Expectations – Idle Thoughts

You know, I’m beginning to think I am starting to have expectations again. I don’t believe in those. The moment you have an expectation is the same moment in which you set yourself up for disappointment. Agree with me or don’t, I don’t really care either way, but let me ask you this: do you believe that this mindset leaves me bitter, sad and/or angry on a daily basis? I’ll give you the answer: it doesn’t. If that doesn’t make sense then that’s fine, but allow me to explain before you hold fast to your belief, either way, it swings.

An expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen. Typically, we expect that the sun will rise, we will wake, we will go on about our days, and then there will be a tomorrow with more of the same. Not the most glamorous description, but still true nonetheless. This is us expecting to live on a daily basis. There are very few reasons why we wouldn’t expect to wake up in the morning. Of course, not everything we expect is good. We all expect to die, we expect that most of us will have our hearts broken at least once, we even expect to get sick at some point in our lifetime. At least one of those things is guaranteed, but the rest of them are not. Due to our expectations, however, we begin to hold some of these things as a guarantee instead of a possibility.

Now I believe that whenever we expect something bad to happen and it doesn’t, there is always relief. It was a moment of stress you thought you had to face no matter what, and suddenly the entire incident is gone. Imaginary. There was nothing to worry about. It feels like a miracle and there is no greater feeling in the world. But the inverse? When something good we expect to happen does not? Well, all hell breaks loose. Our days go from great to terrible in an instant. Life is suddenly the most unfair force in the universe. Just to be clear, it always has been; it just never quite feels that way until things don’t go your way.

I’d like to clarify something now. When I say “something good,” I’m not referring to perfect birthday parties or even people keeping their promises. When I say good, I’m talking about basic things: that your car will start in the morning, that your shoes will stay tied the entire day. Things like the bus being on time or your significant other being in a good mood. These are good things that happen on a daily basis. Just because they have happened consistently without fail up to this point doesn’t mean that things won’t change tomorrow. We are all creatures of habit and history has a tendency to repeat itself, but things always going as planned or as expected is the exception, not the rule.

Keeping this in mind, imagine going through life with the expectation nothing you want to happen ever will, but everything you don’t want to happen is going to. As long as you don’t let despair settle into your soul, you will be fine. As long as you believe that you in control and capable of changing the things that are set in stone around to work in your favor, you will be fine. As long as you remember that sometimes the unexpected can be the most pleasant of surprises, then you will be fine. I don’t expect the world to be terrible. I just don’t expect it to be great. I get proven wrong each and every single day, and I am fine with that. It’s what I always hope for anyway.

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Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

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