Ten days ago, my partner and I were lost with which kitchen sink to get.
Do we get quartz, granite, or stainless steel?
For three days, all we talked about was that sink. Then we were lost with which color we should use for the kitchen cabinets. Will teal match black granite? Should we go for the dark mustard?
On Tuesday, August 4th, the blast that happened at Beirut’s port destroyed thousands of houses and killed hundreds of people.
With all the brutal scenes of dead bodies on the streets, injured people, and the destruction all over the city, it was difficult not to feel too much, cry too much, and feel hopeless, a little.
The world is already moving on, but we aren’t.
All of a sudden, after that blast, my partner and I no longer talked about the kitchen sink. We even forgot what color we wanted to use for the kitchen cabinet.
To be honest, we stopped talking about anything that has to do with our new house ever since.
Does it matter?
Who the f*ck cares about the sink?
Since when does choosing a color leave me sleepless?
What’s a brand new house for if I can’t guarantee that it won’t be demolished?
I asked myself all sorts of desperate questions in the last eight days. Maybe they’re not that desperate after all—they’re just realistic.
All I’ve been thinking about is how ironic it is that it takes only a couple of seconds to lose something or someone—a loved one, your home, your office, your favorite street, your city, or even yourself.
Building anything new in life takes so much time. But destruction takes only a few minutes.
That idea alone left me feeling desperate and hopeless for the last few days.
I’m unable to talk about anything, unable to plan, and unable to hope. I don’t want to talk about a kitchen sink or a cabinet—all I want is to feel safe and a little more hopeful.
More importantly, I want to be able to trust the process again. I don’t want to be afraid of what the future brings. I want to delve into uncertainty and embrace the good and the bad.
I want to be okay with loss and open to winnings. I want to look ahead without thinking of the what-ifs.
I just want to trust life again and move forward.
Maintaining a sense of hopefulness in times like these can be really hard. But in the face of any difficulty, building hope is our only chance to get by again.
Here’s how I’ve been nurturing hope once more:
1. Remember the past hopeless times.
Our past is a great reminder that bad things happen and that we are great at adapting. I’m remembering all the times when I lost all hope and thought that I won’t make it through another day.
The truth is, no matter how hard it gets, we always move on—even if we don’t forget. We get up again and create a new beginning. My past is my great reminder of “This too shall pass.”
2. Do something hopeful.
Despite our challenges, there’s always some light that cracks through them—I’ve been looking for that light.
I’ve found it in tending to my plants and devoting more time for my dogs. Both of them are the source of endless happiness and hope for me. They remind me how beautiful life is and how much we have to live for.
3. Flip the impermanence coin.
On one side, impermanence is nasty. It sucks, actually. If we flip the coin, however, impermanence is good, and we need it, to be honest.
I’ve always been a firm believer that when something comes to an end, something new is making its way to us. I’m open to the lessons, the changes, the healing, and the opportunities that might present themselves to me.
4. What’s life without hope?
My feelings of hopelessness are inevitable. I understand where they’re coming from—that’s why I’m letting them be. However, at my deepest core, I know that without hope, there really isn’t a point to life.
Little by little, I’m making way for a new hope to take shelter in my heart.
Sometimes, I forget about Beirut’s disaster for a few hours, then I remember again and break down. Between my forgetfulness and remembrance, little cracks of hope and acceptance are entering my soul again.
In the end, we have no choice but to trust life.
We can’t control events, but we can definitely control how to respond to them.
No matter what goes down, at the end of the day, we need to survive.