The hope I felt on that day didn’t feel like the sun shyly and hesitantly rising in my chest like it probably should have.
The hope launched like a rocket. It wasn’t there one second, and then I blinked, and it was.
I hadn’t felt hope like that in at least two years. Real hope that allowed me to envision real possibilities in my family’s future.
My parents have financially struggled since I was ten-years-old. We lost our home, and we moved into my grandparent’s. I’m twenty-one now, and we’re still at my grandparent’s house.
I’m grateful, but…
While I’m grateful that we’re not on the streets, or that the six of us don’t have to share a room like we used to (because my uncle moved out some years back), I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t suck.
There are a lot of reasons I dislike living here, but I’m not going to get into them. The main reason is that it doesn’t matter that I’ve lived here longer than I lived in any of our other homes.
This will never be or feel like my home. It’s my grandparent’s house, and we just happen to live in it.
My sisters and I may have decorated our room the way we wanted, it might hold our beds and clothes, but not even that can make it feel like home.
We don’t even own a car. We use my grandparent’s.
The good news
In the past ten years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Some weeks are okay; as in, we don’t have to worry about finding the cheapest thing to eat.
Other days, I’m the one who has to pay for basic stuff like shampoo, milk, eggs and more.
When the good news came, we were in one of our low moments because my dad’s money was running out.
My dad had found a job designing websites.
But this job wasn’t just any job. This job would allow my parents to get a car. This job would slowly lead us out of the mess we were in. This job would get us a house, a home.
It was legit. My dad went to their office, and the people told him what to do, and he would do it. Then, he would get paid over and over again until we finally got what we’ve been wanting.
The hope I felt in my chest that day was so bright, and I couldn’t contain my smile or excitement. This opportunity was real, and there was no way someone was going to take it away from us.
The day my dad finished the first website, he showed his new employers, and they told him they loved it.
My dad got paid, and everything was great! Anxiously, we all waited for the next assignment because that meant we were one step closer to our goal.
But the next assignment never came.
The bad news
His employers just… never got back to him. He wasn’t even fired; they never reached out again.
It’s been a couple of weeks since that happened, and we’re back to one of our low moments again. It might even be one of the lowest.
Writing this has brought not only tears in my eyes, but the anger is back in my chest.
I’m not mad at those people (although, I won’t deny their assholery) for not getting back to him or because we’re back in this hole that’s hard to climb out of.
I’m angry at the hope they gave me, and the utter disappointment of it being snatched out of my chest as fast as it had jumped out at me.
They dangled real possibilities that we could almost reach in front of our faces, and then pulled them away right before our fingers could touch them.
It was heartbreaking. My dad was destroyed.
What do you do when that happens? How do you move on from a heartbreak so deep you can feel the pieces cutting your stomach?
There was only one thing we could do
We had to try again.
Trying again is terrifying. When you pick yourself up from bed, still feeling beaten and bruised, you can’t help but wonder if you’ll end up back in it, now bleeding, if you fail.
But it’s not like you have a choice.
Your options are clear: You stay on the ground, or you get back up. What’s the point in staying down?
The answer is as clear as the question — there is no point.
I have felt a lot of hope the past two years, and I’ve been disappointed more times than I wish.
But no matter how disappointed, sad, or furious I am, life keeps going, and I can’t always pause for more than a couple of hours or a day because more opportunities will pass me by.
Some people might argue that I should be happy with where we’re at. That at least we’re not on the streets or finding food in trash cans.
The only thing I’ll say to these people is this: I won’t judge the way you feel in your situation, and you don’t judge mine.
Is hope good or bad?
In his book, Everything Is F*cked, Mark Manson argued that hope isn’t a good thing, and I agree with everything he said in it. He says that when we hope, we lose sight of everything we already have and forget to be happy and grateful for it.
But I’m not going to deny that I really need to feel hope for something better, and I won’t apologize for having it.
I can be happy and grateful and still want something better.
The way you recover from a heartbreak life gave you is by permitting yourself to feel hope and joy after all the disappointment and fury you’ve felt — no matter what the consequences.
And then, you try again.