"Remember, the well is dry." One of my favorite passages in Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. 📖
They said she expected too much.
They were right.
She tries, she tried to get rid of them. But sometimes, when she is not vigilantly guarding herself, she finds that her expectations rise up before she can stop herself. And while her rational self scrambles to follow it and keep them down and take them away, her regular self gets bogged down by thoughts so heavy that sometimes she feels like she’s getting buried alive.
She wished she could be like one of those girls who never seem to let anything faze them. She wished she could always remain calm and cool and collected, not looking like she had a care in the world even if she does. These expectations make her feel clingy and needy, and it was the last things she wanted to be. She hated it when her expectations get the best of her.
How many times had she wished that she could take them away, bury them and never see them again? Too many, it seems.
"What he did made you happy because you were not expecting anything," her friend told her once. She can still remember the warm happy glow that time, when something unexpected came around. It was an epiphany of sorts, and she tried to hold on to that thought, that feeling.
Every time something happens, her heart fights harder to keep the expectations away, reminding herself of that warm, happy glow she felt that night, when everything felt perfect, when everything was not what she thought it would be, but still exactly what she wanted it to be. She kept that warm feeling in tucked in the corners of her heart to remind herself of what she needs to remember when she needs to fight for it. Whenever the enemy that is her expectations come up and haunt her, she tries her best to shoot it down. And even if sometimes it feels like a losing battle, she tries harder and harder.
And sometimes, she wins.
She never asked for any of this.
She’s fine, she thought. She is okay, she does not need this. She knows she’s okay, and she wanted to give herself a little break for a while. Everything that happened in the past year was so exciting but it wore her out, to the point of throwing in the towel and saying, “I’m done.” She walked away, intending to put herself first, intending to make her happiness her first priority.
Perhaps it was her fault, anyway, why things turned that way. She wanted it a lot — too much, probably. She did everything that she thought she can, she did things she would never have done for something or someone else, and she got results. It just wasn’t the kind of results she wanted. But after some time, you stop wanting something when it’s not wanting you back. Or when it’s almost completely unresponsive.
So finally, she said: Enough.
Her friends did not believe her. They said she would find something else to want soon. She told them she’d show them, because this time around, she was determined not to give in. She was serious.
And it worked for a while. Until it didn’t.
She didn’t ask for this. But now that she’s in too deep, she doesn’t know if she can still get out of it. She doesn’t know if she still wants to get out of it before this hurts her again.
Perhaps it was because she has hope that this would work. That she won’t have to say “Enough” and “I’m done” anymore. Maybe her friends were right that she would find someone else to want soon, but this time around, he will also want her back.
Maybe now that she didn’t ask for him, things would work out. And she won’t have to put her foot down to stop the silliness because there’s nothing to stop this time around.
Tina has been an ML in the Philippines region for five years, and was joined by Liana in 2010. The NYC and London MLs are super rad, but Tina and Liana are keeping an entire country racing towards 50,000 words.
Tina was kind enough to jot down a quick guide to noveling in the Philippines. Guys. They have a local varietal of coffee that is mighty-man strong. Game changer.
Late night wisdom and reminder from @GoodWomenProj ❤ (Taken with instagram)