I feel conflicted about hope. On one hand, I believe in hope – in wanting things to be better than they are, to achieve my dreams, hope to manifest dreams. On the other hand, is hope that is centered in not being ok with the life you have right here, right now – is that ok hope? One hope is grounded in reality, the other not. One is childish, whimsical; the other is not.
Nico plays in a band that I like. I noticed him one of the first times I went to see the band play, drawn to his energy as he led the band. Never having been one to be drawn to musicians, I spent the evening dancing, smiling to myself as I danced to the latin beats. Sure, he was attractive, but how clichéd is that?
But, the next week when I came back to dance, we made eye contact, over and over and shared smiles – each of us looking away after the smiles filled our faces – nothing fake about them. During the last song, he even came out and danced with me a bit. I floated home that night, gleeful with the smiles and energy between us.
At the next show, the smiles continued and during the break he came up and introduced himself. It all felt so right – for us to be talking and smiling at each other – and taking it slow, each week a little more.
Finally, after a few weeks of smiles and brief chats, I asked him at the end of the show if he wanted to get a drink. I was nervous to ask him, but he said yes – and while I waited at the bar – I rationalized to myself that he could have said no if he did not really want to hang out with me. But, he came out and we talked for about 30-40 minutes, chatting about our lives and where we had been. Again, his smile and energy were so attractive to me, but there was something missing. While our conversation was good and interesting, he didn’t ask for my phone number. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek goodbye, but there wasn’t an ask to hang out again soon.
I went home that night and, while I felt proud for asking him to get a drink with me, I also added to my list* ‘open and ready for a relationship’. It seemed that Nico maybe wasn’t so available.
Ok, so note to myself – move on from that one and find someone who is ready and available. But, easier said than done, right?
I didn’t go see the band for a while, giving me some space from Nico. But, then I went back with a friend, and there he was. He looked up when I walked in the room – gave me a smile and a wave. Then, at one point he came back to fiddle with a light and came over to give me a hug and say hello (which seemed so obvious, since there was no point for him to play with the switch). At the end of the night, I went to him to say goodbye – another hug, kiss on the cheek. And still, no ask for my phone number.
All signs point to him being unavailable. Sure, it seems that he is attracted to me to some degree, but clearly he is not in the same place as I am in being open to a relationship. And so, when I hope that it was different, when I hope that maybe this evening will be different – that hope is just foolish. It’s a childish hope – a hope that doesn’t serve me.
So, I’m learning to tell the difference between my hopes – one that is based on me and one that is based on outside circumstances. One that is about hopes for my life and what I want in my life, and another that is based on wanting things to be different than they are.
*you know…. the list. the list of all those desirable traits, the non-negotiables, the here-is-what-I-want-universe-take-notice list.