Friday, October 29, 2010

Something about people.

I really like people.

Really, I do. But I can't help feeling that much of the time people have let me down. What I mean is, as much as I reach out to people in friendship, and attempt to be someone reliable when things get rough, it is seldom that I get the same in return...and never for the reason I would hope for.

Living in a community of people who are both God-centered and compassionate, I can understand why people might feel like I am either lying, not paying attention, or am expecting too much. But it's a lot different than that.

There are four reasons why people care about another person:
  1. They want something out of the other person.
  2. They feel like they should.
  3. It's their job.
  4. They want to.
In my experience, a lot of what's going on is numbers two and three in the list. And while some help is better than none at all, I need someone who cares about me because they want to. Not because they feel morally obligated to or because that's just what they do as a missionary or minister.

Let me back up before I get too ahead of myself. I kinda got the short end of the stick when it comes to moral support. My Dad is about as sensitive as a rock and only ever calls to make sure I'm doing things right. My sister is too busy to care much about my life. My little brother despises me. My Mom is dead. My relatives live too far away. All of the "best friends" I had in high school seem to give not much of a shit about me anymore, since my attempts at keeping in touch and hanging out once in a while are met with what I can only describe as apathy.

Around here, if you know where I live, you would think things might be a little different. And it is, somewhat. There are plenty of people around here whom I could vent my frustrations to, and spend time with. But, you must understand, I realize this is only a temporary thing. These people are around here now, but will be gone from my life before long. When I seek them now, they answer, if they have time. But before long, they'll be gone, and because they help me not because of number four on the list above but because of number two or three, I know that our friendship will become little more than a "We'll keep in touch" sort of arrangement. No guarantees on that, even.

It seems when I am most happy in life, I have someone whom I strongly believe cares about me because they want to. Yet, time after time, I'm proven wrong. They forget about me. Or I find out they never really meant a lot of the nice things they said about me, or about our friendship. It's a disappointment I've come to count on.

And yet, I'm held to blame. I expect too much from people, they say. I should rely more on God, they say. Easier said than done. Is it wrong of me to expect at least one of the couple dozen people I invited to a lunch/dinner chat to invite me in return? Is it wrong of me to be upset when people forget about me? What about forgetting twice? If I was a ninja, I would expect to be forgotten, but this is ridiculous!

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was that someday I would have someone who loved me as much as I loved them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How this began, and the meaning of "There Was a Dream"

A long time ago, there was a blog that no one read. That blog belonged to a younger me with an entirely different but related life. Long story short, lack of readership meant lack of motivation, and that blog is lost even to me now.

Regardless, I still love to write, but most of my writing is poetry that has been shared to some extent, but a lot of the best pieces I've shown to only a few, or no one at all. Blogs, however, have been something I always wanted to return to, but couldn't bring myself to try it. Why? Quite simply, I felt I already had one. Every once in a while, I'd write a note on Facebook. That was my blog, and it was yet another blog that went relatively unread.

However, I wasn't entirely honest with myself. Most of my thoughts that I could write a page or two on (and possibly make into a Facebook note) stay in my head and then are forgotten before I write them down. Not only that, but I wasn't giving myself much of a chance. It's true that my writings might not become the choice of read for millions, but it might become the choice of read for a few. And that's worth writing for.

After all, the only 100% chance that my blog is a failure is if I never write one.

That being said, I suppose I should mention that a friend of mine did tell me I should write a blog. I haven't a clue why. She's read some of my poetry, so I'm not sure why she thinks that my prose will be any better (just kidding, my poetry rules). But she did mention that she has one and people comment on it. She thinks her writings are boring too, and even though I disagree, it IS something we have in common about blogging. So that's an encouraging thought.

One last thing - I'm sure people are wondering about this blog title. Sounds a bit dramatic, like I'm some kind of pretentious emotional mess. Well that's true that I'm an emotional mess, but I'm not pretentious and I can explain the title better than that. There Was a Dream ultimately comes from the line "There was a dream that was shall be realized" from the movie, Gladiator. The line is said as Maximus (spoiler alert), the general turned gladiator, after successfully killing the tyrant emperor who ruined his life, reinstates the republic, the DREAM that was Rome, and then dies.

The line has served as some inspiration to me. Maximus is a man who was "the greatest general Rome ever had" but yet, only desired to return to his family and his farm. Yet, the Emperor wished for Maximus to succeed him, because Maximus' humble intentions were the means by which the republic could be restored to Rome. Before Maximus could be named his successor, however, the Emperor's son kills the Emperor and becomes the new emperor by default. Maximus is ordered to be killed, but escapes, finds his wife and son dead, and is sold into slavery as a gladiator.

Yet, even while death seems such an easy escape, Maximus perseveres to not only become an incredible gladiator and leader to the men around him, but using the influence of the crowd manages to become more powerful than the emperor himself, goading him into a fight and killing him even while he himself is mortally wounded because of the tyrant emperor's tricks. With his dying breath he fulfills his promise to the deceased emperor: "There was a dream that was shall be realized."

Everything he loved was taken from him, but yet he continued to live to fulfill a promise, and a dream. I sympathize.