As soon as someone, and that someone is usually me, says ‘don’t get your hopes up’, I get my hopes up. It’s the power of suggestion. I may not have thought about it before but then I do and start dreaming of what it might be like to come in first.
Which is crazy in a competitive world, including that of the arts. There will always be someone more skilled, more appealing, more insightful. That doesn’t mean what we do isn’t valuable. Not at all. It just means we are less likely to end up on top when compared to all the others.
And, of course, with hopes heightened, the fall of disappointment is a little greater. The silly thing is, we know that’s going to happen and yet are unable to keep that initial anticipation at bay.
But, expecting nothing, hoping for nothing, is a bland way to live. If we don’t imagine that this painting will have success or that piece of writing will get published or we can win a different job, what will keep us trying? A lack of hope is a dangerous thing.
So, I will keep my hopes up and wear the corresponding disappointment. It’s a small price to pay for enthusiasm.