The newest topic for the 100 theme challenge is sorrow. These negative topics are feeling rather redundant at this point, considering #26 was tears, leaving me to write about some of my saddest experiences in gaming. How many times must I write about sadness, hmm? Well, today’s topic hits a bit closer to home because writing about such a thing as sorrow is especially poignant when in the right mood for it. And dear readers, I am in the mood for sorrow, whether I like it or not. Of course, I am not the only one. We’ve all been through it. Many of us are probably feeling sorrow right now. I will not claim my situation is unique, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write a little something from the heart.
Sorrow means a lot of things. I’m not going to list those things because it is depressing, and as I just touched upon, we’ve all got our troubles, so why unearth all the things that make us sad when all we can really do sometimes, when we have problems that simply won’t go away, is lock them away in our hearts and try to forget they exist. While it solves nothing, pretending like everything is okay is sometimes all we can do. Sometimes it’s the best thing we can do because dwelling on our troubles can often be just as ineffective as ignoring them, so we might as well choose the easier route.
My own personal sorrow, dear readers, comes from a place of insecurity. Not just of the internal variety that we all experience, but from external sources, starting from the age of 7. Surely akin to a lot of children that age, I believed myself to be quite secure in where my life was headed. A few years prior, my parents and I moved into a better, safer neighborhood. We lived in a house we planned to keep, humble though it was. The plumbing would back up into the kitchen sink and emit the most horrendous smell, a particular basement wall seemed to be in a perpetual state of damp that made the paint peel and flake off if you dared touch it, and we only had two-prong wall outlets. Furthermore, it was small and unassuming. But it was our home, and we loved it, which was why Mother Duck planted a willow tree outside my bedroom window, so that it would grow up as I did.
I remember the day that everything changed as clearly as if it was yesterday. Nothing was ever the same again. Though I sometimes believed that our “new normal” would last, surely this time, I was proven wrong over and over again until I just stopped believing. I dwelled on what could have been, grasping desperately from my very inner being, begging and pleading with fate to return to me what I had lost.
But it was not to be. No, maybe it never would be.
Dreams are a lot like balloons. You must hold tightly to them to prevent them from flying away. But as the years went by, I watched them slip through my fingers, one by one by one. Sometimes my denial would run so deep that one of these dreams would be missing for years before I finally noticed it was gone. But it was gone, and it wasn’t coming back, just as a balloon that’s drifted off into the sky never returns to its owner.
For the last few years, I clung like one grips a life ring through the writhing waves of a stormy sea the last balloon. Tarnished and without its original shine now that hope had begun to wane, it began to slip, but still I held on. Because it was the last one. Because it was all that I had left.
It wasn’t so very long ago that the last balloon slipped free. I watched with an emptiness, a strange, cold void enveloping where my heart should have been, as it floated up into the heavens. All my balloons, all my dreams have died out, not a single one achieved, no matter how hard I hoped and tried and begged for them to come true. Losing one’s hopes and dreams is a bit like grieving over a loved one. Eventually, there must come an acceptance that what we hoped might one day come to fruition was not meant to be. My dreams were not very big. They were not unreasonable. But that didn’t make them any more likely to happen than grandiose desires for fame and fortune.
I’d like to hope against hope that my balloons aren’t really gone forever. That somehow fate can be rewound, and they will drift back to me as if they were never gone at all. An existence without dreams feels like wandering a darkened labyrinth without a lantern. If only one spark would spring to life, perhaps the twists and turns of life would make just a bit more sense. Perhaps then I could wander with even a false sense of purpose rather than none at all.
Dear readers, I hope your dreams come true. I hope they already have. But I know I’m not the only one who has been forced to abandon hopes for the future we once held so dear. I know I’m not the only one who has clung to our dreams with fervent desperation before inevitably letting go. I want to be wrong. I want the desires of my heart to come true one day. I don’t want to live out my existence without a single wish coming true. But life’s not a fairy tale. Wishing for something with all your might doesn’t make it happen. You can’t wish upon a star or extinguished birthday candles.
Apologies for such a melancholy post, my dears, but I waited for just the right moment to write about sorrow, and I’m sure you will agree that I was certainly in the proper mood for it. I could drive myself to madness clinging to a wasted past and dreading what seems to be an empty future. So all I can do is focus my thoughts on the good things that I do have, like the Siamese cat meowing at my door (their usual early lunch is imminent), while I fill my free time with hobbies that are as effective in giving me joy as they are to ward off the negative thoughts I seem to possess in abundance.
Dear readers, I do hope I haven’t gotten you down. The Duck tries very hard to put on a happy face, and most of the time, it works well enough. But if I’m going to be presented with a topic like sorrow, then I might as well use this as an opportunity to divulge my own personal sorrow, even if it was probably in the most cryptic manner in which I could manage. Sometimes it can be just as important to vent our burdens as it is to count our blessings, and I thank you for bearing with me in this decidedly dismal post. Now that these burdens have indeed been lifted, at least for now, I do hope you have a nice day and follow your dreams. Don’t let them elude you, my dears. Hold on tightly, and never let them go if you can help it.