Saturday, March 29, 2014

Change, Risk, and Hope

Change: I find myself writing about change a great deal. Too many people are resistant to change, electing to grow old, shiver, and die before taking a risk.  Some are too narrow to feel regret, but for those timid souls who would have loved change but never moved on their gut feeling, regret can be a heavy chain weighing them down.  Too often these people deteriorate into grotesque caricatures of themselves, becoming stilted as well as stifled.  Since Katrina and the death of my mother, my life has undergone radical change. Losing my mother was the most horrific loss I’ve ever experienced, but she always wanted me to move on and be strong.  I did so, immersing myself in writing, sending out my books, and risking rejection.  Well, I could decorate a Christmas tree with the rejection slips I received, but the risk and temporary defeat led to success. I’m now a published author.  I never would have experienced such happiness without my desire to change my life and my willingness to take the risk. Too many people told me not to take risk.  They thought I was too weak to handle any defeat or controversy—not that it was any of their business, but we all know what is said about opinions.  . .

Then, I met Ben, and when most women are on the road to becoming “Red Hat Ladies,” I’m embarking on a new chapter of my life with him.  No quiet lunches wearing my red hat. We listen to music in the Maple Leaf and Carrollton Station, making out like teens.  When we’re ninety, someone will still be wheeling us in to hear Tommy and Dave Malone, Raw Oyster Cult, The Last New Beginning, and Papa Gros Funk. No change can occur without a willingness to take the leap into the Unknown, but for me, taking a risk on a guy I met at a Danny O’Flaherty Concert in the Deutsches Haus has led to some of the best times of my life. Now, I’m wearing his ring, but none of this would have happened had I not been willing to take a risk and look to the future with hope.

What makes some people lose hope while they stare into the future with bright smiles and others lose even their desire to live? Who knows? In the newspaper recently, I saw an article about a young woman who gave birth to her first child even after suffering a devastating stroke some years earlier.  Even though she almost died, Sarah Abrusley decided to look to the future.  She and her husband bought a house and had a baby.  Sarah knows she will have to adapt to certain situations not typical of her situation; however, this woman has moved on with her gaze set firmly on the future, thumbing her nose at the skeptics along the way. 

Why do some people lose hope? Recently, the news reported the tragic death of designer L’Wren Scott. Unlike Sarah, L’Wren Scott lost hope. Rumor has it her business was in severe trouble, and the talented woman committed suicide in her apartment.  Rather than face the possibility of defeat and humiliation, Scott wrapped a scarf around her neck and took her life. Her ending is tragic, and I understand her desperation.  Until I concentrated on my writing and moved on with my personal life, I was in danger of stagnating within my sameness.  The people speculating on her death and dancing on her grave should be ashamed.  The loss of hope can envelope us all, but like Sarah Abrusley, I choose to hope. 

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