If you’re like me, disappointment might suck worse than it did for you in younger days simply because it hits you harder now. I’d say it does that simply because you have to work harder to succeed and the rewards are scarce these days.
I’m so accustomed to being told the word “No” that when I hear “Yes” I am shocked, amazed, and delighted. I end up putting that Yes on a pedestal. I dance with it a while. Sometimes I feel obligated to keep the Yes a secret because I fear that other people with dash my hopes to the ground with some asshole remark such as “You’ll never be able to do that!” or “Don’t even bother!” or, “You’re too stupid!” Or even worse, “Good for you!” that is riddled with underhanded tokenism (pat on the back for “little” mental patient for her petty accomplishments while the rest of the world does its big important work.) So I keep this stuff to myself. So often I hear, “Yeah, but you will ultimately fail” that really, why bother telling anyone?
I hear “Yes” so infrequently these days. When I propose a project, so few people get on board with me that I don’t even bother proposing projects anymore. Like that online forum that went dead before it even started. I tried recruiting “other people” and wow, that was a bummer. No participants! I wanted to cry my eyes out because I had worked my butt off and paid money to get the thing started, too. Never mind the emotional investment and the amount of work I’d put into it. Dead on arrival. I am killing the URL at the soonest opportunity.
Never mind all the other projects when I felt like I was twisting arms to get anyone to participate. I decided maybe to go to coaching school and looked into how much it would cost. I thought I found a reasonably priced school that looked legitimate but how could I pay for it? I decided to start a fundraiser. Ah, what a noble cause! (PS after seeing a sample of “life coach” recently I DEFINITELY do NOT want to become a life coach!)
At the same time, my former-classmate started a fundraiser. Noble cause, right? Her fundraiser took off. I contributed. I asked her, “If I contributed to your fundraiser, could you contribute to mine?” Wow, did I ever feel like a total asshole at that very moment. She said nothing to me. I knew I was badly twisting arms. Oh yeah, imposing. My fundraiser fell flat and went dead. Hers? Eighteen thou. Yep, it kept going and going, up to 20,000 dollars. This was, for me, a job, a career, employment for a person who had recently been through homelessness, I had no money, no job nor career of any sort, and I was desperate to get out of debt somehow. For her? Traveling the world and making a film. Her film is on tour, a huge successful venture, but…they were already successful enough to begin with! (Okay, I’m a little jealous.)
I gave up on the fundraiser idea right then and there. It was obvious that to do that kind of thing you need to have many friends and family already. So what is the point? If you have many friends and many family who have tons of money, you won’t be in huge debt, you won’t end up homeless nor broke anyway. They’ll be there to bail you out. That’s what they’re for. So you won’t really need that fundraiser! Oh, it’ll look nice, but you don’t need it. And those of us who have already been socially othered are the ones that are desperate for the money and for us, a fundraiser that depends on having pals isn’t going to go anywhere. It’ll go dead, like mine did.
So the other day I heard a yes. It was like a tiny flame. Oh, a candle in the wind but I fanned that candle, clinging to it like it was actually real. Oh, the light at the end of the tunnel. The water in the middle of the desert. Oh, you hope it is really there. But what if it isn’t? Can you only hope because you are so darned thirsty and maybe….
So I kept walking, waiting with my empty flask. And walking. And walking. And really, I shouldn’t even do that. I should not even get my hopes up anymore.
Never mind what happened. I am so tired of “that lucky break” that does not pan out. So tired of thinking “oh, this that chance” but it isn’t. So tired of the false promises, or what appear to be promises, or what I tell myself MIGHT be promises, but again, fall flat.
I can never rely on others. I cannot rely on one single person to come through for me except me. This means I gotta work hard to come through for myself and count on no one else. Unfortunately it means designing a business that isn’t a business, that doesn’t depend on selling to others who probably won’t buy my product no matter how much they promise they will, since humans have consistently let me down. People have even bashed me! So why sell anything at all? I don’t like to sell! I’d rather give stuff away freely.
People do not realize what I go though. When they do not follow through it is a much bigger disappointment than I want to let on. I don’t like to admit, “But you said you would call me…” and then, they do not. Or, “But weren’t we going to meet yesterday? I waited…” But I don’t like to admit just how disappointed I am. I try to shrug it off and say nothing. I don’t ever want to say, “But my entire career hangs on this one thing working out, and then, this next thing working out, and then….” because life’s successes should not be so fragile like this.