It's no surprise to anyone that I have a great love for classic literature. You know, the stuff they forced you to read in your high school english class? You may not know that I originally began college with full intentions of becoming and English teacher. Before it was over I had sold out those dreams to journalism to obtain a Bachelor of Science rather than art degree. All because I wanted to graduate faster, and didn't want to pursue any more foreign languages. Oh, how youth is wasted on the young, right?Sometime in my late 20s I fell in love with classic literature, and that's what I've been reading the past few years. I finished Gone with the Wind last month, and during the time I was patiently awaiting the arrival of Scarlett from Thriftbooks I picked up Gatsby, a short novel and a quick and easy read from what I remembered. I wasn't disappointed, and I was really intrigued by the things that of course, my high school mind didn't pick up on the first time I read Gatsby all those years ago.
Something that stuck out to me that I deemed blog worthy was the ending. *Spoiler Alert!* If there's anyone in the whole wide world that hasn't read Gatsby, watched one of the movies, or at least read your Sparknotes for your 9th grade English class, stop reading now! LOL. Hey, there may be one person in the world still yet that doesn't know how The Great Gatsby ends! If you do know, please continue with me :)
Gatsby was known for hosting glittering parties where hundreds of people attended. The best of the best. The richest of the rich... and also just the average person who just happened upon the party and wanted to be a part of it all. I remember in the early part of the story, Nick was wandering around listening to others talk about Gatsby. It was funny to him that there were all of these people.. literally hundreds of people- enjoying his hospitality, his food and drink- yet they didn't know him at all. They even gossiped about him, in his own garden, while enjoying the party. None of them really knew anything about Gatsby aside from the fact that he threw glorious parties and they all just had to be a part of it.
When Nick finally got to know Gatsby, he realized there was so much more to this man than what they all talked about, and he really grew found of Gatsby. In his end, Gatsby's life was ended protecting the woman that he loved, and Nick was there for the funeral. To his surprise and mortification, no one was there.
“At first I was surprised and confused; then as he lay in his house and didn’t move or breathe or speak, hour upon hour, it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no one else was interested--interested, I mean, with that intense personal interest to which every one has some vague right at the end.”
It hit me so hard for some reason, the night that I ended the book. All of those people, all of those parties. They all wanted to be a part of what Gatsby was offering, yet no one really cared. Gatsby had made himself into a person who people wanted to know, yet they never really knew him at all. His connections were all superficial, every single one of them. Nick alone was in his 'inner circle' and knew who he was and where he was from, and just knew him as a person. No one else in all of the time, all of the glitter and all of the parties had taken time to get to know the real person.
Unfortunately, when I stared really thinking about this it brought me to the way that life is lived lately. We all live our lives at a fever pace. We are always so busy! Isn't that crazy, that everyone is so tired and we do so little? We always have this place to go or that place to go, but I think its more of the business that we involve ourselves in that makes our life so chaotic. The hundreds of status updates we read everyday. The hundreds of pictures that we scroll through on instagram. Even blogs seem so flashy and busy nowadays. Long written blog posts are simplified down to a post with a lot of bold headings, lists of 10 ways to clean your house or 7 ways to homeschool your kids, not to mention the pop ups that need your email address, the giveaways that you can only join if you follow that person on pinterest, twitter and instagram, and the ads... ohhh all of the ads! And plenty, I'm saying plenty of #followme #quoteme #tweetthis hashtags! We are so busy! So short, so brief and so, so busy!
In all of this busyness I ask you. How many people really know you? Or how many people are simply hovering around your party, enjoying your hospitality through your giveaways or status updates and photos of your kids doing everything under the sun, yet they know absolutely nothing about you? How many of your followers even know where you live, or what your favorite book is? More than that, what do they know of your testimony? What God has done personally in your life that has brought you where you are today? Do you have friends or simply party guests who like to think they know you, but are honestly just taking advantage of your tendency to host grand parties and put your home on display for their pleasure?
In the past year or so I've decided I don't want to be that friend anymore. Getting rid of social media was the first step in humanizing my life. If I was going to get to know someone, I wanted it to be on their terms. I wanted to converse with them and let them tell me who they are and what they are all about, rather than stalking their status updates and finding out what they were willing to let the world know. If someone wanted to allow me into their lives and send me pics of their kids, they would do that without social media. I have found that the number of true 'friends' I have is a lot lower than I thought back in my days of thousands of followers on social media, but I've also found out that it doesn't take much thought to know who really cares about me, who really knows me, and who isn't interested. It was a long process, and honestly a painful one.. but nonetheless, it separated those who were my friends from those who were my party guests, and I'm thankful for that!
Some of my friends are you, my faithful followers who read the words that I say and follow me from blog to blog.. and I thank you for that. Some are those who text me from time to time, and just make a point to involve themselves in my life. I truthfully hope that I have been that person to a few people, even if in their busyness they have failed to notice my effort.
That is also my newly adopted approach to blogging. I don't want to be that person who sells out to PR in order to get free products. Sometimes I do add affiliate links but its for something that I've used and deeply believe in, and normally something I've purchased myself! I don't ever want to be that blogger that peddles something just for the sake of selling it. I don't ever want to share photos of my kids doing things they don't want to do for the sake of a blog post. I feel thats exploitation. I don't ever want to gain followers by giving things away for the sake of a following, for those people aren't real friends or fans. I want to be genuine.
I have moments where I look at this blog world and think that I should be different. I'm a ministers wife, shouldn't I spend more time shelling out Bible studies and less time talking about the Great Gatsby? But that's who I am. I do enjoy bible studies and do desire to share those with you, and should share more often.. but I also look for lessons in every single thing in life.. from books I read to moments that I experience, I enjoy gleaning from every aspect of my life. I want you to know me, and if you follow, I want you to follow because you like what I have to say and would like to have a conversation with me. Not because you want a new mixer :)
Dear blogger please dont' feel like I'm throwing knives at you! I just wanted to share my thoughts and my heart. I feel like there's so many bloggers out there with something significant to say, and they are allowing their hearts and thoughts to get lost in the stream of who they 'should' be, of who they want to appear to be on the outside.. or simply the busyness of writing a blog and advertising it on 7 different social media platforms. Blogging wasn't meant to be that way! It wasn't meant to be as insignificant as a paid advertising on channel 2. It was meant to put the good in you out there into the world, so that others may learn and grow from what you have to offer!
I love Jay Gatsby, and feel too that I've fallen into the mistake of becoming who the world wants me to be rather than who I really am under all the razzle dazzle. I just thought this would be something fun to share with all of you out there, who are really trying to get to know me. There you go!
Also, you can play The Great Gatsby game from NES online! Haha! It's so fun! Although I have gotten killed by the butlers more times than I would like to admit :)