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On Greatness and Gatsby

I am a slug.

On a scale from one to ten, my motivation and sense of wanting to get stuff done is somewhere below zero. One of those negative numbers that have been haunting and confusing my math lately (true story... or horror story (for that is what algebra is)). I just don't want to do anything!

I wake up each morning with a pile of over-due school work hanging over my head (stressing me out more than you can imagine), a book that hasn't been writing itself (much to my disappointment), and to top it off, this blog that I have somewhat abandoned in my frantic procrastinating.

Really, the only thing that is kind of going good for me lately is my reading. Most (okay, not most, but some... a minimal few) of my school days lately have consisted only of my reading, and lying in bed (For Christmas I got a huge, beautiful stock-pile of books, which seriously doesn't help with my problem... ), and wandering the house (or sometimes, the freezing backyard) aimlessly, wondering what to do with my life.

(Seriously, isn't that not always the #1 thing on my mind?)

I know you are tired of hearing me rant about my lack of not knowing where I'm going. So I'll try to stop, but since that has been what's kept me from writing to you, I should give you one more big rank and be done...

So we are going to talk about The Great Gatsby.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther ... And one fine morning ---”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Okay, okay, I know that this post is already super-duper long already, but just stick with me. I am determinded to find some sort of conection with my life struggles and The Great Gatsby, to actually make this interesting for you. Plus, I'm suffering from a headache and lack of sleep (seriously, I'm starting to fall asleep on top of my keyboard) so I get to choose what I post about.

Anywho. I read The Great Gatsby at the beginning of the year, and even after a month, it's still sitting on my mind, just waiting for my ideas about it to explode out of me.

After the first chapter or so,  this turned out to be the fiercest little book on my shelf. It's only about 150 pages long, yet it's so packed full of thought and questions, you just can't stop thinking about it.

I have trouble really thinking about things that books have to teach. They are quiet, and patient teachers, and sometimes I wish that they would simply knock me over the head with a frying pan, screaming, this is what you are suppose to get out of me! Now, go change your life! But, no, they just sit there, giving you little lessons as you go, like sneaking you little cookies. But with The Great Gatsby, it did kind of scream to me.

I guess it's no big secret around the world that we all, in a way, strive for greatness, and, in a way, that is the root of my whole what-am-I-goting-to-do-with-my-life thing.

I have believed, from the time when I was very little, that everybody in the whole world has one thing that they are positively great at. No one else around them can be as great at that one thing besides that person, and, in my mind, they tend to go out and do said great thing for the rest of their lives, and are happy about it.

I have friends who do seem to fit this to me... friends who can sing extremely beautifully, or who can speak fluent Spanish or French with their eyes closed. So, of course, seeing these (really bad) examples, I spent my childhood trying to find my greatness. The thing I can do better than any one else in the whole of the universe... but that's my problem. I can't find my greatness.

It's a horrible goal really, to be better than everyone else.

There were a few things in life that I did really enjoy, like acting and writing. So I would strive to be the best that I could possibly be. I took writing classes, and auditioned for plays. Trying to grow my greatness, and make it flourish.

In my fantasies, I would be noticed as an extrodinary writer by my writing teachers, and called to read my work in front of the class. And when I would audition for plays, I would get a standing ovation, and be begged by the directors to play the leading lady (even though I was eight).

But it's not fun to get cocky, let me tell you.

What would really happen in those writing classes was me, sitting all alone, listening to the teacher talk, she would critique my work (which was extremely hard sometimes), but the worst was when we had to read the other students' work. It seemed as if everyone was better than me. Whenever I would read another aspiring writer's book, it would just make me want to burn my awful manyscript.

The auditions didn't go much better at all, in fact they went worse, but let's not talk about those. *painful memories*

It's hard, but sometimes, you have to be humbled to understand. I look back at these instances, and hate myself.

So, yes, I was a horrible kid, but what in the world does this have to do with The Great Gatsby?

The whole theme of this book is basically greatness (I guess that's kind of obvious) and the price of it.

(Please correct me if I get this wrong, because I'm new at analizing and trying to see the lessons in literature, so I might not hit the bullseye on this, but, anyway...)

Jay Gatsby is a man who has spent the past five years of his life trying to acheive greatness. Set in the roaring 1920s New York, greatness seems to be everywhere. And everyone seems to think that being great will make them happy. But, as the book so prominently shows, greatness isn't always so great.

Sometimes it can corrupt people. Turn them into something wrong and not themselves.  It makes me wonder sometimes... what it would be like for me to be truly a great. Like a movie star, or something. What would I be like? Would I really and truly stick to my values and who I am? I'd like to say yes, but honestly, I don't know.

Greatness is a disease. It infects our minds, and makes us do things that we never thought we would ever do. This happens frequently in the book too (for  those who have read the book: might I mention that certain incident with a certain yellow car. *wink*wink*).

So... maybe I'll never be a great. I'll never see my name framed by glittering sparkles. And, even though I'm still working through all of that a bit, I'm okay with it. I know that no matter what, God has my life story all planned out, and, even though I worry about it immensely, I don't have to. 

Okay, I know my book analysis is awful, and this post is over 1,000 words long (and full of spelling errors, no doubt), but, thank you, I needed to get that off of my brain. I shall try to think of better post topics other than: "I can't think of what to do with my life. meh!"

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