“There are some things in this world you rely on, like a sure bet. And when they let you down, shifting from where you’ve carefully placed them, it shakes your faith, right where you stand.”

― Sarah Dessen

It was all my fault, and it had always been that way. My higher expectations, unrealistic dreams, and imaginary fantasies consistently led me to disappointment. In this life on Earth, I experienced two major types of disappointment: from others and from myself. In both cases, I laid my hopes, trust, and expectations on the table, only to find myself let down.

Dealing with disappointment from others was uncomfortable because I had entrusted my hopes and dreams into someone else’s hands. I had learned the hard way that nobody could fulfil my aspirations better than myself. Many times, I planned and organized various activities with my friends, only for everything to crumble like a card tower due to unforeseen circumstances. Anxiety and frustration would build up, leading to moments of discomfort and even tantrums. It took time to comprehend that each of us led different lives, with various priorities and commitments. What seemed crucial to me might not hold the same significance for someone else. I realized that my free time might not align with theirs, and I couldn’t expect them to prioritize our plans the way I did.

When someone disappointed me, I decided to fill the empty time with activities for myself. I went to the movies alone for the first time, relishing the undisturbed experience, fully captivated by the movie’s storyline. Dining solo at a restaurant was a treat, and the abundance of garlic in the Italian food made it taste even better than before. My first solo trip was a refreshing hiking adventure that lifted my spirits, giving a rosy hue to my cheeks and infusing my soul with pure energy. Spending a night alone found me curled up on the couch, clad in cosy pyjamas, a soft blanket draped around me, and my favourite book in hand.

Being an optimist, I sought the silver lining in every dark cloud. Even in moments of disappointment, I looked for something good to hold onto. I discovered that being let down was not the end of the world; rather, it unveiled a whole new world right there amidst the perceived loss and vanishing hopes. These moments of disappointment were opportunities for growth and self-discovery. They taught me to embrace my independence, to find joy and fulfilment in my own company, and to savour life’s simple pleasures. Disappointment no longer felt like a setback but rather a stepping stone towards personal empowerment and newfound experiences.

“If you don’t challenge yourself, you will never realize what you can become”Unknown

Disappointment had taken me out of my tracks, but in those moments where I couldn’t walk, I learned to swim, and where I couldn’t swim, I found a way to fly. Yes, I lost things, missed opportunities, and even parted with people who were once significant in my life. However, amid those losses, I gained so much more. Each setback taught me the art of adaptation and revealed new horizons beyond my previous limitations.

I understood that facing a fresh challenge offered a different perspective, an alternate approach to tackling the seemingly impossible. Just like a skilled chess player who spends more time analyzing a lost game than actually playing it, I realized that failure wasn’t the end—it was an invitation for transformation and growth. Similarly, musicians dedicate countless hours to practice, knowing that the journey of learning enriches their experience more than the actual performance.

I found hope in what I call “the spark,” that glimmer of curiosity shining in my eyes, guiding me through the darkest moments. It was the spark that kept me moving forward, igniting a flame of determination and guiding me through uncharted territories. Life often felt like a hiking trail without clear markers, and I had to navigate it with faith and intuition.

At times, life threw me under the bus, leaving me stranded without a map or a destination. But in those tough times, I discovered hidden trails and paths I would have never encountered otherwise. My ability to reinvent myself, to use challenges to my advantage, became my lifeline. It was the spark that fueled my resilience and growth.

Though I wouldn’t wish hard challenges on anyone, I came to appreciate them because they propelled me forward. With each obstacle I overcame, I grew stronger and wiser. I discovered strength I didn’t know I possessed, and it helped me push through even when things seemed bleak.

If you ever find yourself following the path of disappointment, remember that even the most resilient individuals face hard times. But don’t give up hope; instead, embrace the journey and keep moving forward. I wish you the strength to endure and the courage to keep going. You might not realize the full extent of your achievements until you reach the other side. So, if you’re still struggling, know that your journey is far from over, and I believe in your ability to overcome and thrive.

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.”

― Eric Hoffer

The other type of disappointment resided within me, and I had no one to blame but myself. I had learned the hard way not to put all my eggs in one basket, especially when that basket didn’t even belong to me. Trust, hope, and expectations seemed like sweet promises, but they had the power to burn the most. It was a valuable lesson that I couldn’t fully grasp until I experienced it firsthand.

My friends and family meant the world to me, and I would have done anything for them. However, my excessive kindness was a weakness in this life. I had given too much of myself unnecessarily, and it left me vulnerable to disappointment.

Though I wasn’t well-versed in stocks and trades, I unknowingly made a risky move by investing everything I had in one place. One morning, I woke up to find all my stocks had vanished, every penny and all my investments gone as if they were never there. It was as if an earthquake, fire, tsunami, or breakup had swept through, leaving behind similar damages.

That disappointment shook me to my core, and I realized that I had to make a choice—to rise up from the ashes or succumb to despair, whether in a literal or metaphorical sense. The stages of disappointment were a rollercoaster, ranging from content, displeased, unhappy, and distressed to finally reaching the depths of inconsolable sorrow. But even in my lowest moments, I couldn’t sink any further, for I had already hit rock bottom.

I sought solace in the knowledge that nothing is lost forever unless it’s life itself. My only concern was to keep breathing and remain aware of my existence. From there on, my path was guided by hope, trust, and expectations from within. I took charge of my own journey, with my eggs in my own basket, embarking on a personal hunt for redemption and growth.

“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn’t have something in the first place. I guess that’s what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”

― Deb Caletti

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