What does hope smell like?

I agonized over writing this post.  Now it’s almost tomorrow and a dark storm between my head and my heart is violently colliding, and I need to become still.  This might not ever be read by anyone.  This might not be an enjoyable read.  It is a selfish one.  It won’t be all coherent at times and it won’t have the structure of a professionally penned piece of literature.  This one’s for me to get to safer waters…

I step outside to meet the crisp summer morning.  It’s 6AM – on a Saturday, we need to get to work, and I’ve not had my coffee yet.  A Cape Robin sings its beautifully melodious tune while the scent of jasmine and lavender and earth floods my senses.  Purple Agapanthus stalks stands almost as tall as I am, not that I’m very tall, 1.63m to be exact, but they come in just short of 1.55m high.  The bright purple flowers a stunning contrast to the dark clouds that remain after yesterday’s rain.  The sun fights through the clouds and rays of brilliant light illuminate the bright pink and white honey blossoms, still heavy with dew.  I wait for my love to ready the car and close my eyes.  What does hope smell like?

I don’t know where the thought came from, but I was intrigued.  Could hope ever be that tangible?  We continued and I just knew, somewhere deep down, that today would be a good day.

Meeting new people, forming and cultivating relationships are central to what we do.  My love and I have often spoken about the different kinds of conversations that form when we meet people.  I don’t know why it is, but perhaps it has got something to do with “your vibe attracts your tribe”?  For the better part, when we encounter people, he can strike up a conversation in minutes and chat as if he’s known the person for years and years.  They’ll laugh and joke and talk about the latest bike or the guy sailing single handed around the glove.  I on the other hand, who is not famed for small talk or striking up conversations, always, without fail, have gravitating towards me the hippies and the thinkers and the spiritualist and the artists – the ones who see the world differently.  We’ll have conversations that send shivers down my spine. 

When they leave, we’ll turn to each other:
What a cool dude, he’ll say.  What an amazing person, I’ll say

Today was no different.  I spoke to an artist at length about life and passion and goals.  I told her about the time I, very briefly, met Robin Sharma and his book that I’m reading now.  We exchanged names for songs and books, we exchanged ideas and I told her about my vision board and planning and roadmap for the year that I’ve been working on.  It was awesome, to say the least.

We spoke about making money vs making an impact.

I am not naïve.  I know that working is an inevitable part of this journey called life.  Earning an income is kind of paramount to my existence.

For the past 2 weeks, with razer sharp focus, I’ve spent my time homing in on that.  I’ve laid down goals – with timelines and plans.  I’ve refined my core business, setting up and polishing a marketing strategy.  I’ve been exploring ideas for other streams of income, researching viable ones and tossing the ones that just wont work at all and banking the ones that may work, later.  I’ve been networking and setting up meetings. 

Is that what hope looks like?  Perhaps you can’t smell hope, but can it be seen in doodles and drawings and mind-maps and plans?

However, I cannot ignore something else. As I’ve been working at making money, with every layer I peeled away, I came closer and closer to a knowing that “this” is not what I’m meant to be doing.  “This” will get me through life to my deathbed, but it won’t make an impact, anywhere on anyone.  When I die, my estate might not have any debt and my son might have an inheritance, albeit small, but that would be it.  My entire existence would be blown away like the ever-shifting sands of the mighty Namib Desert.  I need to make an impact.  I was created and born to make an impact.  There is a vibration in my solar plexus that comes alive when I think of this and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I need to follow that.

“You need to find the path where they (making money and making an impact) meet”, the artist tells me.

For about an hour after that I felt elevated above it all.  Floating high above the chatter, and traffic, and distraction – my mind void of any doubt or fear or anguish, just a sense:

If, what I “know” I am destined to do, is in fact my destiny and likewise God knows that I need to earn some money, then there must be a way.  I need to find that path.

For the longest time I’ve known that I am destined to work with women.  Specifically, women who come from an abusive background.  It is something I know as sure as I know there is a giant rain spider sitting on the wall in front of me right now, which forces me to look up and check that it hasn’t moved every 2 minutes.

I have, however, always found an excuse why I can’t do it:

  • You are not equipped
  • No one would listen
  • No one would gain anything from your story
  • You can’t tell your story.  Your dad can’t know about it all.  Your mom doesn’t know about it all.  Your abuser’s family never knew him as the psychopath / sociopath / narcissist / dissociative identity disorder / schizophrenic that he was.
  • It is pointless
  • Ummm, you need to make some money….

I’ve been zoning in on that and working it all out in my mind.  The sense that the time for me to act on my destiny is near is huge, but not yet overwhelming.  I’ve been embracing the path, utterly clueless as to where it would lead, but confident in the fact that I somehow are on the right track.

I have ideas for uplifting women; working in the community; a rock-solid business plan for business that would train and upskill women to run their own businesses; ideas for a diary I want to publish next year and a short piece of fiction to be published, hopefully, but the end of this year.  I have tons of ideas and, just about, the conviction to do it.  Just about….

It was a glorious day.

For some reason, the Universe (or something more obscure) felt it necessary to remind me of dualistic-monism, AKA yin and yang – light can not exist without darkness and vice versa.  Can someone please explain to me why the ……frikkadel this happens?  Is my destiny really that big and scary to something out there, that I need to be shattered every time I get near?

Fast forward to 9PM.  We met up with another couple (yes, Covid restrictions applied) and a lovely time was had by all.  Then, something someone said in a wine-induced state, brought my entire bubble crushing to the ground and fear crept in swallowed me whole, causing a complete hamygdala hijack.  {PS, I’ve been reading The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma so for the first time EVER I understand this.}

When the amygdala stimulates the hypothalamus, it initiates the fight-or-flight response. The hypothalamus sends signals to the adrenal glands to produce hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. – https://www.healthline.com/health/what-part-of-the-brain-controls-emotions#fear

This is the royal mess that was me about 2 hours ago:

Sobbing on the bed as fear wipes away all the hope and butterflies-and-rainbows feelings I’ve had for pretty much the past 8 months and I get sucked into a dark, unreasonable pit of neuron sparks and overthinking and overcomplicating thoughts in my head.  With tears literally streaming down my face, which was probably a good thing as I’ve not had a proper cry in ….months, I was caught in the whiplash of being ripped between fear and anger as I knew the words that were spoken were overexaggerated and not meant and spoken out of context and fear of “but what if it’s true and that is really how the person feels” and anger about that person not having the right to say what was said and fear of “so what…..what if this really is it?” and anger about how that person dares to crush my bubble of hope until eventually just before 11PM I was ready to bolt and decided to come write this instead.

So, for today, I can’t tell you what hope smells like.  I wish I could.  As I sit here sipping my, now cold, coffee, I wish I could go back to 6AM and not complain about the coffee I didn’t have then.  I can however tell you what fear tastes like.  And I don’t like it.  Not one bit.  I first tasted fear when I was 7 years old.  I’ve had enough.  I want to believe like a 6-year old

I want to know what hope smells like


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