"Update" NYC

Hope Floats

It’s amazing how much we all rely on hope. We hope for so many things in life. We hope for good weather when we go vacations. We hope that we get that job that we interviewed for. We hope for finding true love. All this hoping that we do, is for things that we can’t control. I guess that’s why it’s called “hope” because it’s something that we believe in rather than something that is tangible. We hope for so many things in life, it got me thinking…why do we keep hoping?

Ever since my last entry, the concept of “hope” appeared instantly everywhere I turned. Mainly because ever since my last entry, myself and my entire family were consumed with my brother-in-law’s cancer condition. Since the day my sister called me to tell me the results back in early December, the word “hope” was in every sentence I spoke, every text I sent or received; it was everywhere. However, it became very clear to me that I wasn’t sure if I even know HOW to hope. What exactly was I hoping for? Was I hoping that he would no longer be in pain? Was I hoping for him to have peace? Was I hoping that my nieces wouldn’t be greatly affected by all of this? The list of “hopes” I had been saying were becoming overwhelming, almost to the point where I wanted to shut the word “hope” out from my vocabulary.

However, as they say, we still must go on. Over the past month and a half, somehow-someway, I managed to get through the holidays, start a brand-new job last month and for the first time ever…I’m living alone. There are moments where I feel excited about how this new year has started and then there are moments where I shut my excitement down because I know the intense pain that my family is going through.

Everyday before I leave my apartment, I meditate and give gratitude for everything that I have. Not just the physical things but for the people that I believe in and have hope for. However, ever since early last year, my meditations went from a five-minute session to much longer. Maybe that comes with getting older and things just seem to get harder rather than easier. Either way, when I’m meditating, the word “hope” sneaks it’s way in there.

In the midst of starting a new job, adjusting to living on my own and helping my family out each day the best way I know how…it was time to get back out into the dating world.
I admit, I was nervous to go on a date because I hadn’t been on one in over a year and I wasn’t sure how to sell myself. If my date asked me, “How are things with you?” I honestly wouldn’t know how to answer them without scaring them away.

So, I began chatting with this man from a dating app and things were going alright and we agreed to meet for some wine last Friday. Of course, this is online dating, so I began to see some red flags even before we met. There was the example of when I asked him what line of work he did, his response was, “It’s under wraps at the moment.” Or when I asked him what time we should meet and he responded with, “9:40”. Who meets at 9:40?? Why not make it 9:30, 9:45 or even 10:00 but 9:40? I just chalked it up to the fact that maybe he was on a train that got him into the city at a certain time.

The main reason why I agreed to still meet my date was because I’m in no position to judge someone and I was rusty at dating.

Last Friday, the night of the date, I’m in my apartment blasting the music that I wanted because it’s my own apartment and there it was again…hope. I found myself “hoping” that the date would go well. That after all these years of bad dates and even false hope that this was going to be the date that ends all dates. A lot of pressure, I know, but it was what it was.

I got to the Lela Wine Bar in the West Village at exactly, 9:40 and my date was nowhere to be found. I looked at my phone and there is a text from him that said he was running about ten minutes behind. I actually smiled because I had a hunch that 9:40 was too good to be true.

He finally arrived and I felt instantly guilty for what my initial thoughts were. He was bigger than his pictures. Again, I’m in any position to judge but there was a little bit of false advertising there. We hugged, sat down and looked at the wine menu. He had never been to this wine bar before and so I did the ordering and he said that he didn’t have a lot of money.

We each got a glass of wine and we both nursed that one glass for about an hour. In that hour, he did ask me how I was and I shared a little bit but when I asked him how he was, I wasn’t prepared for what I got.

For starters, when I asked him about his family he told me that his parents split up because his dad likes to cross-dress and that led into what line of work he does. He’s a part-time ice-skating coach. The other time that he has, he wants to be a method actor. He wanted to talk more about his family and so I let him go on. I chimed in when it warranted but for the most part, I sat there and let him unleash what he had been holding onto. I did ask the question, “Do you have many friends in the city?” I knew the answer just by how much he was revealing and when he told me that he hadn’t. I knew what he needed more than a date was a kind and friendly ear. So, that’s what I did. I listened, I gave him some advice on how to meet new people and I paid for his wine. We walked to the West Fourth subway station together and hugged goodbye. By the time I got home, he sent me a message thanking me for being such a good listener.
While the date didn’t end with the results that I was “hoping” for, nonetheless, I got excited about getting back out into the dating world.

As the start of this week began, my family had such an emotional roller coaster from being told so many things about how my brother-in-law is doing. How he’s going to be. How he might be.
I admit, I’m new to this cancer thing. I’m not sure what to say, what to do, how to act and so worried that I will also say and do the wrong thing to my family.

As of today, what our family has is “hope”. Turns out this “hope” thing is bigger than I imagined. It’s what keeps me and others out there, from going insane. It’s what helps people cope with intense situations. It’s what gives us a sense of a bigger picture out in this world. And lastly, it provides us with a belief system that no matter what your religion or beliefs might be…Hope is universal.

This upcoming Friday marks the one-year anniversary of a dear friend I lost. I miss him every single day. I think about him every single day. I know that each day he’s looking out for me, my friends and family. That feeling alone is what some might call…. hope.

Before I end, I want to thank you all for reading and supporting. Also a huge thank you to all that have donated to my families GoFundMe page. The amount of grateful tears that have been shed is unthinkable. For those that still want to share the link, here it is below:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/hgvgq-help-the-harris-family-beat-cancer?pc=fb_co_campmgmt_w&rcid=r01-157845321361-89d2afa36b274404&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bshare-sheet&fbclid=IwAR2aEeoeNKbKK9QNzH3VGe06alsPslv4SpncQZz_srtu0X7VViLsCU9uFsM

Never Give Up On Hope

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