Hope is a dangerous thing.
We need it to survive, to do more than merely survive.
Some of us hope for love, or for good news from the doctor, or that our kids won’t have to live through the hell that we lived through as children.
Some of us hope that nobody will notice us, that we can just fade into the background, almost ceasing to exist.
Others hope for the spotlight, the roar of the crowd, to be trending on Twitter and written about in the papers.
Hope. We all need it.
Lately I’ve hoped for it not to be so cold that I have to have the heater on all day, I’ve hoped for opportunities and good news.
And I’ve found hope really, really hard to hang on to.
I think I let it go for a while there. Shut down that dangerous force – it’s unpredictable and it hurts like fuck when your hopes aren’t met.
On the weekend, out of nowhere I realised that I have to want, I have to let myself open that locked down vault. I have to hope.
And do you know what, that scares the crap out of me.
You see, wanting and hoping are utterly impossible without vulnerability. Utterly, infuriatingly impossible.
So I put on my carefully selected clothes, I put on make-up, I drive across town and freak out that the traffic is crazy, I find a park and walk quickly up the street.
While I walk, I try to calm myself down and focus on the fact that I’ve made it this far. I know people are hoping on my behalf, and I hope their positivity is powerful.
I hope that the person I’m going to meet sees past my nerves. I hope they see me.
I hope. And I feel like I have absolutely no control over the outcome.
We talk, we have a drink, there’s easy banter, we do our strange getting-to-know-you dance – an hour flies by.
I sit in a cafe after it’s over, wishing I had a friend to debrief with.
I lamely post stuff on Facebook.
I’m wired and nervous.
I can’t believe I said that, didn’t say this, forgot to mention that… but I can’t change it now. I resist the urge to go back across the street and apologise, or try and take back that thing, or amend that other thing.
I finish my coffee and walk back to the car. I can’t tell if I feel relief or anxiety – I think it might be a weird cocktail of the two.
I actually shed a few tears on the drive home – not because I’m a lunatic, but because of the hope.
It’s out there now, suspended in time, I’ve hoped, I’ve put the hope into action and now it’s out of my hands.
Will he call?
I hope so.
It hurts to let that out of the bag… but I know I have to – both the admission about the tears, and the hoping.
I have to want, I have to hope.
And no, I wasn’t going on date – I was out at another job interview.
The trouble with this one is that I really want it. I think it could be awesome.
So I’m forced to hope – hope that makes me feel all kinds of unprotected and vulnerable.
What this knots in the guts hope reminds me of is that I actually truly want a job I can love, and throw myself into. I want to work with and for people who are passionate, driven and pushing the envelope. I do. There I said it. Are you satisfied now, inner voice?
So I probably will cry a bit more than is usual while I wait and hope, and while I do I’ll keep telling myself… I have to hope. I have to.
For now, I think I’ll put a movie on and make myself a toasted cheese sambo.
And keep hoping.