We agreed the phrase “don’t worry” was silly. You might as well say, “don’t feel.” There is no talking your way out of the present.
Still, when I grew worried, he said, “don’t worry.” He said, “everything will be fine.” I wanted to believe him, but didn’t. Or couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. It was scary to believe in hope and also scary not to. I was worried he was right and also that he wasn’t. I asked, “but when?” But the question was unfair. There was no answer.
The thing about the future is that it offers so much possibility. And that is comforting. And that is terrifying. Soon everything will be different, or exactly the same. I’m never certain of what it is I hope for.
But I know I have built my life upon such wild, reckless hope. I know that there is always something I’ve been wishing for, reaching for, and clinging to. It is the known and the unknown, the strength to hold on, and the strength to let go. I know I have desired it all, and all at once, and always.
There has never been a choice made without hope. It is the strongest force. It is intangible, but also the most important thing we can feel. It is why we arise each morning to try again. It is why we keep going, even if it is just one more day, one more step, one more breath. We inhale and exhale hope.
In this way, we share it. It is recycled in our lungs, in the very deepest parts of ourselves, and when we release it, we give it back to the world. Our very breath is inspiration. It says, “don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
I don’t know what “fine” means exactly. I don’t know if things get better or if we get better at dealing with things. Maybe both. Maybe neither. It doesn’t really matter in the end.
What matters is that although there is no answer to how or when, we continue to hope that there is a how and a when. It is comforting and it is terrifying to live inside such hope. It is also essential. It is also the only way I’ve ever learned to live.
I live inside a body made of hope, inside a house made of hope, and even in the cold, I leave my windows open to breathe hope out and in. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is one way to build a life.
We agreed the phrase “don’t worry” was silly. How can you not in this uncertain world? Still, when he told me everything would be fine, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t quite believe it. He believed it for the both of us. He loved me enough to have hope. I loved him enough to want to.
He said “don’t worry.” He said, “everything will be fine.” This did not make him a liar. It made him my friend.