A Day In My Life and A Story Of Hope…
Hope, it’s such a nice word but I have to tell you, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of hope. In fact, it pissed me off for the majority of my life. How many times did I hope things would get better just to have them stay the same. I can’t tell you how many times I hoped someone would come along and make my life better and they never showed up. I had hope that my sister would get better but instead she passed away. I told myself at a very young age not to have too much hope, that with hope came disappointment. I thought this way for decades BUT the best thing I ever did for myself was to learn how to have hope.
But why and I talking about this now you ask.
Well, lately I feel like my light is starting to dim, my hope is fading and I am finding it harder and harder to get in front of millions of people daily and tell them to be positive. To stand there and email and tell them that individuality matters. Smile and say that there is always a bright spot in every dark cloud.
Point blank – It’s hard to sit there and be happy when the world is burning around you.
So yesterday I finally had enough of this and I had to remind myself not to give up hope. I had to give myself a hard reset and look back at my own life. I made myself look back at all the years that I had no hope and remind myself of all the negative things that came without hope. I had to remind myself that without hope we cannot make a better tomorrow. I remember that without hope I never would have had the courage to get sober and without sobriety I wouldn’t have anything that I have today. I couldn’t let my hope slip away from me.
Let’s flash back to yesterday….
Yesterday I had to go to Los Angeles for an event. Now, I live in Temecula and LA is about two hours away and I didn’t want to go by myself. So I asked Brandon (my youngest son) if he would go with me and he said yes (which for him was a huge deal because he doesn’t care for large crowds and he is also sober), But he said yes and I couldn’t have been happier and away we went. Sooooo what’s the big deal you ask? Well, the big deal is if you flash back to 8 years ago, Brandon would not even talk to me. I was up to my ears in addiction and he had his own to deal with. I had no relationship with either of my son and I had no hope that I ever would. Then you fast forward to us yesterday and everything was completely different. We had a great roadtrip. We talked, we laughed and he was an excellent plus one. It was a really good day with Brandon.
But where does the hope come into this you ask?
Hope is what gave me the courage to get sober. It was the hope of rebuilding a relationship with my sons to be exact. I replaced the fear of never having a relationship with my sons to the hope of having one. If I had not allowed myself to hope, yesterday would not have happened, I would not be here and my life would not be what it is today. It was that moment of clarity for just that brief second that allowed my mind to say “what it”. What if the thing I fear most is keeping me from the one thing I want most. It was just that split second where I said to myself “Well, you will never know if you don’t try”. So try I did.
The point of this whole story and the point of telling you about yesterday is that life right now, for me, feels like it’s getting harder to hope. Looking back at the last few years and we have been through a pandemic, we have a war going on, there’s global warming, I live in a Country divided and unleashed gun violence. I am literally scared to pick up my phone in the morning because I don’t know what is next. I’m getting to the point of I just don’t want to hear anymore.
This fear is making it hard to have any hope.
I find myself having flash backs to my childhood where I would hope there wouldn’t be fighting that night only have my parents fight. I wake up hoping that no one got shot overnight only to read about more gun violence and more mothers losing their children. I hope for rain in my drought stricken state and we get a heatwave.
I hope and shit happens.
But it wasn’t until yesterday when I was driving to LA with Brandon did I put two and two together. I realized somewhere driving down the 15 that I was slipping back into my dark spot where I was scared to hope. I instantly broke out in a cold sweet because that was a feeling that I had locked away years ago. It was also somewhere on the 60 that I also realized how important it was to stop doing that. I realized how important it was to have hope and that I couldn’t give up on the one thing that saved me. Hope, the one thing that gave me my life back and gave me my children back. I could not lose my hope again. Period and end of story.
So I decided to keep hoping for the best.
I to remind myself and remember that my strength isn’t based in anger. No, I tried that route and I failed miserably at the “Oh I’m so tough because I’m always angry” bullshit. I’ve had too many years of anger based fear years and I don’t want any more. I told myself that I have found more strength in positivity and hope then I ever did in fear and anger. It was somewhere on the 10 that I switched the narrative in my head around and boy did it feel good. I started to fell like my old/new self. The self where I have the strength to reach out to people around the world and tell them they have a voice. That their imperfections are what makes them perfect. Remind people to stop listening to society and start listening to themselves. I remember that we need to lift each other up during these difficult times and not tear each other down.
I remembered who I wanted to be.
Does this mean that I’m going to go out and hug the first stranger who doesn’t have the same beliefs as me? No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, in a world full of hate, I’m not going to play anymore. You have your beliefs and I’ll have mine. You vote for who you want and I’ll vote for who I want. I will support companies who share my beliefs and boycott those who don’t. But the one thing I will not do is hate the other person. I don’t have time for hate and hate is not doing me any good. I’m no longer going to carry fear and hatred with me because I have hope for humanity.
I mean, if we all give up hope, then we are really fucked.
If you find yourself out there feeling like you are getting weighed down with everything going on, my suggestion would be to just take a moment and breathe. Go outside and let the air hit your face, go for a walk and clear your mind. If you feel hopeless, figure out what you can do to give yourself some hope back. Sometimes we forget that small actions can have large impacts and those small actions will just make you feel better.
So I will continue to hope for the best, I will continue to not use single use plastics, I will continue to be thankful for everything that I have and I will continue to counteract as much negativity with positivity as this small 57 year old, gray haired woman can do.
Until next time…. x