Hey All -- It's About That Time!
A few nights ago, I was chatting with a friend from college on Facebook, and a few memories came back.
When I was active in Alpha Phi Omega, the National Co-Ed Service Fraternity, we would have the weekly Brotherhood meeting every Sunday night. These meetings were usually divided into three topics: Part I was the actual organization and administrative issues that the chapter needed to address (zzzzzzzzzzzzz). Part II discussed pledging (drama, insults, slander, divisiveness, and crocodile tears). Part III, and my favorite, was Open Floor.
After all the serious, oh-so-serious, business was concluded, all of the backstabbing and childishness that went with discussion of pledging was documented and tabled, this was the time for anyone who felt the need to do so, to speak their minds. And that's where the legend began. ;)
I realized that the chapter needed a little humor as a release from the aforementioned drudgery and drama that would usually engulf Sunday nights. So I started telling people in Open Floor that I had "The Dreams." No, I didn't really dream them, but I did use fantasy scenarios that would require me to compare people in the chapter with well-known celebrities or characters. For example, I knew someone who seemed to resemble Dan Aykroyd in his SNL years, and told people I dreamed he was a Conehead. Or maybe there was someone who had a distinctive, and loud, Long Island accent, so I told people I dreamed she was The Snapple Lady. I cracked myself up, as I sometimes still do.
For some reason, these humorous images did not sit well with everyone. While common sense would dictate that this simple act of storytelling would be more entertaining than Old Business and New Business, and would be significantly more pleasant than idle gossip and reinforced animosity, these miscreants instead met my jokes with rancor, exaggerated objections, and well-rehearsed groans and moans. However, after the meeting had adjourned for the evening, at least 5 times as many people would privately tell me that what I'd said was hilarious, very accurate, allowed them to head back to the dorms smiling, and that I should be proud to continue them. And so I did, up until the very last meeting before I graduated.
(then again, there were other people who would tell me they didn't want to hear the dreams because it was fun for them to be part of the act that way. Deep down, they loved them just as much as I did)
It's frighteningly easy to give up on your dreams just because some blowhard or loudmouth tells you they think your dreams are stupid. It's even easier to give up on them when the blowhards and loudmouths try to flaunt their intellect and tell you that they have every reason in the world to show you up.
Even if it defies the supposed logic that these bullies and miscreants try to trap you with, the dream stays. You never give up on it, now matter what those 'holes have to say, because it is yours and yours alone. It's not relevant to me what that dream actually is, because if it's truly yours, a plan to make it work will follow naturally. Every chance you have to yourself, when you get bored of watching "Werewolf Hunter" on Syfy and surfing Facebook gets less thrilling, you'll diagram, plan, consider, re-consider, research, edit, and present it. Or maybe chuck it and do it again from the beginning, that's your call. But keeping it alive somehow, even with the hustle and bustle that everyday adult life throws at you, is the most important quest you have.
One major step in this process is to stop reacting. The more time you spent being upset that you have to handle a negative comment or insult, the less time you'll have to prove those bandejos wrong. If you are able, then as I've said before, you can treat these parasites with the options of eviction, expulsion, rejection, or banning from your life. If you can't, you can grown your skin several degrees thicker. And if you have enough ammunition to operate from a position of strength, shut 'em down and shut 'em down hard!
That way your head will remain clear, as you should always strive to keep it. Granted, your dreams are probably more genuine than a few made up stories about how that big guy who disses everyone looks a lot like Chris Christie. All the more reason to keep at them. ;)
In future posts, I'll refer to a few people I've known over the years who've had dreams, despite insurmountable challenges. Before I do that though, I'll need to get their permission. See, even if you have a dream, even if most of it is a no-brainer, you sometimes have to think part of it through.
Whew! On fire tonight, peeps. Here comes the video!