Pretty much all I have.

When I was a child, I had very few doubts. I had a lot of faith. I wasn't even sure, exactly, in what. But I had faith.

When I was a youth, I had a lot of hope. I wasn't even sure what that hope was for--but it existed, kind of like my faith.

That faith, that hope, manifested itself in many ways. Many small ways, in daily life. For example, there were no doubts in my mind that I would end up married, happily, with a man that I love, and that I would follow up with creating a family I adored. I knew I would go on to do what I love, because, well, why else would I do it? These were such simple things that I believed in. They seem simple, don't they?

It wasn't until one day when I was, maybe 13, that a friend of mine said she was not sure she would marry. I was incredulous. But why? I asked her. She didn't seem to feel like it was her choice, but the choice of others who would determine her destiny. Who would *choose* her, or not. And therefore, she couldn't be sure.

I had always thought *I* determined my destiny. That it was *my* decision, *my* choices, that would ultimately create my future. Other people figured into this? What?

There's a happy ignorance in one's youthful thoughts. And there, at that moment, a tiny crack of doubt crept into my thoughts. Of course, I didn't know it then. And I wouldn't really know it until much later. But it got in there. And soon enough, I began to wonder if it was really my choice ater all. I eventually came to lose that faith. I lost a lot of faith. My faith in religion, my faith in God (at times), my spirituality, my hope for much of humanity...much hope for things. I still hope, but it is that hope borne out of despair--almost as a counterweight to despair. That Manichean hope that gives it difference and existence, right there, next to despair.

What the fuck kinda hope is that?

I don't know.

What kind of faith is a faith that struggles to remain faithful. Is it stronger because it hangs by a string? Does that string mean that I have tested and yet remain to hold (fast?) to that string? Or does it mean I am nearly lost?

I feel lost.

There is such a part of me that wishes I could return to that surety that once existed in my life. That youthful surety. That blissful, almost ignorant, delight I had with the world, with religion, with spirituality, with the future, with hope.

Ironically, as I've become more confused in life, I have found more and more beauty in the world itself. I used to despair, sometimes, of life. But now I love life so much more. There is an anguish that exists in life, in the human-ness of others--and of myself--that is beautiful. That is sad. That is real.

At least that is something. And at this point, it's pretty much all I have.

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