Let me tell you, internet, I’ve been on a roll since last Friday. And not, perhaps, a good one.

I’ve generally just been really irritable. To all the people who have to interact with me, I’m terribly sorry. I’m not the most sociable person to begin with so when I get irritated…I tend to retreat into myself and shut people down faster than an inmate breakout at Gitmo. Seriously, when I’m annoyed or irritated, don’t try to be a good friend and cheer me up. A good friend who knows me knows to just leave me alone. An evening of reading, military homecoming videos, and general alone-ness usually helps me reset. Bonus points if it’s a Friday, pay-day, holiday or a beautiful sunset or Don’t Stop Believing is involved.

(I should probably note here this doesn’t happen too often as I’m generally a pretty chipper person but even chipper people just want to crack skulls every once in a while…)

Besides the blinding rage that clouds my clear-thinking head, I realized something tonight.

There’s this thing I’ve been wanting for a long time. A long, longggggg time. (Keep “thing” vague and drum up ideas of what it might be in your own head!) But it’s something that is 100% out of my control. For some reason I got it in my head, almost like a superstition, that if I did XYZ and correctly…God would grant this to me. Wow. Am I dumb. I did everything I thought would make this one thing happen. I lived a better, healthier life. I chased dreams. I try to identify the core of all my struggles. I prayed. I forgot about it. I thought about it too much. And still…no dice.

Which brought me around to an important lesson in hope and life. You can’t “hope” for something and assume it’s guaranteed. Like “I hope this will happen….and if I do/say/be this, it will.” Hope doesn’t work that way. Which goes against everything we’re taught as modern children. If you hope to be a doctor, and you study and get scholarships and go to school…you will be. We’re taught if you can dream it, you can do it. Reach for the stars. Be all you can be.

Maybe the term is applied incorrectly. Maybe aspirations or dreams are better words for things we have the power to change and hope applies for all the things that don’t involve us. I hope that one day I’ll have children but there’s no guarantee I’ll get married and have children. I hope for world peace. An end to hunger. For this one thing.

And when you confuse hope with dreams it leads to disappointment. Not in myself, because I did everything I could. Not in God because He is good and perfect. Just…disappointment in general.

You can’t always get what you want.

Plain and simple.

How’s THAT for a Wednesday night life lesson?

(Which isn’t to say I’m going to let this go because I’m not. I just had a moment….)