I Have Hope

Once upon a time, I cared.


I cared what people thought.


I cared about the aesthetic consistency of my social media pages.


I cared about the consistency with which I shared, no, posted my art.


(hi, art is hard to shove into a box, thanks)


I cared about the image I gave off.


I cared if people liked me (I still kinda care about this…. shut up)


The point is, my life was lived for others.


If you go back into the history of this blog, what you’ll see are the musings of a young (Note: not naïve, not immature, but YOUNG) girl who hoped that her blog posts would fit into a pretty box.


(I won't delete these. They’re part of my story. I don't want to manipulate my story anymore.)


Rather, a pretty timeline.


One that included victory at the end.


Something that would make my struggle worthwhile.


A story you’ve seen before.


One of victory after struggle.


Because that’s what we’ve been taught: that struggle leads to victory.


But there’s a lie in there. A lie that states that WE get to predetermine what victory looks like.


Chances are, our interpretation of “victory” looked the same as the many viral-video victories that preceded it.


Instead, read between the lines.


Maybe this victory is a different one.


Maybe our victory looks like: disconnection.


Shorter Instagram captions with no hashtags.


Moving to an unimpressive city.


Getting a job you enjoy with no relation to your college degree.


Websites in desperate need of updating... If they even exist anymore.


The cursed “mystery” of college alumni before me from whom I desperately sought guidance only to find radio silence and bare social media feeds.


Becoming one of those mysterious alumni.


Being asked "Where do you live now? What are you doing?"


Feeling confident peace while answering those questions.


A resume with college credits still listed for lack of professional ones to take their place.


An awareness of our broken industry. An awareness of our industry’s poisonous elitism.


Because we were told that “success” was synonymous with “popularity”


So we tried to comply.


Most of us inevitably failed.


I was never very good at fitting in.


I certainly wasn't popular.


Maybe victory looks like friendship. Authenticity.


Authentic friendship.


Friendship with those who don’t fit into the pretty “success” box.


Friendship with the misfits.


The realization that ANY friendship you’ve ever had has been “friendship with misfits.”


Maybe the “accepted crowd” is just an army of misfits smothering their authenticity in a desperate desire to find connection.


Maybe every friendship you’ve ever had has been with a “misfit” who’s filtered themselves.


And maybe COVID has some redeeming qualities.


Maybe required quarantine and unexpected self-reflection has put us all in time-out.


Because wasn’t that always the point?


The point of “time-out?”


Allotted time to sit by yourself and deal? Reflect?


Deal and reflect.


Our country was in need of a time-out. Our world was in need of a time-out.


And like a child, we were pissed about it. Sometimes scared.


But also like a child, we learned.


Learned to deal with ourselves: Our habits. Our insecurities. Our inclinations. Our triggers. Our prejudices.


And maybe we’ll come out of this better.


More aware.


Maybe we’ll come out of this calmer.


More reflective.


I have.


Someone asked me a few months ago what it was that spurred me to write


I said “inspiration.”


They asked “What inspires you?”


I didn’t really have an answer


But I’ve reflected upon this for weeks.


Months


What inspires me?


I’m still not entirely sure.


Rather, I can’t put my finger on it.


But I’ve felt the urge to write again.


It feels like coming home.


But I took the long journey home. The long journey back.


I guess it really is about the journey more than the destination.


And I have hope.


I hope you do too.


What are you finding your way back to?


In a beautifully full-circle way, I’ve found my way back to writing.


It’s good to be back.


-Cat



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