“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because, in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

― Anne Frank

I was what I created and what I wanted to show to the audience. However, life was not a stage for different characters, and I didn’t act for a round of applause. I could improve myself to exhaustion, yet the critics would still underline my flaws with a red marker. I found it to be a hypocritical comedy to let others who barely knew my name predict the outcome of my success when they barely dragged their egos and their pride along. I was on my stage, but I didn’t perform for others; I performed for my old versions of myself who laughed in front of my eyes when they saw me running barefoot over thorns. I was hunted by my past and wouldn’t drop the swords unless I faced the memories with all the fears I could have. I had to go through that darkness and be mortified by the old burdens to be able to move forward, but sometimes I abandoned the fight before even starting it.

I was surrounded by so much passion and beauty, with harmony and peace around me. However, unless I overcame my doubts from the past, the veil wouldn’t lift, and everything would be perceived through a foggy net. I couldn’t see the beauty in people around me if I was filled with venom. My lungs couldn’t breathe the fragrance of love unless I drained the hate from my veins. I was done with hoping because I couldn’t have the trust and acceptance of people who still carried their burdens. I could only get up and start the journey with my own expectations.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

― John Lennon

I should have had a retreat every once in a while, away from my family and friends. It would have been a cleansing of my soul, for my thoughts and feelings. I could have drained the old blood and replaced it with a new one, but who would have investigated my mental health? I needed some time alone, in a lake house, with glass walls and mirrors in every corner of that place. I needed to face my own behaviours, to see what others were forced to accept every day from me. I needed to sit in there, ask all of my questions and be demanded to answer them as well. I couldn’t only appeal to and control people; I also needed to face my own weaknesses and swallow my cruel words, feeling the acid burning my guts just as it burned those that were thrown upon me.

I had expectations and wanted to overshadow them, but in front of myself, how many would have had the courage to lift their eyes and face their true reasons from behind the mask? I didn’t have the time to sit and clean my own damage, but one day I would be compelled to do it because life had patience only until it didn’t have it anymore.

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”

― Tom Bodett

With empty cups and time apart, I restored my life, ready to embrace the changes. I really should have used hope as a final wish when I lost everything and there wasn’t another path behind that wall. That was the time to have hope. I hoped too often and put my dreams and wishes in arms that were already filled with theirs. I hoped to stay alive, I hoped for another chance, but I should not have hoped for things and feelings that required my work. Those who got another chance while hoping learned to appreciate this life in all the small details. I hoped to climb to the top until I was forced to jump from the stiff cliff and accept drowning in the ocean. I hoped for another chance from people who had moved on a long time ago, just to keep the beauty that waited around the corner stuck.

I should have postponed my hope and built the bridge with my own powers. And if there was any regret that kept my fall behind, I should have had faith and burned it too. I could create and build from scratch, always starting anew. But what was chasing me should never have gained my trust and hope.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

― Alexander Pope

I carried my failures tightly from my wrists like stones that I was forced to carry, hoping that it would get easier in time. I jumped into the water to make it seem like the burden wasn’t that heavy, but before I realized it, I was drowning, not helping myself but filling myself with more failure. I was on my own for the most important aspects of this life, and what I should have truly hoped for was the strength and determination to fight my despair and rise from the ashes. I was the only one who kept the line with my demons, alone when I faced my anxiety and the only one who could make myself choose to get up and walk. I came alone, and I would die alone. What should I have hoped for exactly?

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