I struggled a long time with defining who I am vs. who I should be. An expectation was floating over me, smothering me. This expectation was set by others, adopted by me, and ruled my life until I said “ENOUGH!”
Now? Now I take peoples expectations, set them aside and go on my merry way. I can’t be bogged down on what makes them happy when I really need to concentrate on what makes me happy. (boy did that come out selfish sounding) I have found that expectations are placed on other people as a way to control them.
Parents places expectations on children. That is completely acceptable as the children need to learn boundaries, lessons and limits. But when the children become adults, the only expectation a parent should have for a child is that they be happy. The same dynamic should apply to siblings. As adults, the only expectation should be respect and happiness.
Friends place expectations on others to define their relationships. As long as those expectations are mutually gratifying there generally is no problem. The same goes with lovers.
Here is where expectations become difficult. Because expectations surround us, guide us, sometimes bind us – we, the individual, put expectations on ourselves that are not always healthy. I’ll be acceptable if I lose weight. If I get that job, my life will be perfect. Mr. or Ms. Right will fix my life. All these thing are dependent on outside validation in order to be happy.
My writing became something worth reading when I stopped depending on it to make it a source of validation. When I write it is a source of happiness, it invigorates me. Something that is essential to who I am. It defines me. While, I have trusted friends who help me become better a better writer. The truth is, I like telling stories, making statements, having a say.
The only expectation I have of myself is to be happy. It is the only one worth having.