Today I am thinking about hope. Hope is a tricky thing and I’ve always had a beef with it. Even as a kid.* Hope is what you have until you know the truth, until that hope morphs into something else. Maybe it turns into the feeling of victory as you start the dream job you were hoping you’d get. Maybe it turns into grief when the relationship ends after you had such hope for it. Maybe it turns to relief when the chemo works for a loved one like you hoped it would.
I like answers. I like certainty. When I feel hope, it makes me uncomfortable, because hope isn’t the answer, it’s the comma. It’s the …
Of course, hope is not something we can go without. It’s part of being human and if you don’t have hope, what then? Being hopeless is really just the next step towards giving up. And if you give-up, are you as good as dead? Maybe not. Maybe one can give up but still be functional. Still somehow find joy and purpose.
I’ve listened to two books by Glennon Doyle Melton over the past two weeks. When I first heard about her she was being welcomed into Oprah’s “tribe”, and I immediately wanted nothing to do with her musings as a result. I’ve never been a fan of latching on to the “next big thing” (people really need things to hold on to and believe in, I guess), but a coworker told me she loved Melton’s latest book, Love Warrior, and I confessed curiosity about this “mommy blogger” who spoke so candidly about her life. I listened to both Carry On, Warrior, and Love Warrior, and found the books thought-provoking.
She speaks of love a lot. This is especially interesting because Love Warrior is about how her marriage crumbled. I always admire people whose love-lives are crap but they still believe in love anyway. They don’t give up on it (what are you taking and where can I get some?) In many ways she is speaking of self-love, and love of God, and God’s love for you, but she also speaks of love from and for another person.
For reasons I do not understand, romantic love eludes me. I am not a fan of giving up, but my hope, in truth, is ebbing.
I feel outside when I think on the topic of companionship. Like it’s a club that I’m simply never going to become a member of. I am independent. I balance my budget, pay my bills, I take out my trash, chop my hedges back, mow the lawn, shovel the driveway, put oil in my car and add washer fluid, go grocery shopping and so on. I have been my own unwitting companion for so long, maybe that’s what I need to come to terms with. That I am my own companion and will always be only my own companion.
I have accepted that I will not be a parent to my own child. My hope for that is gone and I’ve come to term with my lack of admittance into the Parent Club. Now, I am coming to accept that maybe, I am actually meant to be that one single friend we all have. The one people look at and say “Oh, she never found someone because…” (I don’t know how people finish that sentence, if they utter it at all, which come to think of it, may be part of my problem. How does that sentence end and is it the reason I’m single?).
I am hesitant to accept that I will always be alone. The hope I have within me that I will someday become a card carrying member of the Companion Club has faded to an ember.
This scares me because if I’m not hopeful, where do I go from here?
And furthermore, if I believe that My Person is out there (and I don’t believe we have just one), and he thinks like me, we’re definitely screwed. How can two people possibly find each other if they’ve lost hope that the other exists?
*Hm, the signs of
pessimism realism ran deep early on I guess.