Here I am, half inspired and half envious of a new acquaintance I’ve just had, who weaves thoughts exhaustively and effortlessly in forty-something minutes and labels them as, ‘word vomit.’ You can't imagine how frustrating it is for someone like me who toys with deliberations, arguments and musings for days and days until I can intertwine them into semi-decent pieces.
Without any further babble with the conversation warm-up out of the way, let’s get straight down to something that I have been musing about for days, in fact for weeks now.
Did you know that there are 273,000 words in the third most spoken language in the world? Sometimes I wonder how did certain words find their sound, place, and how does each manage to unambiguously describe the exact emotion or functionality as well as they do? As a species that can communicate every single sentiment, thought, idea or opinion (whether we choose to or not), communication is a blessing. The superhero that it is to have aided us, back us to breakdown this mechanism that goes beyond logic, or any volume of rationale – yes, I am referring to this mechanism being emotions.
The word (and emotion) that I have cherry-picked today is the heavy, twelve-letter idealism.
Naive in nature but outlandishly difficult to live up to, others and your own.
You know that feeling you get…that particular one that gets you sensing dysfunction, suffocation and imprisonment when you’re unable to live up to them, no matter how hard you keep trying infinite times – or the inexplainable heavy heartedness you sense when someone doesn’t live up to yours?
What is it about expectations and how are they so casually nurtured within us, hopeful for someone else to fulfil those and aid our level of contentment? What is it about expectations that make them so unattainable – and if by some good fortune that they are answered, we savour them for exactly two seconds and raise that bar a notch higher? Are we encouraging ourselves, or the other to be superiorly fine-tuned, or are we just hungry humans, drunk on the idea of setting ourselves up for grief, time and time again?
What I’ve noticed about carrying this twelve-letter word is that we are persistently walking about with ever-consuming baggage, ours and of others. Often so expended in endeavouring one expectation after another, like a runner dodging one obstacle after another en route to the life's expectation OCR? This got me wondering – is this what life is meant to look like? Is this what your daily state of mind meant to look like? I mean…don’t get me wrong. I am all for being challenged, but at what point does it get toxically unhealthy to carry the baggage of this twelve-lettered word? How much of you are you willing to part with the prospect to meet someone else’s expectations? Who draws the route, and when do you reach the finish line?
Similarly, with the idea of having expectations, and not having them met. How much of you are you willing to expend at the cause of others and sufferings of yours? How much of you are you predisposed to get unhappy because somebody couldn’t live up to the appealing scenario painted by your imagination? How much self-loathe are you willing to have attached with unceasing self-criticism of not meeting your own, unrealistic high expectations?
What is it about expectations? Why are they so heavy? Why are they so arduous? Why are they so problematic? Why are they so unsatisfiable? Why do they keep shifting? Why do they want so much?
Unless…maybe they aren’t.
Maybe, just maybe they are plain-Jane divas and if steered an alternative way, controlled and maybe channelized via communication, and the 273,000 words, ours and others, they stop presenting themselves as overwhelming.
Of course, it’s customary to have them, from others. It’s typical to have them from ourselves. It’s even more natural for others to have them of us. It’s only human to witness there being a gap in expectations more often than not but, so what?
So what if they aren’t met? So what if they aren’t lived up to? So what if they aren’t like what you’d imagined the situation to be? So what if you don’t grow to be who you are expected to be? So what if you aren’t able to dodge all of the obstacles? So what if you are far behind the norms of what’s expected…and so what if all the expectations aren’t met.
Maybe, just maybe…in this process, we sit back and discover. Discover what? Sometimes not meeting expectations is a boon, more than a bane.
How? We are only humans, dissipated on the notion that wanting more from others, and ourselves will shape us. We are only humans, wasted on the belief that being someone that others expect us to be will repair us.
Why? Stop. Pause. Retreat. Toss that twelve-letter word aside and stride forward, as best as you can without all that baggage, being as true to you as you can.
With love, and errs,
Stories By Giggles