Finding Hope in the Hopeless
A beautiful feature post by Single Strides.
You make a certain plan for your life. You make it based off of love. It feeds off of the reason behind your smile and the bounce to your every step. You’re convinced you’re heading in the right direction, and you’re ready to base your whole future off of it. You move, you make new dreams, you scribble in your journal about all the things you’re excited for, and you smile at the one who’s making it happen.
Then it’s over, but you’ve already taken all of the steps. You’re in a strange place with nothing but the empty shells of your dreams. You wander the street tainted with memories and you really have no way to go. You’re lost in unfound expectations and a shattered heart. Suddenly, you’ve forgotten how to dream.
You start tracing your footsteps between places that made you smile. You start to veer off of sidewalks looking for reprieve in places you’d normally be too afraid to go. You smile at strangers and you make friends with foes. You start to live your life regardless whether it’s truly your home.
You begin to dream again. You begin to imagine where else you could go with the feet that never stopped moving. You start to smile at the places that you’ve been – even if you went to them alone. You build your hopes back up to the clouds instead of letting them drown in puddles. You’re hopeful. You’re resilient. You’re happy.
You begin to finalize a plan. One that gets you out of the rut your certainty on love brought you to. You get excited about what’s to come. You have the bounce back in your step and you smile at just yourself. A different set of dreams is about to come true, and you’re really looking forward to where life can take you.
Then it’s over, but you’ve already taken all of the steps. Now what is there left to do but sulk in regret. Regret for believing that a good thing could be in your path. Regret for spreading your joy for what was ultimately a charade. Regret for the happiness that seems so fake now. Suddenly, the clouds look so much greyer now.
You’re not sure where to walk now. Your feet don’t really feel like moving. You want to run but you have nowhere to go. You’re frozen in the list of failed expectations. You’re scared to dream. So you shut your heart and you shut your mind. You know you should trust that life has a plan and you should keep moving. But you can’t; you’re too mad at the world for taking away all of your dreams.
So now what? How long can we sulk? How long can we stay stationary? How long until we can dream? Right now I’m afraid to sleep. Right now I’m afraid of really everything – including myself. My heart feels cold, even standing in the sun. My smile is painted on by lipstick. My happiness can’t be faked – I’m told. So now what? I’m lost and I’m standing still. There’s so much good around me but I only see what I’ve lost. How do I cure a broken heart and broken dreams on my own?
I think I’ll just stand here a while. Maybe one day I can make a home out of all these broken pieces at my feet. Or maybe I’ll stay just as broken as them. But I’m afraid to move. So I let the tears fall as I sit.
Update: The above was written months ago and was recently discovered in a left-behind folder on my desktop. I can now look back and smile that I was able to keep moving. Not only that, but I was able to find a happiness I never imagined during that journey. There was no magic formula, no top 12 things on a listicle, it really and truly was the thing we all hate: time.
Time went by and all of the sudden one day I realized that if it weren’t for that detour I wouldn’t have found the strength I picked up along the way. Without the few wrong turns, I wouldn’t have been able to find the right one. So the lesson here, all, is don’t stay stationary. Keep moving. Get lost to get found. Eventually all the single strides lead to a single realization: I am, I was, I always will be.
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