ABANDON ALL HOPE?

LIFE & DEATH
hope pinterest post link

Abandon all hope? How about no!

In my previous post, I told you the story about how I ended

up building my first imaginary pirate ship after a dreadful

shipwreck that left me stranded on a desert island. 

Today, I want to say a few words about hope.

Hope is a funny thing that we all talk a lot about. We are hopeful. We hope against hope. We live on the hope. Or, perhaps, for faith, hope and love. Sometimes hope triumphs over reason. Some days we feel like it’s all hopeless. As if there’s no hope in hell. And yet, somehow, hope is what we hold on to when we feel like we’ve exhausted all other options.

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For me, it was hope that kept me going through some of the darkest moments of my life. But hope is not an infinite resource. You can run low on hope the same way you can run low on petrol (that’s gas to you if you’re American). It doesn’t matter how careful a driver you are, unless you fill the tank at regular intervals you’ll inevitably end up standing by the wayside hoping someone will come to your aid.

Few things top up my hope reserves as much as random acts of kindness, selflessness and generosity between people. The idea of someone doing something for another living soul with no ulterior motive or hidden agenda fills me with hope like nothing else can.

I have dedicated my life to giving to others, but I have also been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of incredible gestures of kindness. There are so many examples I could mention, but I’m going to narrow it down to two in this post. (Yes, I do have a mini-series of kindness posts coming up.)

MY FAITH IN HUMANITY WAS RESTORED

It was the daily commute on London Transport that restored my faith in humanity.

When I got my first set of wheels, I was still working and commuting across London to see different clients. To be honest, I was dreading the shift from crutches to wheels, and kept putting it off. With good reason, I think.

In a city where you could easily travel from one end to the other and be forgiven for thinking you must have suddenly gone invisible, I expected wheeling about in my chair to be something of a nightmare. If you don’t live here, people using public transport here avoid eye contact at all cost, and should they happen to bump into you, or be forced into close physical proximity, they simply pretend it didn’t happen.

I have lost count of the number of times people chose not to extend a helping hand when I hobbled about on my crutches. Or when I fell and they just stared at me as if I was a nuisance when I couldn’t get back up again. I figured a wheelchair would only make me more vulnerable. More at risk. But as it turned out, I was wrong.

Yes, there were horror stories and countless examples of discrimination, ableism and general unwillingness to be kind and compassionate. But there were also an astonishing amount of random acts of kindness. It was quite extraordinary.

Wherever I went, people (mainly black and Asian men, granted, but still) went out of their way to help. I seriously couldn’t believe the kindness, concern, selflessness and generosity offered to me on a daily basis. By complete strangers!

It’s been years now, but I still feel touched, humbled and very grateful that I got to have that experience. It filled my hope reserves and restored my faith in the good of mankind.

HOPE IN THE TIME OF COVID

white stones with text printed on them. the focal one says HOPE.

If we don’t have hope, then what do we have to hold on to when tmes are tough?

The past two-and-a-half years have been tough, to say the least. Covid isolation is hard, and for many of us it is far from over. No matter how many times some people say we have to get over it or learn to live with it or trust people to manage their own health. If there’s one thing a spoonie can tell you, it is that. People, generally speaking, do not manage their health. Like ever.

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but it has been over two years of loss, grief, incredulity and despair. Two years of having to come to terms with the fact the family and circle of friends I had before Covid is no longer the same. And some of us will never meet again. It’s not a me thing – it’s a sad situation that I share with spoonies across the world – but it is a thing that nearly made me lose hope.

If you know anything about me, you may know that I love Life. So much so, in fact, that I write the word with a capital L. I am strong, independent and resilient, but I am not a machine and I’m most certainly not invincible. When I’m being flippant I say that it’s spite that keeps me going when the odds are stacked against me. But it’s not true. I do like to fight against the odds, and I do run on spite, but it’s hope that sustains me. Hope that carries me through. Hope that makes me spend each day doing something, anything, to make tomorrow a little bit better.

And on that note, I am going to go back to doing just that. Something small and seemingly insignificant that will make my tomorrow a little bit better. I’m going to get my bed linen changed.

Thank you for stopping by, I really do appreciate it.

Kram,

//Evalena 🖤🏴‍☠️

After each text I post, I tend to ask you a question or two to get us talking. Today, I want to know:

      1. What do you hold out hope for?

Please, leave your answer in the comment section below. If you don’t want your response to show up on the site, just start your message with the word ANONYMOUS and it will be our secret.

ABOUT EVALENA

Evalena Styf is a knowsy roll model and prolific content creator who lives in a queen size bed in the outskirts of London, UK, with a doggo, two cats and a personal assistant.

In 2017, after 25+ years of anonymous blogging on a number of free platforms, she decided to go pro. Since then, Evalena has been working on getting all of her texts edited and put on display in the imaginary pirate ship she’s named after one of her most prominent character traits: The Resilience.

In her personal blog, Evalena shares her ex-pat tales of books, bruises and bloody Brexit. Outside of the personal space, she primarily writes non-fictional texts about writing, personal and professional development, living the dream, and how to keep on living and loving when everything around you seems to be falling apart.

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