i'm optimistic that in the last few days i've developed an inkling of a readership- a handful of people who will not only read this, but answer my question. please answer me. my flaws are many- oodles of issues and handicaps- emotional, financial- self-made and world given- they exist in multitude; one constant in my life has always been hope. without some semblance of hope what do we have? without a daydream or fantasy; without secret longing and internal conversations what do we have? isn't it true- hasn't science proven that humans are comprised of water, matter, love and hope?
when do we stop hoping?
is there a line? a map to follow? a calendar marked with a big red "x" and a message: "THIS IS YOUR LAST DAY TO HOPE, NOW GROW UP, GET A GRIP AND MOVE ONWARD; GIVE UP."?
since october 3, 2010 i have learned so very much- and achieved some things i never thought i could; sly & i have given root to a dream-or maybe not root just yet- we've given it a roomy pot with lots of sunlight and plenty of dirt and water. (uniquely this wasn't his dream which i followed or my dream which he followed- individually we came into this relationship with a common dream)- in a little over 30 days we've tweaked and created recipes-we've researched and read articles on bistros, bakeries, restaurants and such existing "without brick and mortar". we've photographed and re-photographed, we've created/joined 3 selling sites- one completely our own; sweating and crying and cursing my way through- we created a web site- and now here we are.
we have a beautiful bakery in cyber space; our food is incredible and the ideas pour forth- and yet, nothing- we study and research and read some more. we ask and re- read and try to figure the best way to be seen- to be heard- (we need to be smelled- but that hasn't been developed yet).....
a few nights ago, my father & step-mother, both of whom have been hugely supportive and both of whom i adore, laid it out severely and honestly (as parents of adults should)- asking or rather indicating that "it is time to look for a job". they have been beyond incredible and beyond generous, helping us to find and get this place- co-signing our lease for us and helping us when we are short on rent and other things.
we aren't slackers; we are products of the economy; sly lost his job last december and culinary jobs paying enough to support a small family don't seem to exist anymore. we have our beautiful 3 year old boy and we both agreed from the beginning that we would sacrifice whatever it took to have me stay home- we want to raise this child ourselves- we live frugally and small- for 3 years we lived in a studio apartment in the projects of east flatbush, new york. we've recently moved to a one bedroom apartment in a safer beautiful area. we don't drive. we don't party. we don't go out. we don't buy ourselves or each other or our older children gifts. we budget on air. but we do this. for each other and for shea. we do this because we both failed the first time and i will be damned before i fuck this up again. i will not fuck up love.
sly has picked up a few gigs here & there- we supplement unemployment to the best of our ability; he worked a summer job as a sous chef at a camp in wisconsin- and now he cleans a doctor's office 5 nights a week. and holding hands we walked to the self employed edge and we leapt.
we've started this dream; this bakery- with focaccias and breads- comfort foods and other food stuffs. we dream someday of having a store front- nothing huge- not a five star palace; a retail space. we talk and brainstorm constantly as to what would be on our menu; how we would do things- we dare. we push each other. we dream.
after 30 days we've not much action- 3 orders, that's it. we twitter and facebook and blog. we create often and update our sites daily. we tweak out specials and eke out our lives; forging forward. a lot of days i am grumpy; moving about sighing heavily- bitching and moaning - we argue a little more now, but we are closer too. there is something else between us; another baby that we both adore equally one we both want to nurture and see grow.
what would you do?
when would you stop hoping?
except for a very brief time, when i was around 8 and i wanted to be a veterinarian, i always wanted to be an actress. i had a ridiculous amount of belief in myself; i was self assured and obnoxious- looking back now i imagine my parents and teachers must have disliked me enormously. i was arrogant, thinking subjects such as geometry and trigonometry were beneath me- completely living in a fantasy that i would have subjects to do my menial carpet measuring while solving my train vs. airplane travel dilemmas when i was famous in nearly failed math and argued the point of learning such blather.
i often wonder if i was good enough and further i wonder if my karma is completely kaput; shot, in the universal toilet because i didn't do what i was supposed to; i didn't use the gift i was given by god or the universe- (depending upon your belief system)- i do believe that are we are predestined- there is a plan- or a way- a path we are supposed to follow and i didn't follow mine. i gave up. i lost hope- i realized that although i may be talented i lacked the drive- or not so much the drive- i lacked the gumption to face critic after critic without crumbling.
when do you stop hoping?
when do you hang it up?
i have not spoken to my mother in nearly 3 years. in a twisted turn of karma, my own beautiful 24 year old daughter has not spoken to me in 2 years. i have nearly given up hope on a relationship with my mother; she won't ever change and probably neither will i. but i will NEVER give up hope that my daughter will come around and stop hating me so very very much.
i am divorced and it was a disaster; i made bad choices. i crumbled. i had no faith in myself and it showed. i lost everything; most importantly i lost the privilege a parent has to see her children every day. i was ordered to pay child support and did, to the very best of my ability. i am now over $15,000 in arrears- money i won't ever have- not in this lifetime- and because i am in arrears there are freedoms i have lost: owning a bank account or any property, traveling where a passport is required. ironically- or with another twist of fate, my partner is from tobago- i will never go there- i am not allowed to travel outside this country- when the day comes for sly to go visit his elderly father- or his brothers or his beloved aunt the possibility is real that i will watch from the ground as he and shea take off. i must believe that somehow i will be there too- to meet extended family- to introduce them to our child; to extend our love. although i know my ex-husband despises me, i cannot, i will not give up hope that someday he will forgive this debt. if i let go of hope i will suffocate. if i let go of this hope then i wonder; what is the point of going on?
i will never give up hope that my brother will someday get his shit together and get sober; that he will be all that he nearly once was.
i will never stop hoping that my sister will forgive whatever transgression against her i am responsible for. until my dying breath i will believe that she will, at some point, show up- really really show up and be present in our moment.
i will never stop hoping that one day soon i will stop worrying about the future, stop mourning the past and will live in this moment, in my amazing life; with my incredibly patient, kind, compassionate and calm partner sly and our boy; our beautiful cocoa bean miracle.
i have fallen and gotten back up; i have done things i am not very proud of and i have achieved things i never dreamed i would.
when do i give up?
in 90 days?
is there a guarantee that if i give up and i don't like it i can get my hope back?
is that it- is giving up hope the secret of life- or more accurately the secret of the end of life? do we give up? does the father leaving for work today, just like every other day know that he will be in a fatal car accident this afternoon? did he make some sort of secret agreement? did he give up? does the old woman in the nursing home finally realize that her daughter isn't ever going to show up? does she make the secret agreement and give up? when she lays down tonight does she know that having given in she will breathe out and then forget to inhale?
is there a time in our lives when we are supposed to stop dreaming? and if so what becomes of our souls?
is there really someone out there with all the answers? and if not all the answers, maybe just a few?
the other day while visiting with a friend and expressing my morose feelings of responsibility for each and every down fall in the lives of my children my friend responded "oh, come on now, you aren't that important". i will never stop hoping that someday i will see and believe that i am not responsible for all bad things. someday i will believe that none of us is that important but collectively and with an abundance of hope we are all important.
we are each other's lifeline.
we are each other's inspiration.
if you pull me through this moment- i will pull you through tomorrow.
i will never give up hope and i will never stop believing.