41: hope

Today I was thinking that no matter where you are in life, you have to find your motivator.

This can be anything — a thought, an image, an idea — something that can help you get through the tough times, get to the next stepping stone in the big lake of life.

For me, that’s hope. Hope that something better will happen in the future if I just keep trying — that one of my finite attempts is the one that holds the answer. Hope that boils over so much when I’m tremendously stressed, it wipes out the end result; then hope replaces oxygen, and I’m breathing again, and I feel calm.

It’s the kind of hope that’s self-perpetuating, the kind that gives you a glimpse into your finite options and tells you not to worry because eventually it’ll work out. It’s not the kind that asks you not to look down the cliff lest you falter, but the kind that tells you not to fear it but to see fully within it instead, because even if you fall, you’ll find a window, not a wall.

I don’t know where I’d be without hope. I look back on so many situations,  I think about the circumstances and the surroundings of then, and I cringe. And then I see me again, emerging forth again, steeped in those circumstances without my knowledge, but only a glimpse of its depth at times. Yet there I am, still looking at the bright lining, still falling and still hoping. So many awkward moments. So many attempts, all similar in the hope they contained that the next moment could be different.

I imagine the day you turn 50 and and achieve “wisdom” status. Because then you realize that this hope was dangerous after all, and merely a bubble that shielded you from the truth, because it’s only harshness of truth and reality that can push you to make real changes in the real world. That’s why they say that ignorance is bliss. Because ignorance is the bubble, and the bubble is bliss.

Is hope self-perpetuating ignorance then? The absence of truth? The ability to keep up an illusion?

I’m far from wisdom status still, but I don’t think so. I think hope is a gift. Yes, it’s held me back from taking action in the past, but at the same time, it’s made me resilient. It’s been the rope I held onto until I could climb out. It was my savior, I feel, in a lot of situations. And like anything else, when optimized (i.e. combined with action), it can work miracles. But you have to be ready to optimize.

And until you get ready, nothing bad can come out of hope. Because it’s a weapon and a shield, a fountain of strength. If no situation can scare you nor touch you after you reason it with hope, that’s a superpower of its own.

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About tali2

I am a recent grad of the wonderful English major. Though I don't regret studying English one bit, I realize why my teachers, parents, friends, and imaginary mentors warned me against it: Because it leads you nowhere. But it did give me great writing skills which I hope to continue honing in this blog as I chronicle the tribulations of the terrible job hunt in the terrible job market of NYC. And I hope that my blog reminds fellow unemployed recent grads that you are not alone, inspires some hope within us, while presenting a snapshot of our lives to others who do not share the same self-imposed troubles.
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