Expectations are a fickle thing.
I've written about them before and I talk about them all the time, usually as a way to keep mine in check. Or at least try to.
See the thing about expectations is that they can make or break you to say the least (clearly I'll say more than the least like I always do) and that's the part you get to decide. And even as I type that out I know that it's not that easy.
Life isn't what I expected it would be right now and this post will more or less be a giant, yet hopefully relatable with maybe a hidden lesson of sorts, rant.
I am not good at keeping friends.
I always joke with new friends I have a three year expiry date and they call me crazy and we laugh and yet three years later, they're gone. Or I'm gone, depending on the way you look at it.
You watch movies where you stay best friends with the same people from kindergarten allll the way to marriage and while that does happen (I'm looking at you Jess and Carly, keep it going!) it's not realistic. You move schools and cities multiple times and next thing you know you're always texting "let's meet up over break!" and then break comes and it doesn't happen. Okay well maybe it is if you're good at keeping in touch, but I'm not.
What I'm trying to say is not every friendship you have is going to be straight out of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (amazing book, good movie) and that's okay! I'm lucky enough that most of my friends live in the city, save for a fave of mine who happens to live in Ottawa (which I will be visiting this summer!) but it isn't always that way.
Friendships take effort on both parts too and I think that's another thing Hollywood forgets sometimes. That's one thing I'm guilty of, on both sides of the scale. I can be very stubborn and if one small thing happens, I can pull away and slam walls down very quickly. I'm not good at saying sorry and I'm certainly not a fan of chasing after people.
But then again a 'friend' once told me I have a spine like a jellyfish and I'm too nice to people, which I know isn't always a bad thing but it can be. It's tricky to pull back from a friendship but if you're able to see they're walking all over you then it's time to have a firm chat.
Life happens, but hold on to those people that make life good. That was so cheesy, I'm sorry.
We all know now that I base what my love life should look like on movies, and I've been trying to ease up on that but my goodness it's tricky! And Me Before You is out and I must see it so you better believe it's going to get harder!
In my head, my first kiss was supposed to happen in high school. With my crush, on prom night or something equally dramatic. Instead it happened when I was 19, at a bar on Halloween with a guy dressed like Batman. Wicked story, but it wasn't what I had imagined it would be.
Really, I'm 24 and still waiting for a magical "first" kiss, call me crazy.
Expectations and dating are in a long-term relationship in my books. I always try to keep mine in check but I'm usually not very good at it.
This is truly the only area I've learned to deal with them a bit, and it's as easy as making sure Adele isn't playing too often and maybe not watching a seventh episode of Say Yes to the Dress.
The most important thing I've learned is that you can't play the compare game! At all! I need to write this on my fridge so I see this all the time.
You can't take your relationship and put it up against your friends who have been dating for such a time, both in a good or bad comparison. They are not you and what they're doing is going to be completely different from anything you do.
On the other hand, and this might be harder to do, you can't compare your current man (girl, woman, boy, whomever) to a past one. I learned this the hard way, after too much wine and access to my phone. It's not how it works. And it will be tempting, I'm sure it's some sort of automatic response (at least that's what I'm going with) but from what I've seen, it only does bad.
It's basically like you have to look at every relationship as a stand alone book series. I know this sounds weird, stick with me. Sure there might be books that are knock-offs, maybe a bad movie that went straight to Netflix too, but your book is your book, and nothing else is, or will ever be, the same.
This is what sparked this post.
I finished college, moved downtown Toronto and was all set to begin working in an industry I love.
What I didn't account for was the jobs I had lined up falling through and causing me to be in frantic job search seven days a week.
Promising interviews have turned up nothing and I've started second-guessing everything on my resume. And, since you're probably thinking I'm being a tad dramatic. I even applied to a store I've worked at for several years and still didn't get it.
I'm not saying I expected to walk out of school and straight into a career, but that is what I thought would slightly happen because I had arrangements before hand. Note to self: get everything in writing so you can't be screwed over in the future, or at least not as much.
I still enjoy living on my own but I call home at least twice a day. Mostly because I'm horrible at cooking but also because some days I don't talk to anyone and that gets lonely. Texting isn't the same as hearing voices, and strangely enough my friends are not fond of phone calls. (It also has hardly hit me that I don't live at home anymore so I don't quite feel grown-up and am in partial denial of how not-so-good it's lookin' these days.) And I will admit I'm excited for my sister to join me in the fall, even though I will probably regret saying this after a month or so of her being here.
What movies and books fail to show is that while growing up happens too quickly, sorting out your life as you grow up can take quite a bit longer.
By the way, I wrote this bit while listening to this song. Instant tears, I assure you.
Apparently the key to happiness is to keep expectations low because then you're always pleasantly surprised. I haven't fact-checked this but it does make sense to me except when it comes to yourself. And this might be the very reasoning my sister is always on my case about having my head in the clouds and giving me trouble.
I think of all the things in your life you should set high expectations for who you're going to be and what you're going to do.
I'm not talking crazy things, like when I decide I need to lose 20 lbs in a few months but at the same time don't go to the gym and eat a lot of pizza. but achievable expectations! Just for you, because maybe someone reading this thinks 20 lbs is easy peasy but remember, no compare game.
That whole thing about you being your own soulmate? I dig it. You're the only one there for yourself, gotta love yourself first before others, all that jazz. And if you're going to fall head over heels in love with yourself well then you have to do things that make you happy and swoon a little.
I compare myself, slightly and I'm not on the same level, to one fictional character: Carrie Bradshaw. But, in a strange plot twist of events, I'm at least realistic about it.
I know I will never have a gorgeous flat in NYC (Toronto will do), jet off to Paris with an older admirer (well, maybe) or buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks.
But I can let her inspire my style, lust after my own Mr. Big (the good qualities only) and want nothing more than to be a writer.
Another secret I'll let you in on, and I've yet to master it, is to not let people know every success or every failure. I know this sounds strange, and I like to keep it real, but it's nice to keep somethings to yourself a few close friends instead of the whole world being there at all times. I'm also not against shouting victories and whispering failures, but that's all up to you.
See if you told everyone your hopes and dreams at every turn, you do feel pressure to accomplish it all STAT. You might be good with pressure, but I am very much not. I crack, no diamonds forming anytime soon.
It's all about the balance, which also if you must know, I terribly lack.
If there was a lesson in there I'm not even sure I grabbed onto it.
But I do have a little bit of advice, if you've read this far that is.
Put your expectations in what you can control and don't just expect things but work for them too.
How wise does that sound? Fluke, I swear.