Hope comes in spurts. The word may be commonplace, the feeling is not. I’ve always been a bundle of pessimism, spreading gloom like some people radiate happiness. This bit of insight into my personality won’t appear in any of my bios or when you look me up, I assure you. I have optimistic moments in all of this, it may be rare but it’s not unheard of. Hope has always been a go-to word, that word which nobody has any issues with.
I spent the week shuffling between celebration and work. I wanted to have fun but I also wanted to get things done. I had a lot of fun if I say so myself. Now that it’s Friday I can put my feet up and wipe the sweat off my brow. I’ve been reading rather heavy works, the existential kind. The movies I am watching don’t always come with happy endings anymore. There’s only so much of happiness I can handle.
The months feel like they’re getting shorter or maybe that’s just my head. It seems like November but feels like February. Every day I am treated to a screen full of smog because that’s the trending topic here right now, high levels of pollution. It’s a terrible way to live. I lived with a policy of no smoking and now I am breathing polluted air, it’s the same really.
Festival week isn’t at an end yet, it’s standard opinion that the festival only ends when the lights come off and the firework sounds stop filling the night. My mood has taken on the same tone as the authors I’m reading. One of the reasons why I can’t join academia is because I don’t want to be in this state every day of my life. I need breaks from time to time from the questioning and the constant sixth sense which reading provides.
I thought I could turn to movies for comic relief, but the Bollywood movie that released this week hasn’t fared good reviews although it seems to be making the money. I’ve been warned against taking the plunge so I’m left with streaming sites for the company. But the reason I wanted to go to the theatre was so that I could get away from the intelligent cinema and TV that I watch at home. I am drawn to political commentaries and that is exactly what I don’t need right now.
I think I’ve ridden my wave of Korean dramas and am now going to wait for the fresh stock whenever that comes. I have a few options, my parents proposed talking to them but I think I’ll pass. I talk to them more than I have talked to anybody this year. Also, they’re pretty busy people. Talking is also one of my least favourite activities.
Even my music taste has lost the elegance it used to have. It’s rather disappointing. But I still have hope, as always. I love how I use the word ‘hope’ whenever I am not sure of something. I don’t really use it the way it should be. I use it whenever I don’t want to admit that I don’t know something. It just sounds more positive than saying that I have no clue.
‘Hope’ has always inspired doubt in me, it doesn’t inspire trust like it’s meant to. It’s more of a question and it’s disconcerting. This year I heard the word ‘hope’ more times than I heard someone say my name. I am sure of that. Especially since it’s my gap year, people have a lot of “high hopes” for me. I am not really known for my ability to meet expectations, either I exceed them or I don’t meet them. So when I hear the word, ‘hope’ used in my context I shrivel like a prune inside.
It’s not really the word that bothers me but the way people use it, it’s so easy to make what you sound passive-aggressive just by adding the word ‘hope’ to a phrase. It’s the easiest word to take advantage of. This year can be perfectly summed up with the word ‘hope’. I began with a hope of getting better at life and I am ending with the hope that I see this endeavour through.
Every day I bump into the word ‘hope’ and suddenly feel awkward, like meeting a frenemy who lives across from you every morning when you go to get the paper. You can be sure that just like you check for that person before going out, they’re doing the same. And on some days both of you pretend like you didn’t see each other, it’s mutual.
I’ve been trying to understand the word, trying to make sense of it. But I can’t. It washes over me with uncertainty. Hope is perhaps my defence against the future. I use it to counter those who don’t believe in me and I use it against my own doubts regarding myself.
I’ve often been told, “you live as long as you hope.” It’s a scary thought. I want to live even when there isn’t hope. I used to think hope was all I needed, but hope is rather useless without perseverance. I’ll continue to hope but I will continue to live, I don’t need to depend on it I can depend on myself.