Oh, expectations. Admittedly, I can not decide how I feel about expecting anything. The sweet anticipation of awaiting something we expect. The exquisite disappointment when what we expect doesn’t happen. The feeling of an unexpected turn in the road. Sometimes exciting, sometimes frightening. Sometimes a heady mix of both.
I used to live my life with a fairly rigid set of expectations, both for myself and others. I always expected that if I did “A”, others would do “B”. I tried to have an answer prepared for every situation. A neat little algorithm for life. It didn’t really work. Not for lack of trying.
As of late, I was forced to abandon my expectations. I pulled up stakes and moved after the end of a ten year marriage. Readjusted every aspect of my life with the exception of my job. I decided not to expect anything from anyone except myself. And I changed what I expected from myself. In the processing of shedding expectations, I became kinder and gentler. Especially to myself. And this seems to have translated into a certain kind of magic.
I’ve always had a core tribe of avid supporters. For that I am fortunate. During a time when I felt broken by the loss of expectations, the strength of these kindred spirits carried me. I came to realize that these are the people who are kinder to me than I have often been to myself. The people who don’t expect anything more from me than just “me”. I surrounded myself with more people like them. People who don’t expect anything in particular, but who have come to expect and appreciate the quirky brand of company that I have to offer, and want and expect nothing more. Somewhere along the way, I realized I am enough just as I am, and so are these people. We carry one another without any expectation of more than the true friendship we feel for one another, and this makes the burden light when one of us needs to be carried.
I wish I’d shed the burden of too many expectations sooner. I used to believe that expectations were akin to morals and standards. I no longer believe this. Expectations can be exciting, but can also be quite heavy. Choose wisely when expecting.