For three months I've hoped for a good thing. I have tried to keep that hope from overcoming me since things depended on other people's decisions. I applied my best efforts, showed the best of who I am, and did well, but Tuesday the funding was erased and my hopes evaporated. I had gotten my hopes up far enough that the fall knocked me pretty much out.
In my favorite line from the movie, he asks his bowling buddy, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?'
And his buddy, who’s a little drunk, looks at him and says, “That about sums it up for me.”
Yesterday, I was that drunk buddy. Such is the effect of disappointment on me. Today, I wonder am I using hope the wrong way.
I've said that I write without the goals of getting rich or published, but maybe that's not honest. I don't believe I'll get rich by writing, but what is posting to this site but an attempt to be published?
My therapist says it's natural to want to be heard, seen, and noticed. I asked, isn't it childish to need that? I'm caught between wanting to be known and thinking I should find worthiness from within. Needing approval seems a bad sign. She said, needing to be heard is different from wanting approval. I suppose so.
This week's disappointment was the result of having built things up such that I was already on my way, out of unhappiness I've felt for years. I soared on that hope then crashed so hard when it disappeared that I still feel broken.
To hell with the thing with feathers.
Why am I even writing this? I'm trying to write without hope that it (or I) will be noticed. Austin Kleon seems to say, do the work, learn the craft, and keep going. Do it as if nothing matters. Keep writing and go through the days. But why do something without hope it will lead somewhere? How do I go forward without hope for some result?
This week I wrote my 4,000th Morning Page. That's eight reams of paper. I've written three pages by hand every morning since July 5, 2014. After this week's disappointment, I wonder, so what? Why am I doing them? What do I hope for and expect from them? I don't have a good answer, but I'll do three pages tomorrow anyway.
My wife suggests, instead of hoping for some specific or trying to figure out what it's all for, that I concentrate on doing one thing to make today good. What can you do to live well today?
So I write without hoping it's enough to live well today.
I feel I'm supposed to be more than I am. I keep hoping and when that hope fails, I lament how little I've accomplished. I'm sure I've written about being content and understanding the good life comes from acceptance, but what role do dreaming and hope play? They seem utterly not of the moment and lead to disastrous falls, but I can't imagine going ahead without them.
About now, both my wife and therapist would suggest that it's not either hope or the moment but both at once. There are times that makes some sense. Right now, not so much.
I want to say I'm letting go of hope, but this week of hopelessness has been too awful. I don't know what to hope for or how. Disappointment broke me. I'm not convinced hope is a good thing, that it never stops at all, or that it can hold me. As for one thing to make today good, I've written this. Has it worked? I guess I hope so.