Thoughts on Hope (icky detail-free)

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope, especially after recent posts from the Town Criers, and also about magical thinking. What is the difference? One of my profs today characterized hope as a form of magical thinking, but I don’t think it is – I see hope as something more like articulated desire. I hope to have children someday. Sort of, I guess.

Recently I’ve found myself telling myself it’s never going to happen, and that I should just be ok with that. I find myself thinking about all the costs of having children, and I don’t mean the financial costs – I think of how I’ve seen so many friends withdraw from activism, service, meaningful jobs, volunteering, and even socializing with other adults (specifically, adults without kids, specifically ME) once they have children, and I think of what I would lose or give up just because of the time and attention demanded of me by a dependent little one. That this little one would be my own creation seems just incredibly selfish and self-centered when I think about it that way; furthering my own genetic material at the expense of other people (in terms of the time and energy that I give to society). On the other hand, the choice to go to graduate school also felt like a hugely self-serving decision, also at the expense of other people (and I still feel guilty about it, even though it also felt like one of the most liberating decisions I’ve ever made).

So is this all just a rationalization for wanting to give up trying? And is the impulse to give up trying to conceive related more to fear of disappointment and lost hope than it is to any kind of altruistic motivation? Or… is it magical thinking? That is, do I believe that exposing my hopes and desires to the universe actually invites disaster? In that case, NOT trying to conceive is a sneaky way to get the universe to give me what I want, right?

Unmitigated cynicism:
“Prof says one trait
Takes us to a higher state
drug free, pure bliss
get your pencils copy this:
Life unwinds like a cheap sweater
But since I gave up hope I feel a lot better
And the truth gets blurred like a wet letter
But since I gave up hope I feel a lot better
(write it down)”
– Steve Taylor, from the album “I Predict 1990”

So, this is why T gave me a self-help book titled “Women Who Think Too Much.”

At the end of the day, I think perhaps actions speak louder than words, and looking at what I end up doing tells me more about what I’m thinking than just sitting around thinking about what I’m thinking does. I’m doing something, and that actually feels better than a wet sweater. Or whatever.


2 Responses to “Thoughts on Hope (icky detail-free)”

  1. tara Says:

    that is one of the reasons that i feel so deflated… i mean i let myself hope again.
    i hate being the little girl who cried prego

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    But you were… so it’s more than hope that was dashed, it’s belief…which I think is a thousand times harder…

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