“Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have — but I Have It”
- Lana Del Rey
While Lana Del Rey has this hope, she does warn us that it is a dangerous thing for her to have. And why just her? It is a dangerous thing for all of us to have, would you not agree? Dangerous, for it it has the potential to get us light headed and lift our spirits, raise our expectations, and crave for something greater — only to be handed an anchor that is reality, which brings us crashing down back to earth, hurting, with no remedy but for time.
This emotional rollercoaster of raising one’s expectations, and having a reality check when things don’t go your way is something I’m sure we’ve all experienced. The moment passion takes over, rationality goes to hell. As an avid sports enthusiast, currently supporting (read having an emotional affair with) teams not performing desirably in terms of bringing home trophies, I do wonder why I continue to spend hours glued to my television set. You’d think, being let down week on week would dissuade me from getting my hopes up again. Yet my support, love, and yes, hope for brighter days remains resolute.
I have a bit of soft spot for teams dressed in red. But it has been strenuous to remain invested in their prolonged rebuild to the days of glory. Let’s take Ferrari for example. Barely old enough to have opinions that stand ground on merit, I decided I support this team and invested emotionally, physically and mentally in their success. They last won a Championship when I was eleven. And a driver’s championship when I was ten. Yet, each year, as the points table is reset, hopes are renewed, unspeakable words exchanged with supporters of rival teams, and eyeballs back on the LCD display waiting to hear David Croft say the words “It’s lights out and away we go!”.
Is it the existence of a reset button, the precedent that a team’s dominance will come to an end, or that “the next season will be ours” that renews our hope? Whatever the answer, I take comfort in the knowledge that time will pass, and as new year resolutions bring about temporary changes in habits, the next season will arrive with dramatic changes in performance that hopefully stick over the course of a competitive calendar year.
Why is it, then, that we hope for things in life, where there is no reset, where each moment impacts the next, where there is no guarantee of a next season, and where being brought back to reality is so much worse knowing that you and only you have to lift yourself back up to build the courage to hope again?
Maybe, just maybe, we hope for moments, hope for people, hope for futures because that is the only way we get back up to fight again. To get back up and hope to hope again. For it is hope that makes us want to strive to succeed, strive to surpass our ambitions, and strive to better ourselves.
So what if the cake I made crumbled when I flipped it, or my paper got rejected, or my startup idea didn’t get funded, or my crush said no when I asked her out, or that Manchester United lost in the Europa League Finals on penalties? I continue to live and breathe and that should be enough to get back up and hope that a new day will bring fairer fortunes. And maybe this is also why Lana Del Rey has her hope, even if it is dangerous for her to have it. After all, what are we without hope?
To hope to succeed and to keep hoping till we succeed.