As many of you already know, The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels. So much so that I have devoted a few posts to it. I was first introduced to the novel in college and have read it several times since. I went to the theater on the opening night of the 2013 film adaption and fell in love all over again. What’s not to love about Gatsby? The roaring 20s, richly extravagant parties, passionate dreams. In all of Gatsby’s dreaming, there’s a naïveté to him that I find endearing. The man from the wrong side of the tracks chasing after the woman that he’s convinced is the love of his life, throwing parties that exist only in your dreams. I would have given anything to go to one of his parties. And now I have.
About a month ago, my friend and I bought tickets to The Great Gatsby Party at NYC’s Capitale. Outfit preparations went underway immediately after. When the day finally rolled around, I couldn’t have believed that it was here. And. The party was amazing.
When you first walked in, you were greeted by two women on stilts in gorgeous silver gowns standing in front of a champagne tower. The men were in tuxes, bowties and tails. The women in beautiful headpieces and pearls. As a champagne girl, naturally I gravitated towards the champagne bar, but after trying the Gatsby punch, I found myself quickly gravitating towards that. There was a big band that played a mixture of modern and 1920s style music, performers that gracefully hung from the ceiling, and professional dancers that made me want to learn some of their 20s steps.
It was an evening of opulence and grandeur, of sparkles and black-tie. It was everything that you would expect from a Gatsby party to be. We laughed, danced, drank and left feathers in our wake. Shouldn’t we all party like Jay Gatsby?
Life has a funny way of working out when you least expect it. Someone just told me that the other day, but it’s something that I’ve heard my entire life. And, were it not for the fact that one of my dreams came true a few months ago, I wouldn’t believe it.
Yesterday morning, I was on my way to work, reading an advanced copy of Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel Hausfrau (German for housewife), and I came across a passage that stuck out. “What is the purpose of pain?…It’s instructive. It warns of impending events. Pain precedes change. It is a tool.” There are clichés that we always tell ourselves during difficult periods in our lives, but I’d never seen it written in such a way before. It was as if a veil had been lifted and I could really see the truth in the words. After reading that passage a second time, I took a moment to reflect upon my life, the recent devastations as well as recent achievements. Pain really does precede change. It doesn’t always happen right away – because, let’s face it, the greatest changes come along gradually – but it happens. And it’s always positive.
Three months ago, after yet another difficult period in my life, a dream of mine came true. Not just any dream, a HUGE dream. One that I had longed years for. When I was a child, my first love was reading. I simply loved books and all that they entailed, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I could actually have a career in the book-world without being a writer. It took over seven years, but not only did I get a job in book publishing, I’m working in the imprint that I fell in love with two years ago.
Dreams do come true, but sometimes, in order for that to happen, you need to make an effort. In the seven-plus-years that it took for me, I tried and failed more times than I want to count. There were times where I felt that my goal was impossible and wanted to give up…but I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t.
NEVER give up on your dreams. Because, one day they will come true, and the reality of that will make you happier than anything else ever could.