Book of LoveToday's Tune:
There's a reason humanity loves stories. Stories have purpose, theme, meaning, plot. There's a point to everything. In the majority of cases, things work out in a way that makes sense and feels at least somewhat satisfying. People who are good succeed, people who are bad fail. Hard work pays off. True love conquers all. This isn't the case for every story, naturally, but it's the case for enough of them.
And we cling to that, because life is nothing like stories. Life is messy, and chaotic, and boring, and nonsensical. We don't usually marry our superhot-and-perfect high school sweetheart, because they don't usually exist. We don't usually get the high-profile job right out of college, because the odds aren't usually in our favor and/or our reality disagrees that we're ready to run a successful company at 22. Most of us don't become movie stars, or royalty, or millionaires, or heroes. Sure, there may be a rare standout who can claim an experience worthy of a storybook, but for most of us, life is just... life.
It can be really difficult to come from a world of stories and media that show us glimpses into these amazing existences and not absorb some of it into ourselves. Many stories tell us the same thing -- if you are good, good things will happen to you. If you wait for a long time, you will be rewarded with your dreams. If you are brave and strong and work hard, you will win. If you suffer, it will be worth it in the end. If you're kind and loyal and patient enough, that person you're in love with will realize how awesome you are and fall in love with you back.
If you write for a long time and get beat up by critiquers and query for years and bleed onto the page, you will get the publishing deal.
For most of us, this is a secret hope. But for some, it becomes an obsession, which turns into misdirected anger. Haven't we worked long enough? Haven't we gone through the paces? Haven't we followed every rule, done everything they asked? Surely all of this wasn't for nothing. Surely by now they should come around.
Surely they realize they OWE us.
And there's the rub: no one owes us anything. Approaching anything with the idea that in the end someone else is going to give you something because that's just the way it's supposed to work? Usually a bad idea. First: it makes you lose sight of the now because you're always focused on the insubstantial future. Second: it encourages a sense of entitlement that eventually leads to bitterness. Because let's face it: if you fall into the mindset of all the things the Universe owes you, you will never be satisfied.
It's hard. It's very difficult to accept that we might do things and then... nothing happens. No one cares. It fades into the background. That's awful! It hurts! Even so, it's usually a better idea to channel that disappointment into the next thing, even if it sucks at the time. It's a far better alternative to becoming embittered and hating the Universe and everyone who gets what you want.
Blah blah blah, thanks for the lecture, Steph. I hope you guys know what I mean. We should all hope and dream. We just should also try to avoid letting those dreams consume and control us. I wish life worked the way it works in stories (unless that story is written by Joss Whedon, because he will destroy everything I love), but it doesn't. There are no happy endings or perfect resolutions.
There's only us and what we make with what we have.
/end cheesy inspirational nonsense