”All that matters is the laugh and the tear- and in that moment we experience a great truth; to be able to laugh at our condition is the only way we can set about the necessary business of putting up with it.” Samuel Beckett
Think about a time in your life when you had a great hope for something, perhaps something you wanted very badly. It may have been a secret, a hope you had within you for a long time. What happened? How did it turn out, was your hope fulfilled? Dashed? Or something in-between?
When I think about this question, I see that there were only a few times in my life when I had a really BIG hope, something that I wanted so much, so badly in my deep heart, that I went to quite extraordinary lengths to try to obtain it. I could say, they were the times of my greatest faith in Life, when I prayed the hardest for the realization of my hope. As a writer, I have the power to say anything I want right here; I could tell you a story of how my great hope was met in the most fantastic way, more wonderful and fabulously than I could have possibly imagined. That would be the happy ending that so many of us crave and wish to hear, the stuff of Hollywood movies and romance novels. Or, I could write the opposite; how my hopes were utterly dashed on the unforgiving cliffs of life, smashed into a million pieces, leaving me a mere shell of my former self for years to come. Or, I could tell the story more like the truth; that with hope comes disappointment, that joy comes, but with a price.
There are pivotal moments in everyone’s life, a brief space in time when everything is suspended, waiting, hinging on a particular decision, a certain phone call, a particular conversation. In that moment, your life is forever changed from what it was before, what it might have been afterwards had that moment never occurred. I had a pivotal moment like this about five years ago. Something I had hoped for, dreamed of, prayed about for a long time lived inside of me until finally that day came, the phone call, the Yes that changed my and my family’s life. In that moment, everything seemed possible. I remember walking outside in a happy daze, and looking up at the sky. It was a soft late spring evening, the world seemed green and alive and the future looked like one of those amazing rainbows we were accustomed to seeing over the hill where we lived; full of vibrant, glowing color and life. The sky was a gentle blue, streaked with wispy evening clouds, the sun low in the west. I remember feeling utterly grateful to the angels, guides, and my creator for giving me the thing I most hoped for in the world right then. Yes, it was a pivotal moment.
Cut to seven months later. Our lives had changed radically, we were now living in a different state, two thousand miles away and learning to adjust to a very different life. Then, another moment that changed everything. But this time, the great hope had suddenly changed to great disappointment. My dream and hope for this life were dashed upon Life’s rocks. It couldn’t be how I had imagined it, it was not possible. Life had thrown me a curve ball, and I had to let my dream go.
That was five years ago. And yes, life moves on, and me with it. I did what I could, what I had to do, to pick up the shards and start again. The disappointment eased with time, and I guess I got over it, at least I no longer thought about it much anymore. It no longer seemed the most important thing. Then, today, in a different country on another continent, something reminded me. I went somewhere and saw people and buildings which reminded me of that other time, when I had such great hope living inside me. It made me glad to feel that way again for a while, remembering the time when I felt so good, alive and full of possibilities. Later on, when I was back home again, I remembered more. Then the rest of the story played itself out again in my mind’s eye. I watched the replay of what happened, and of that extraordinary disappointment.
It was just so heartbreaking. It changed the course of my life, and that of my daughters. I cannot help but muse about how it would have been, had that beautiful hope for my life played out differently, if it had been fulfilled in the way I had imagined. Our lives would have been completely different than they are now. I would be lying if I said I did not regret how it turned out. I do. I wish my hope had not turned to disappointment. Even though there’s no use in it, in having regrets. I do just the same.
Some say that one day, after you die and go to, well, wherever it is you go, you will be able to look back on your life and understand it. You’ll be able to see why you needed that great disappointment, how it helped you to evolve and grow as a human being, perhaps to increase your compassionate nature, to be able to love more and more unconditionally. And for all I know, that is all true. Still, I can’t help but wish that the true story had turned out with the happy ending, just like we want. I hope to one day be able to find the humor in that story, instead of only the tragedy. We want the comedy in life, don’t we? Aren’t the most popular blogs the ones that are funny, after all? Dear Readers, I will keep trying. Chin up, tomorrow’s another day. Maybe I’ll go for a re-write, see if it gets more Likes on my blog. Or not….