The Trouble with Hope

3 min readNov 20, 2018

There is a less appealing ‘other side.’

By Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

It seems odd, to speak of a concept viewed as categorically optimistic as one that should also be applied with caution. Hope can keep us going. But hope can also hold us back, and it can be difficult to identify which is taking place.

There is no way to predict whether or not what we hope for will actually come to fruition. Often, we just continue to wish, and wait. We cling to our desires in anticipation of them being realized, someday.

The trouble with hope is that we never know if we’re holding on too long or letting go too soon.

This is the tragedy of it all. Sometimes we’re keeping doors open that should have been slammed shut long ago.

We watch our cell phones, hoping the person that we miss, the one for whom we are yearning will contact us. We hold on to relationships that have clearly come to an end, in hopes that the person will return. We keep ourselves from moving on even if they have, allowing months and possibly even years of our lives to pass us by — just in case.

In our careers, we stay at jobs in hopes that we’ll eventually be recognized and rewarded by management with the promotion that we deserve. Even if we feel we’ve shown more than enough to warrant…




Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and memoirist. Author. Music connoisseur. Multi-passionate creative. I’ve lost a lot of sleep to dreams….