Jay Gatsby Ruined My Life

The book that ruined everything.

The book that ruined everything.

I need to blame someone for my struggles and dreams, why not a fictional character?

We all know Jay Gatsby, rich, gets all the women, does what ever he wants with his life. Gatsby lives his dreams. We all want to live like him. We all want to be him. We all want to live our dreams.

But sadly, most of us can’t. At least not with out a lot of hard work and time spent.

I first encountered Gatsby in the 10th grade when we read The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald in English Class. The book, the man just captured my imagination an ran. It took my dreams and made them bigger and bigger until they all came crashing down sometime right around the time I graduated college.

Your rich, your famous, everyone knows you but doesn’t at the same time. It can safely be said that you live your dreams. I, on the other hand, am working hard on mine. You throw lavish party after lavish party in that magnificent house of yours, or do I dare even call it a house? No, its more like your palace where you hold court with whomever you damn well please to. Isn’t this everyone’s dream to capture the wonderment of not just those directly around them, but also of those who only know of you by word of mouth. You, sir, have set the bar. A bar that can never be met and one that looks like a star that we can not call on once we graduate from college.

You, Gatsby, taught me how to dream and dream big. And in my stupor, I let you get the best of me and let be believe that anything was possible. And for a time, I did. I ran with these dreams and strived to live them every day of my life. Some days were better that others and on a handful of days I actually believed I was living up to the standard you set. But, like you, something was missing in my life and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. No, it wasn’t the love of my life was with another man. My life needed direction that you couldn’t provide in your perfect world.

I had to quit you, Gatsby, I just had to quit you. I had to disillusion my self and learn to live live day by day and not as some big opera where is story is written in advance and played out night after night to perfection. At some point everything you build has to come crashing down. When it does, it’s time to start rebuilding those hopes and dreams brick by brick, each time making the foundation stronger than it was before. I have built a strong foundation this time around and I’m not about to let you go crashing through it with your car.

So Gatsby, as you go about throwing all those parties, that mysteriously you never attend, I have  gone about trying to reclaim my life. Sometimes the haze from your lifestyle comes creeping in, but I do my best to not be dragged down by those invisible hands again. And I for one am not planning to end up in a swimming pool for my last act.

The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite books and is an amazing read.


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