What Hope Does

January 11, 2014

I woke up this morning, after a not so awesome dream that had elements of cool things in it: it took place at the beach (no idea which one, hello from landlocked Ohio!), I got to play in the waves, and squish sand between my toes. The company was the non-cool part, as there were people there whose company I do not enjoy, have not in fact seen in over five years, and I really think I’ve gone from hoping that on my death bed, I’ll be happy never to have seen them again, to hoping I will die without giving them a single thought. Which I would never know, because I’d be dead either way. So I woke up feeling so unloved. Like a little voice whispered in my ear: you have no friends and no one will ever love you. Not true, my brain shot back. I totally have friends, so frak off, little lying voice! This all got me thinking, what the frak does hope do for a person?

I have said many a time, “I hope this happens,” or, “I hope things go this way.” And I have noticed I wrote many notions like that in my month of daily blog posts. I think there was a point where I began to cringe at the word “hope,” began to even feel a bit skeptical about feelings of hopefulness. However, this is not to say I don’t still have hopes in my little corner of the world. I certainly do have hopes, but I think I have learned the difference between hopes for lost causes and being the catalyst in making shit that I hope happens happen.

So really I have shifted to this: if I hope I finish a project, I better be making damn sure I am doing the work to get that project completed. Even though, after the weirdness of dreams, I woke up with that horrid feeling that I have no friends and no one will ever love me, I just shook that right off. And it was the right life choice to do so. I think I have finally shuffled my priorities to where I want them. I have more focus, more drive, and best of all: I know who I am. Over the past few years, I have gone through a lot of changes, which is fine, all better things, but it was a lot to deal with. And as I’m always changing, this next journey for me feels like it’ll be a slow burn, or maybe a slow burn after some serious shake-up (because honestly, I don’t know what could happen next), but as far as writing, creating, and making, I am where I want to be.

And I still have hopes, even for things that are probable lost causes, because hey, a girl can dream. But these no longer interfere with the hopes for my art. I somehow got those things all twisted, which I think happened last winter when I was working so hard on my thesis. Every other aspect of my life was that project. A year being on the other side of that has helped me heal from the ridiculous hoops one jumps through in academic endeavors. Academia, such a poison in my eyes, to the workings of the real world. And I say that even as someone working in academia now, because the community college is pretty different. In many ways, it stays grounded in the harshness of reality, rather than cushioning students from it.

Symbolically, it is like the last time I had to detangle a skein of yarn and wind it into a manageable ball, I conquered my intertwining hopes. I don’t think I will always win at that, but I have for now. And now, it is time to get some art made, so I can go to the dead mall and wander around, maybe play some pinball at the arcade that is there, and then go to an open mic. I have a few things written up to perform, kinda shifting into some of the sorts of poetry/spoken word things that I enjoyed writing/performing so much in my undergraduate experience. It’s going to be an awesome day. And I don’t hope that it will be; I’m gonna make it so.

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