I have two really good friends who I cherish very much. One will FaceTime me for five hours straight as we talk about the minor inconveniences we experienced that day in immaculate detail. The other calls me and we talk about career crises and trips to London over the summer holiday. I try to catch up with them often, but when life gets in the way and we don’t see each other for weeks, it feels like I have a gaping hole in my heart. For me, these two are my biggest soulmates. And this piece is dedicated to all the things I hope will come true for them.
To all my fellow hopeless romantics, love is full of expectations and disappointments. It can be a dream come true, but just remember that all fairytales come with constant ups and downs and plot twists. Are we really ready to experience realistic love?
Innocent wishes and boundless imagination, with a touch of hopefulness — that is what childhood dreams are made of. Funny how we don’t remember most things from the past (let alone last Monday’s dinner), yet a childhood dream will always have its place in a precious storage box, tucked inside the mind.
My mother thought she had her whole life ahead of her at 25. She had just married her high-school sweetheart of nearly ten years and was beginning to climb the ranks in the fashion industry while working for Nautica. Moving from a small town in Canada to the big city of Toronto, her life was playing out like a rom-com. But by the time she turned 26, her dream life was crumbling around her.
If I were given a dollar for every time I was told to ‘stay positive’ and to ‘keep my chin up’ in all kinds of negative situations growing up, I’d probably be a millionaire by now. I heard it from everyone — teachers, friends, family, Disney movies, and even fictional characters in books. It helped me through some tough times, I’ll admit, but somehow I always managed to find peace in preparing for the worst. I guess you could say I’m a glass-half-empty kind of girl, and whilst some may believe this mindset is to my detriment, I dare all the optimists to practise what they preach: look on the bright side.
At 15 years old, all I could think about was how great it would be if I lived alone, because that would mean I was an adult, right? I could sing my lungs out without being judged, leave the house whenever I wanted and eat at whatever time I desired. The thought of having complete independence was enticing, but I didn’t quite think about the responsibilities that came with being an adult. When the day finally came — or more accurately, the days leading up to it — I was terrified, to say the least.
One thing we can all relate to is the inevitable highs and lows that life offers us. I think sometimes it seems as though every win is matched with three losses. As soon as you feel like you’re climbing the ladder of victory, there’s a strong, mighty wind that swoops around to knock you down a few pegs. When I’m feeling positive, I like to see it as character-building. When I’m revelling in pessimism, I feel sorry for myself and like to blame my own actions for things not going the way I wish they did. Really, it’s a horrible feeling to be down on yourself. But what’s the key to being resilient through our ongoing misfortunes?
As I write this on a gloomy day, it’s hard to stay positive with such dull weather, with the state of the world, in this economy in crisis. The world as we know it is always in flux. Conversations around the climate crisis, a recession and a never-ending array of diseases that seem to prolong the pandemic. The resulting rise of the cost of living, inequality and discrimination seem to have set root in our public consciousness — and become so normalised and trivial. It is true that in these trying times, much remains beyond our control. Society is as polarised as ever, causing many to seek validation and acceptance as they feel left out and unheard. The question is then, how do we find hope? Can it even exist in such dire circumstances? What is all this talk about hope anyway?
I write to you today in a flurry of tears. It is with my deepest regret, that I must abandon my post, and respectfully and woefully step down from the minimum wage retail job that you kindly gifted me so long ago.