te asfixia y no es que quiere "luchar por un sueño" es que se obsesionan con sus "sueños" ya conozco un par así... definitivamente hay que tener muy claro cuales batallas pelear y cuales dejar de lado...

Storm Bunny said...

Exacto!! El problema empieza cuando la gente pierde la perspectiva. Yo digo que los sueňos no hay que perderlos, hay que mantenerlos, y uno no tiene que ser un echado, que espera que todo el mundo le resuelva la vida, PERO creo que la gente tiene que tener en claro que se vive en le MUNDO REAL y que hay que actuar acorde.