expectations vs. reality

Short, not sweet. This feels unfinished but I can’t seem to get myself to write anymore, maybe because I’m still struggling with it. Perhaps I’ll revisit it one day and complete this. #50thpost

Do you ever kinda just look at someone after they’ve done something and think, “What the heck, man?! Are you serious?”?

Because I certainly have.

Expectations. Such a big word.

Let me put it out there and say that I think it’s normal to place expectations on people. I think it’s normal to expect someone to greet you back after you say “hello” to them. I think it’s normal to expect someone to say goodbye to you when they’re leaving the area and not just walk away mid sentence. I think it’s normal to expect someone to serve you when they’re behind a counter at McDonald’s and you’re on the other side of that counter waiting to order food. I think it’s normal for that person behind the counter at McDonald’s to expect you to order food when you’re standing on the other side of the counter. Everyone seems to have some sort of standard on how other people should act.

Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe our society, our culture and everything we know is built on expectations. And lately I’ve been thinking that maybe things change when those expectations aren’t met, including those expectations themselves. The expectations you have with someone before you knew them changes after you get to know them. It changes depending on how close (or distant) you become with the other person and on what role they have in your life.

Truthfully, I’ve been feeling so frustrated with people lately. There are countless times where I just want to be alone – to isolate myself and cut off all my relationships, or run away and start fresh and just meet new people altogether. But I know, of course, that I can’t live without relationships with other people nor do I have any guarantee that the new people I meet if I do run away would be any less frustrating than the people I already know.

People are becoming so difficult to me because of my expectations of them. I know it’s normal to expect different things from different people, for example, expecting a close friend to lend you a hand in times of trouble or expecting your boss to pay you after you work for them but not really care much about your personal life. All these things are part of how we grow and learn and go through life and form specific relationships and build societies. But lately it just feels as though my expectations of people have not been met by very many.

What I’m feeling here is disappointment. 

I feel as though I’ve been let down a lot recently by people who don’t usually let me down. Those who usually lift me up and catch me when I fall,  those who are the first to ask if I’m okay when I’m clearly not… And I’m not sure why I’m feeling this way. Did something change? Did they? Did I? Does it ever matter?

There are many things I’m unsure of, though what I do know is that these recent experiences have changed my view and expectations of others. Right now I can’t say whether this change is positive or negative, but perhaps it’s a bit of both. A lot of the time they make me feel distant from certain people and make me want to separate myself from those I care about in fear of getting hurt or feeling disappointed.. And other times they remind me that no one’s perfect, and I myself have failed to meet expectations an uncountable and uncomfortable number of times.

It can be difficult to have the same amount of affection towards someone after they do something that hurts you. It’s even more difficult when they’re unaware of it or decide to shove it under the rug, knowing what they did wasn’t right. It’s events like these that can break a friendship apart, and sadly, I’ve experienced that firsthand on the other side of this scenario – where I’ve done something that wasn’t quite right and in return the other person decided they had had enough of me. It’s not a good feeling.

But here is where I hope to differ. I hope that when it’s my turn, I won’t make that same decision they did. I hope that from this place of negativity and desire of separation, I can instead find it within myself to let go of my pride, embrace humility and forgive, because I am no more worthy of friendship or love than the person who has wronged me. I will never know the number of times I’ve made someone feel this way, and I will never know the number of times that person decided that our friendship was worth more than a silly mistake I once (or have many times) made.

I hope that I can live up to the expectation I’ve put on myself and make this decision one I won’t regret.

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