Like so many who came afore me, entered I into the city,
full of dreams, yet full of pity.
We came to this great huddled mass,
of buildings – tall, made of steel and glass,
We came to hide, to seek, to plunder,
but came out only hurt and somber.
There is an idea that New York, because of the sheer mass of people that it contains, is a place where one can come to be accepted. The fallacy, dear seeker, is that we, who seek, come for the acceptance of others, when really, it is we who do not accept ourselves. With open heart and open mind we come to this great city and wait… we wait for the doors to open, for the friends to be made, for our life to begin. We do not wait idly, we encourage the process by going out to bars and clubs and social events, we drink and we smoke and we pretend. And yet.
Our lives undulate from success to failure, from that sought after acceptance to disappointment (often with ourselves, but aptly under the guise of scorn for the so-called falsehood of society). We seek validation on social networking sites. How many friends do I have? How many people, to whom I have not spoken in years, will post a happy birthday message on my wall? Who will RSVP my upcoming show? Who will actually show up?
In this, the grandest of cities, the modern Rome, we find the true testament to human insecurity. There is no place, other than L.A., where we parade with pomp and much circumstance to the beat of the unseen puppeteer. Little do we know that WE are in fact the puppeteer. That it is our mutual disdain and insecurity which creates the very society into which we so desperately try to fit, yet are somehow always left on its fringes.
What can I say to the student who wishes to find success in a world where he/she is setting up the very circumstances that will lead to failure? I will say:
Do not play the game, because winning is ephemeral. Create your own and let others play if they wish, just know that it is your own and you determine what is success.