We hadn’t seen each other in a little over a year. Talked and texted, sure. Had a sense of the highs and lows of each other’s lives over the past year, absolutely. But there was something to be said for sitting at the grey and black speckled marble bar top, on a seat that demanded full concentration getting in and out of it (regardless of how much you had to drink), sipping rose margaritas with seductively red rose petals floating in them, and catching up in real time.
Our word that night was scandalous. We’d used it both several times and I think I may have initiated the word into our conversation regarding a chance encounter with a guy I met in LA who was visiting Philadelphia several years ago. Scandalous was a good word forte encounter as was stupid. She laughed, in part because well it wasn’t as scandalous as I made it seem at the onset, but the encounter could have ended very badly (seriously- very new acquaintance, his hotel room, and I’ll stop right there). Plus, if you know me, the way she does, it’s a situation you’d never associate me with. She of course shared a few scandalous stories of her own, more guys, more hotel rooms, sometimes alcohol was involved, sometimes not. We laughed, lamented, and laughed some more.
We parted ways and I wisely negated the four floor walk up and opted for the creaky old elevator home. I was as quiet as possible as to not wake my friend who’d been undoubtedly sleep for a couple of hours and was fighting a pretty ugly cold, dressing for bed, removing the makeup, taking down the hair, putting away the earrings, easing into bed awake just enough to think about the evening spent catching up and all of the scandal.
I also thought about how the real scandal I’d engaged in the past couple of weeks didn’t involve any guys, hotel rooms, little black dresses, heels, or perfectly styled tresses. In fact it didn’t involve anyone other than myself. It was a one person scandal (is that possible? Idk). It involved me hoping, despite circumstances that would typically suggests a resignation to being under covers, occasionally soothed by some of the most faithful men I know- Ben and Jerry, getting ahead on Christmas shopping online, Netflix binge watching, maybe showering (I mean where was I going?), and random bouts of crying. Hoping, I decided, was the real scandal. I was going to defy logic, and hope (not false hope or wishful thinking), and use that hope to stay vigilant, persistent, engaged in my life, still writing my narrative, putting periods where necessary and adding semicolons where appropriate. Some things, circumstances and relationships were indeed over, but I and all that is me was not over. I knew if I had allowed the job, the people, the city, to be all that there was to me and all of that had come to a close, then I was screwed. I also knew I was never created for a job, a few folks, or a geographic location. I knew I was created for and capable of so so much more than the last three years of my life and if I was going to become anyone of that, I had to manage my hope. I had to be a rebel with a cause- living. And living without hope is merely existing sweet thang. It is taking up space and I nor you were created to just take up space. We were created thoughtfully, purposefully, fearfully, wonderfully, with a plan, with gifts, and abilities.
When life’s tabloids suggest otherwise, we must rewrite the front page story of our lives as scandalously hopeful as possible.
My hope for you this week is that you awaken the rebel within you. Send Ben and Jerry home. Deep condition your hair and use the body scrub. Throw the sheets in the wash. Put on your favorite whatever. Sip on your favorite whatever. Grab your phone, ipad, laptop, good ol’ pen and paper (even a napkin) and resuscitate your hope. Dare to let your mind linger on that thing. And only you know the thing. Side note- please don’t let that thing be unhealthy. Don’t let your mind linger on someone’s spouse, revenge, getting so drunk you black out etc. Linger on the small business idea, the application for the promotion, the book you want to write, the home you want, etc. Linger on the way you want to end the unhealthy relationship, take the vacation you’ve been saying you were going to take but have been afraid to go alone. Linger on the dance class or pilates class you swear your body type won’t accommodate- it will. Sign up for the class. Linger on the hair color or hair style. Linger on your birthday party- the one you’ve been promising yourself for the past six years but always end up to busy to host. Linger on the upcoming date and shove the anxiety to the back of the closet as you pull out that little black dress.
Scandal is unexpected, seemingly forbidden, the plot twist of all lot twists. Let hope be your scandal. Let hope be what buoys you out of those really hard spaces this week, those spaces where the expectation is anything but hope, joy, peace, laughter, or love (self love included). Let hope be as acceptable as wearing white after labor day (remember when that was a fashion no no?). Maybe your circumstances have seemed like the climax , so let hope come in and hijack that with a plot twist. It’s corny, I know, but Keep Hope Alive. xxoo