Chasing after love. It’s way too easy to fall into that trap, especially for us women. And yet, the greatest example of its kind comes from a man – the Great Gatsby.
Gatsby, who believed he first needed to achieve his big goals to be worthy of Daisy’s love. Gatsby, who asked his love to wait for him. Gatsby who believed in the love they shared.
It’s become his fuel. His fuel to achieve his dreams. Everything he’s done, he’s done for her, with the thought of her. And yet – she didn’t wait.
Gatsby believed it was all just a terrible and most unfortunate mistake, and surely when he comes back, when she sees what he’s become, she will come back to him. Because it’s true love. Because that’s what’s meant to be. Because there’s simply no other way. He could not see any other way. This was it.
Well… was it really?
Maybe you’ve read the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald book, or maybe you’ve seen the 1974 film adaptation with Robert Redford. But I sure hope you have seen the Baz Luhrmann spectacular film adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. For it is this version that makes the foolishness of it all, the madness of what love can become, truly stand out. Cause as Jack White sings in one of the theme songs of the movie, one that to me describes the whole feel of story the best, love is blindness.
And there’s a lot we can learn from Gatsby about love… when it’s worth fighting for but especially when it’s truly not. And how chasing after love is the most hopeless and pointless of all things. And yet, we do it.
I wish Gatsby knew that if Daisy couldn’t wait for him in the first place, she didn’t love him enough. I wish he would see through his own obsession and realize that the fact that the future he fantasized about and that he’s created in his mind so vividly, can never become reality BUT that it is actually okay.
I wish he could see, that sometimes we need certain people to come into our lives – but not necessarily to stay. Sometimes they just come to inspire us to do things we wouldn’t do otherwise. They inspire us to become the people we wouldn’t otherwise become. They give us courage to believe in ourselves enough to change our own destiny.
When you have that kind of person in your life, it’s very hard to accept that you’ll need to carry on without them. It’s hard to understand that chasing after love is pointless. I know, for I myself have been through this. But love should not be chased. Love comes naturally – or it doesn’t. But pressure surely won’t change things, only make them worse.
I’ve learned all of that myself the hard way. And it’s probably why I feel for Gatsby so much. I feel his pain. My heart aches when I see his desperate love for Daisy and how far he’s able to go (it’s probably also got to do with how brilliantly Leonardo DiCaprio portrays this character). And part of me just wants to scream at him and tell him ‘she’s not worth it, can’t you see?!’
But I know – accepting this kind of defeat is hard. When you believe in something for so long… it’s simply hard to let go. And if you’re anything like me – or Gatsby, it’s hard to give up. We don’t give up. We’re simply not the kind of people who do that. Giving up is out of question. But in terms of love, as well as in terms of life, it’s not really about giving up but rather letting go which can save us from a lot of pain.
When Gatsby finally realizes Daisy might never come back, she might never even call, he feels dead inside. He has no idea what to do with his life, so he keeps pushing that thought away. He refuses to face the truth. Because he can’t face the truth. So he keeps telling himself she WILL come around for she must. Because all his life, all that he’s done in the past few years, he’s done with one single goal: to win Daisy over. To get his love back. What else would there be left for him if that wasn’t to happen?
Sadly, the core of all Gatsby’s misery, lies much deeper than that. It lies in the fact he needed to prove to Daisy and to the world that he’s worthy. He was trying to prove his worth to the world all his life. But we should never try to prove our worth to the world nor to anyone specific. Nor we should ever wait for the right time. For when we have achieved this and that, and been there and done that.
Life happens now, and if we don’t take action now, we may never have the chance again. Truth is the timing will never be right. You’ll achieve your goals and set new ones and still be waiting for those to be first accomplished. You will always find something else you should do first.
If you want something, go for it now. If you love someone and that person can’t love you back the way you are now, there’s not much future in that kind of love. For you should never feel the need to change for anyone. Love is unconditional.
Your love for yourself should be unconditional, too. And you should never base your happiness on anybody else. On being with someone, on achieving certain status, becoming rich enough or whatever it is for you. Those are all just external projections. And nothing in the external world, and not another person, can ever make you happy. The happiness starts with you. And if you are happy with who you are no matter where in life you currently are, what’s your status or how much money you have on your bank account, than you found true happiness that no one can ever take away from you.
And only then you can attract true love into your life. Because when you love yourself unconditionally, your happiness is no longer dependent on anyone else. It’s only a bonus. A great, amazing bonus that can make life so much better. But still – just a bonus. It’s not something that completes you – for you are complete already.
Gatsby used great, pompous parties to fill up the hole in his life. All his life he was trying to become someone he thought the world would admire – and fall in love with. So naturally, his Daisy would too. But that’s not what life is about. That’s not what love is about.
And if you need to chase love, chances are there is no love to be found. Or at least not the kind of love you want or deserve.