Expectations are the worst

“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations”

-Elliott Larson

Between work and life in general, I haven’t really had time to write or been inspired with new ideas but today  feels like a good day to write.

If you ask anyone who has experienced a traumatic brain injury, they will most likely tell you the humidity and change in air pressure tends to affect them, causing fatigue, headaches, or pains in their joints. Personally for me, the humidity is not my friend. It has a tendency to affect my walking, causes achey joints, and to be extremely tired. And for those who know me, my walking isn’t the greatest to begin with so adding humidity makes things extra fun.  I weave in and out of places, like I’m driving on a windy road. Over time, I’ve learned to deal with pains in my legs, to pretend they don’t exist (all mind over matter) or to spend most of my time inside with the air conditioning and limit my time outside.

This other week, I fell twice at work. The first time I fell into a split (which thanks to being a former gymnast, that fall was pretty graceful) but the second one wasn’t as smooth. I didn’t get hurt physically but it definitely hurt my ego and was embarrassing. After years of physical therapy and trying every possible thing to perfect my poor walking or lack of balance, I was disappointed; I expect better out of myself. I’m in my 20s, people my age aren’t supposed to be falling flat on their face. They’re supposed to be confident, strong, independent and to have their lives perfectly planned out (which I barely know what I’m wearing tomorrow, let alone my 5 year plan!) And not only was I disappointed in myself but my confidence in myself also started to waver. I started to allow myself to be put into that stereotype of a poor disabled girl who struggles to do anything on her own and always needs special assistance. It was easier to just sit quietly, hiding away at my desk and do my job, instead of dealing with people, obstacles, and real life. I didn’t want to stand up, walk around or do anything that would acknowledge the fact that I’m different from most people. And this wasn’t just at work but it affected every aspect of my life. For anyone who knows me, you know this is not like me. I thrive on being confident and comfortable with who I am; embracing my disabilities and uniqueness. (yes, that’s a word, at least in my vocabulary)

But here’s the thing with having expectations of yourself or people around you, like the quote at the beginning hints at, expectations often lead to anger and disappointment. For example, when you expect or assume a certain thing from someone else and they come up short, it’s annoying and causes you to be irritated or discouraged. For me, I was irritated with myself, mostly because I know I am capable of better and expect more of myself. Someone once told me that when you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. And that was exactly my problem. In my mind, I have an image of what I should be and when reality doesn’t meet those ideas, I get frustrated.

And it’s not just something I struggle with, so many others have this problem. We have expectations for our lives, our relationships, our family, and friends. And when they fail to meet those expectations, we are disappointed,  discouraged, and sometimes start to think differently about that person or life in general. The beauty of life (although  it’s annoying at times) is that everyday is a new adventure and that we can’t predict our future, we can only enjoy the ride and the surprises that lie ahead.
For a brief moment, I let my failure to meet my expectations of myself keep me down and eat away at my confidence. But those expectations ot myself are not realistic and although I am not perfect like I think I should be, I am who I am and proud of that.
So today and everyday from now, try to let go of your expectations and just appreciate the world around you.
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world instantly changes”
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1 Comment

Filed under Being disabled, Life in general

One response to “Expectations are the worst

  1. Oh thank you niece! I really needed to read this today. I love you and am so very proud of you. Great post, thanks!

    Like

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