A few weeks ago Abandoning Pretense asked me to participate in a blog relay, originated by Melanie Crutchfield. The subject: hope. I remembered right away that not very long ago, I wrote a blog and the photo caption at the end was the word “Hope” written in the sand. Being the lazy, frazzled, distracted, cheating B student that I am, I immediately wondered if anyone would even notice if I just submitted that old blog. I couldn’t even remember the subject. Surely it was sort of hopeful, right? I put a hope photo on it, after all.
But, alas, I have so much to be hopeful for, that I can’t shirk my responsibility to be hopeful, spread hope, and even bitch about hope. I’m a hopeful motherfucker. (You think they’ll take that part out?)
Something happened, though, when I sat down and thought about hope and put my fingers on the keyboard. These words came out: HOPE IS NOT A PLAN. It’s a phrase I love. I love to use it and say it often. Suddenly, I wasn’t even sure that being hopeful was all that important. To me, being hopeful is just wishing, and wishing for things doesn’t make them come true. Right now I’m wishful and hopeful for so many things. But unless I have the moxy to make those things happen…well….does it even matter that I’m hopeful? Certainly being hopeful is a positive emotion. It is probably hope that ultimately allows greatness to unfold. If necessity is the mother of invention, then hope is the friend, that mutha, the one still standing there no matter what. The one who says no matter how mercilessly the gods taunt me, I will not be held down. Because I’m hopeful. The one who stays positive, even when it seems abnormal to do so. She does it anyway. Because she’s hopeful. Because without hope, there is nothing. Without hope we die. Without hope we don’t strive, we don’t push. We succumb. We quit.
I guess it’s fair to say you could curl up in the fetal position and just be hopeless and not actually die. But that isn’t living. It’s giving up. So although hope is not a plan, it’s the spark. It’s the fire in your belly. In your soul. It’s what motivates us, and ultimately, hopefully, what moves us forward.
There is a very important link between hope and action. Lots of people are hopeful from their couch. They hope for peace and then kick a puppy. This is when the “hope is not a plan” phrase comes barreling to the scene. Being hopeful isn’t enough. It’s not enough to want. We all want. How do you turn want into get? Is there enough fire in your belly?
The missing link is moxy. Moxy is confidence. Fearlessness. Determination. Fortitude. To me, it’s the most important element of all, yet it’s a word we rarely use. It’s so easy to be hopeful. It’s so easy to want or wish. It’s so much harder to put hope into action. But failing to do so destroys the hope. Idle hope may be almost as bad as actually being hopeless.
For my part in the relay, I’m going to pass the baton to a woman who reminds me so much of myself. She reels from grief every day, but manages to find the humor in life every day. She’s also a comedienne, so her humor is the laugh out loud kind. Sarcastic and funny and just…witty. She once crossed the street to her car with no pants on. Yes, I said with no pants on. I’m hopeful for her. And now I’m putting it into action. Meet Kelley at ripthelifeiknew.com