Expectations, pt 2.

After I wrote the blog post about expectations yesterday, I passed it on to both Nick and Rhoda, as I always do with my blog posts. Rhoda, as always, is very supportive of both my work and my growth, but is always pushing me to grow further and work harder to become the person that I want to be. Here are her comments: “Thank you for sharing, Mike. What if we dropped all expectations. Expectations are human. What if we could be happy regardless, seeing the opportunity to experience and grow. Then we are never let down. It’s always as it should be. Doing our part but remembering to place it within and not outside ourselves. Outside of self, we will always be let down because it’s not in our power. I know you are going through a lot, we all are. You’ve got this. All you can do is keep growing. Exactly what you are doing.”

Rhoda is right. For the past 2–3 weeks I have been in a horrible funk due to my birthday coming on Friday. This funk is not caused by my age, I am actually much happier with the person I am at soon to be 44 than with the person I was in my youth. I am much more friendly, have all but been cured of the vile temper which I once had and as such am much less angry than I was in my youth, much less judgmental, much more understanding and creative in ways that I would have never thought possible. However, someone who I care deeply about made me a promise earlier this year that she would be back in Pittsburgh to celebrate my birthday with me. In the past few weeks it has become increasingly clear to me that this simply is not happening. Short of an act of God, it won’t happen. And so I started to feel unloved, unwanted and a whole host of other unpositive things about myself. As Rhoda said, when you keep your focus outside of yourself, you will always be let down because everything outside of yourself is outside of your control. In stead of focusing on the new friends who I have been making, focusing on the amazing photographs that I have been taking, focusing on the paintings that I have been doing that I never would have thought possible in the past, or focusing on the achievements and opportunities which I have been provided with through Toastmasters, instead of all of these wonderfully positive things that are going on, I focused on one negative thing which is completely out of my control. And that focus made me miserable.

When I told my new friend Lisa about what was causing the funk that I was in she told me a story about a similar situation in her life in the past year. She told me about the high hopes she had, the extent that she went to to try to make the situation as she wanted it to be, and how the situation ended in disaster. Thank God I have such amazing friends who love me enough to share with me their personal struggles and encourage me through mine! Ok, so I won’t be having dinner with the person who I want to have dinner with on Friday. But what I will do is everything that I can do within my own power to make sure that I still have a pretty awesome day!

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