My husband and I were having a discussion about things the other night, and it turned into this philosophical debate about expectations. His point (among others) was that I can’t really be ‘happy’ with myself, friends, or family if I keep having wild expectations about the difficulties that situations will pose, and therefore acting on situations before they’ve even run their course. I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that I have insanely high expectations about everything, from myself to others… and everything in between. I’m not entirely sure why, and they have been getting markedly worse as I’ve gotten older.
For example; I call a friend up, and ask her out to dinner. She doesn’t drive and neither do I, but there is plenty of public transport between us to get to where we need to go.
My expectation of this phone call will probably be something like;
Right. I’m going to call her up and ask her out to dinner. She’ll be up for it, but only if it’s near her place which is kind of ridiculous because I’m on the other side of the city. God damn it. She absolutely hates buses, yet they’re the most numerous public transport around and She knows I don’t live anywhere near a train station; so coming out here will be a giant ‘inconvenience’ for her. Oh, and She’s poor this week so I’m going to have to pay and will probably never see that money again.
I then pick up the phone and enter into the conversation with a crap attitude and will probably turn the conversation into a fight.
My husband was trying to say that if these expectations were allowed to occur, that my anticipation was slowly but ultimately destroying the previously mentioned relationship to the point where I don’t want want to hang out with that person any more, because of things that I expected.
I began to realise that he wasn’t talking out of his ass but speaking with genuine concern, so I made myself think about what he was saying and tried to see it from an outside point of view, rather than an internal point of view. That process has taken a couple of days, and I’ll readily blame baby-brain for that one.
I see myself as an honest person to those around me. To the point where I have to watch what I say to my husband/family/friends for fear of shocking them out of their socks, or completely debilitating myself in a discussion. I speak very plainly about things I understand.
There isn’t many people I’d readily lie to or keep things from, and there certainly wouldn’t be a situation where a lie is preferred to the truth. How the truth is delivered can mean the difference between a good outcome and a terrible one, so that would be the only stop-and-think issue that I can think of.
But, I’ve begun to realise in the last few days that the main problem in that fundamental way of thinking, is my ability to perceive truths that aren’t really there. Mainly that is from memories of previous people in my life exploding into my brain at the precise moment that something completely different is occurring… and my brain not letting me think of this as a new and fresh problem; but rather shelving it with the same situation. Ergo; I think the same actions are going to follow and so, I react the same as I have done.
Sticking with the same example from before; that was my brain playing out the situation in the only way it knew how. Even though I could’ve handled the situation completely differently and gotten a different answer, I never allowed myself to think outside that little box that I’ve constructed for myself.
That little box is quite terrible. It has corrupted many other facets of my being, to the point that I’m not sure where it’s tendrils start and end. I’m becoming more aware to where those tendrils lead now, and am trying my hardest to figure out what is my expectation and what is the basic reality of a situation.
I may be pregnant and emotional as hell, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been given a chance to make a drastic change in my life and Its a change that I am most willing to make. Not because my husband was the one who pointed it out, nor because I think I should; but because I need to grow as a person and this seems the next logical step toward that growth.