Sometimes I like to listen to instrumental music whenever I am doing light work on my computer. This could be anything ranging from soft piano instrumentals to upbeat Celtic-, fantasy-, or medieval-themed music.

Such music usually gives a sort of rhythm to my thoughts without being a distraction. I listened to one recently, and, being the curious person that I am, I decided to go through the comments for that video on YouTube.

It was a piano instrumental titled “One day”, and one commenter wrote this short piece of…poem? Lyric? I’m not sure what to call it, but it stroke a chord within me for some reason:

one day I will get what I wanted for so long

one day we will be together

one day I swear everything will be better. It will be fine

one day we will both be awake

Another commenter on this same instrumental wrote a short piece that is very similar:

one day i will say the words i have silenced for so long 

one day i will take a deep breath and fall asleep

one day i will be free

These words are beautiful in a way that is hard for me to describe. At first glance, they evoke feelings of hope, anticipation, desire, possibility, — a promise of better days ahead of us and a reassurance that our struggles of the present are setting us up for a brighter future; that one day we will look back and it will all have been worth it. 

On the other hand, in the context of achieving our goals and dreams, motivational gurus would have us believe that ‘one day' is the language of losers — the anthem of procrastinators who would rather wish and daydream their life away in delusions of future grandeur instead of taking tangible actions today in pursuit of those dreams. I believe that in many ways, this perspective of the above texts is right more often than not, and that’s very sad.

It is this latter perspective of the above texts that gives them a kind of melancholic sheen. There is something inherently sad about deeply longing for something. But the above texts strike me as particularly melancholic not simply because they express a deep longing for something, but because the things longed for seem to be so modest and noble and very essential for any life that we would generally deem desirable.

If we decide to look at these words from either one perspective or the other (not both), we might be looking at it wrong. It is a good thing when we take action and they lead us on to achieve our dreams. It is also a good thing to hang on during trying times while hoping that things will improve. During such times, it is Hope that usually keeps some people going—the Hope that “one day” they will be awake and together and free, and that things will be better and they will be asleep and fine. Or whatever the hopes may be.

A line from the song When You Believe says this of hope: “Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.” In the above texts, we hear the voice of hope in every line. If hope is all you’ve got, you’ve got enough to get you through the storm. 

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
 — Sigmund Freud