a note for the naysayers

EDIT:  I kinda hate that I feel the need to include this caveat.  This blog is not directed at the sweeping mass of humanity.  It is me upset after having been repeatedly put down and insulted by someone–only the most recent in a semi-regular stream of people lining up telling me how to live.  This blog is directed only at the people, though faceless to you, who have specifically ripped my life choices apart and belittled me, as well as those who have done the same to people I love.  It’s in defense of myself and my loved ones that I wrote this blog.  I was hurt and upset and insulted when I wrote it–I had just been called names and put down for an hour straight by someone who made a snap judgment.  It wasn’t the first time something like that has happened, and it won’t be the last.  I am a writer.  I get my feelings out by vomiting them into my fingertips and tapping them on keys.  Know all that when you read what’s to follow.  And know it’s not directed at you.

Let’s get one thing straight.

I am not now, nor have I never been, prone to insanity.  In recent days, acquaintances–not friends; “friend” is a word I reserve for those who truly are–have lined up to express their opinions on my move and the reasons behind it.  Specifically, that moving to be closer to my best friend is “nuts,” and that moving at all is “crazy.”  Those close to me–those happy few–are ecstatic and supportive.

But this one’s for the naysayers.  So if that’s you, perk up your ears.

I have led an extraordinary life.  There are two key words in that sentence.  Led is one; extraordinary is the other.  I have put myself through a private university, traveled the country and the world.  And I have done none of that through being timid, nor have I done any of it through being reckless.

I am one of those rare types who sees the world through eyes wide open.  I see the world in a panorama, not through a straw.  I am one who sees the evident potential in my surroundings, both immediate and far-flung.  I am a realist and an idealist.

There aren’t many of us.  We’re the ones you call crazy for moving halfway across the country or the world in pursuit of happiness or a dream that exists outside the canvas of your perception.  We’re the ones you ridicule and jibe–“What, here’s not good enough for you?  Is that it?”  For us, the world is at once a great, shining place in its vastness whilst resting easily in the palm of our hands.  We go where we feel led, to better ourselves and widen our panorama of sight.  We are in a constant state of striving flux–always a paradox that resists puzzling out.  We’re dreamers and doers.  We do because we dream.  We’re rarities, oddities.  We see the world as it is, but we live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.*

Our lives are our Art.

We may seem abstract; our motivations may elude you.  We don’t fit in your box, and we’ll fight you tooth and nail if you try to rope us and tether us down.

You want to keep us in your box because you fear our success.  Our seeming flightiness intimidates you.  We weave foreign tapestries with the shimmering places and gleaming people we find on our ways.  We traverse our countries and the globe, and that threatens you.  Because we do what you will not admit you can.  We react to our feelings and the inexplicable tugs upon our psyches.  We live an uncomfortable existence, but we live, and we do it the best way we know how.

We understand with perfect, crystalline clarity that nothing worth having or experiencing in life comes easily.  We are not easy people to know.  We understand that great gain comes from taking risks.  We see the potential for growth and movement, and we calculate our paths with careful fluency.  We listen to our intuition, and we do what must be done to be true to it.

We gather to us people like ourselves.  We lead by example.  We inspire.  We create.  We often start–often purposely–with nothing and build with our every day.  We thrive when we beget beauty ex nihilo, when our very existence conceives wonders in its vibrancy, and when we enrich our own lives and the lives of others through how we live.

We move in and out of others’ paths like fish darting in the sea.  And we leave legacies when we go.

So don’t mock us or put us down.  We may fall on our faces.  We may have to wade through the mud before we reach where we’re going.  But to us, life is a journey, and we will get there.  And you will never see us slinking away with tails between our legs.

We are dreamers who do.  We change the world around us.  We may change our course, and things may not work out exactly the way we hope, but we are never guilty of failing to try.  Our success is born from our struggles, like a phoenix sired from fiery ash.

We are writers, musicians, poets, artists.  We are activists and movers.  We are the people you can’t quite grasp.  We follow our hearts and our ideals, and we live in relentless pursuit of the extraordinary.  We respond to the call of the wild.

So don’t try to hold us back.  Don’t label us insane or reckless–rest assured, we know exactly what we’re doing and why.  We do it because we must.  And we must and shall go free.  We are who we are, and your approval is neither desired nor required.

i walk.  i talk.  i shop.  i sneeze.  i’m gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back.  there’s trees in the desert since you moved out, and i don’t sleep on a bed of bones.**

*Joss Whedon, Angel
**Joss Whedon, Buffy

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About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on 26 March, 2009, in love, meanderings, soapbox, thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. My reaction is go if you must. I wonder if you really will meet friends on your journey . I wouldn’t be the kind of a person to step in front of darting fish or stop a dreamer at the scene of some abstract encounter.

  2. i will meet friends. 🙂 i always do. never in the way i expect, and i’m usually sort of blindsided when it happens, but i always find them out there.

  3. I only accidentally stumbled across this blog, and with all due respect it comes off as almost amusingly arrogant.

    Who is this ‘we’? This special chosen group of individuals who are so much more in tune with life than everyone else? Who is everyone else that is the ‘they’ that won’t let you live? Do what you want, everyone else is, no one gives a rat’s ass where you go or what you do. Live your dreams, that’s fantastic, but please refrain from implying that because the rest of the planet isn’t doing what you do in the manner you do it in, somehow ‘we’ don’t get it. We’re afraid of…something. It somehow doesn’t count. What garbage!

    Believe me, you aren’t the only one who sees the world in a ‘panorama’. There are millions of people, across this globe that you will never meet, artists, scientists, painters, teachers, animal rescuers, environmentalists (you get the picture) who are out there, vividly aware and putting in the effort, struggling and fighting to make a difference in this lifetime. Risking many things many times over for a chance to live a meaningful, beautiful life by their own measure. You aren’t as rare as you’d maybe like to imagine. You aren’t an enigma. When you say ‘Our lives are our art” you are right. However, that applies to each and every person on this planet, not a select group of people chosen by you.

    No one fears your success, and you don’t threaten anyone. Most people are too busy figuring out the next step along their own path to bother noticing yours, never mind being threatened by it. What makes you think your life is even something someone else would covet or find the least bit satisfying? It is yours after all. Not anyone else’s.

    You seem so insistent that other people accept your way of life, yet you do nothing but condescend to anyone who isn’t doing as you do, living as you live, as though to not follow a path akin to yours is to be threatened, or angry, or bitter, or even lacking desire or dreams at all! You see the hypocrisy I would imagine.

    You’re a 20-something person finding your way, as has and will be the case a billion times over, time immemorial. This is pretty standard stuff. In the process you’d do well to do so with a touch more humility, and perhaps a bit less self-righteousness.

    Everyone wants a rich life. Everyone risks and toils. Everyone is extraordinary. Not just you.

    Good luck with your travels.

    • you’re entitled to your opinion, but i think you missed my point.

      i’m not saying i’m better than anyone–that wasn’t the point. i’m not. the point was more along the lines of “don’t tread on me.” i’m confident in myself and the choices i make with my life. they’re not the “normal” choices. i don’t want suburbia. that’s me. i’m in no way saying it’s wrong for people to want that. the people i was referring to as “we” in the blog are not better than anyone else–that’s not at all what i was saying. but we get put down a lot. my musician friends get called “deadbeats,” they get called “lazy.” they work hard at their craft, as i work hard at mine, and they get a lot of shit for it. writers (like myself) get “deadbeat” a lot as well. and people don’t understand why we just don’t take a better paying job and climb the ladder–it’s because that’s not the lifestyle we want or feel that we’re suited for. we would be unhappy without our art, whatever that may be.

      your comment made me think a bit. it’s not particularly respectful to call someone “amusingly arrogant” at all. that actually came off as condescending to me. sort of, “aw, how cute. you think you’re important.” i may not be important to you, but i am important to the people in my life–many of whom felt like i expressed something they feel is vital in writing this entry. maybe it’s because so many of my friends have felt rejected by the wider mainstream of society for not fitting into the “traditional” lifestyle americans are supposed to want. i wrote this because of that sentiment that we’re “crazy” or “irresponsible” for following our dreams.

      writers, musicians, artists of any kind, and anyone who wants to be publicly visible in any way have to be sure in themselves they have something to say, something important. we wouldn’t write, paint, sing, play, any of that if we didn’t think we had something important to say, something we wanted people to hear. that’s certainly confidence, but i wouldn’t classify it as arrogance.

      i am confident that i have a lot to offer. there are a lot of parts of myself that i want to share with the world, not because i think i’m superior to anyone, but because i want to give of myself. i go where i go and do what i do to gain experiences that i can use to enrich the lives of others. people give of themselves in so many different ways, whether it’s counseling others like my parents do for a non-profit, fixing someone’s cars, treating sick people, answering phones, joining the military, getting a degree, or anything else.

      all i ask is that you don’t insult me and others like me for going about it our own ways. i have nothing but respect for human beings in general–we only get this one life that we know of. we’re all just doing our best.

  4. one other thing–this blog wasn’t really an open letter to everyone on the planet. it wasn’t my way of throwing my angst at the world. it was me venting my frustration about the people who have specifically made an issue about the way i live my life, and those who have been similarly antagonistic to my friends and people i love.

    i know very well that everyone is out there doing his or her best in this world. this blog was directed (as the title says) at those who have come down on me for living my life.

    i am sorry if it came across as condescending. i wasn’t meaning to belittle anyone–i was reacting to people who have specifically belittled me and those close to me. it IS a reactionary blog, and i know that. because i wrote it directly after a conversation where i was told i was crazy for moving to be closer to people i love. i was upset and hurt when i wrote it. this blog is sort of my word vomitorium, so i use it to vent on occasion–this being one of them.

    this isn’t the blog of a “thinks she knows everything about the world” 24-year-old loser. it was me venting my feelings after being insulted repeatedly by someone who made a snap judgment about my decision to relocate to another state.

    to be frank, you don’t know me or what i’ve been through in my life. if you did, you’d know that i’m not someone who thinks she knows better than anyone else how to do this life thing. i’m genuinely sorry if you think i’m arrogant or if i offended you, but you didn’t have to go out of your way to tell me how special i’m not, either. i’ve spent several years abroad and have met people from all walks of life doing amazing things where they are, all around the world. every person on this planet is extraordinary, from the homeless people i met on the streets of poland to the auschwitz survivors i’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to speak with and hear their stories. i agree with you wholeheartedly that everyone’s life is his or her art. reading back, i can see how you would take it as me saying that only the “we” i referred to fit that description, but please understand that’s not how i meant it. i phrased it that way in reaction to specific instances where people have blatantly put me down, put my loved ones down, for how we choose to live–not as a sweeping statement intended for everyone on the planet who is not a musician, writer, artist, etc.

    i also certainly was not trying to say everyone should live the way i do. most people do not want to live on a meager income and barely squeak by. they don’t want to spend months on the road with a band not getting paid or hitch around the world with a backpack or move to a different state twice in a year. the world would be a mess if we all did that. 🙂 the whole point was, as i stated in my first reply to your comment, was that i don’t want people passing judgments on my choices. i’m sorry if that’s how i came off in my blog–as passing judgments–but that wasn’t my intention. the people i was reacting to in my blog were passing judgments on me, very decidedly. along with some name calling and insults. which, coming from friends, hurts. what i wrote in my blog is mild compared to what has been said to me and my friends.

    i’m going to sign off now. once again, i’m sorry for any offense–it wasn’t intended.

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