I’ve always lived my life with expectations. I don’t mean measurable expectations necessarily, they aren’t always high or low. I just expect things to go the way I expect them to go.
This probably stems from being a complete brat growing up and constantly getting what I want due to the fact that my family members were legitimately afraid of me. (I threw epic temper tantrums, shocking, I know). I had an expectation of how a certain situation would play out and I would do whatever it took to ensure my expectations were met.
I remember a certain instance when I was probably around five. My Grandma took me to a department store. We were in the kid’s section and I spotted a pair of Little Mermaid pajamas that I wanted. I pointed them out to Grammy, she examined them and decided that I could not have them because they were made out of that itchy polyester material and she knew I wouldn’t wear them because they’d be uncomfortable. (Side note: I want to find the person who chose to make children’s sleepwear out of that torture material and force feed them those PJs). Well, me being an assertive, five-year-old, jerk, would not take no for an answer. After a few seconds of back and forth debate, I hurled my entire body on the ground and threw the most embarrassing, dramatic, full-body tantrum, until Grammy was so sick of standing over my flailing limbs, she gave in. (If you’re reading this Grammy, I’m still really, really sorry). I walked out of the store with a smile on my face and a false sense of accomplishment.
Last night, I had expectations and those expectations weren’t met, and this resulted in the adult version of a temper tantrum (screaming into a pillow).
Long story short, an old friend reached out and invited me to this thing.
Expectation: I’m going to go to this get-together, meet new people, be a lovely, sober, social butterfly and have a great time.
Reality: I freaked out when I realized I wasn’t going to know many people there and couldn’t pre-game with a drink to ease the nerves of being in an unknown social environment, and I flaked at the last second.
Result: I was really, really disappointed in myself and I screamed into a pillow for 5 minutes.
I only calmed down once I understood the lesson learned from my frenzy.
In this new chapter of my life, I can’t have expectations. I used to roll my eyes when my mother said “expectations lead to disappointment”, but right now, that definitely applies.
I’m doing something challenging and it will only be more difficult if I put pressure on myself to measure up to my expectations.
I’ve never done anything like this before, so I don’t know what to expect, and that is ok.
Everything is going to be ok.