Some people have great intentions when speaking of where they see life going for you.
Others, couldn’t give a rat’s ass how things turn out so long as they benefit in some way.
From birth, I feel, expectations are placed upon us and we’re expected to live up to someone else’s idea of what we should be before we can even figure out who you truly are and what we want.
“My child will be a scholar.” “My child will be a lawyer.” This is what’s best for you, that will work out so much better. Blah, blah, blah.
And then when we manage to find our voices, suddenly we’re ungrateful for turning down a life we never even wanted for ourselves. So, to make others comfortable, we go with what they want. Then we’re miserable.
I can admit; for a long time, possibly the entirety of my life, I’ve been a people pleaser. Always willing to go along to get along and keep others happy with me. Totally neglecting my own feelings, sanity, and the path I’ve had in mind for myself since I was old enough to have a pretend career while confined within the four walls of my bedroom.
I wanted to be a teacher, but my parents thought I’d be better suited in some high tech lab because I showed promise at a Science fair.
I wanted to be a painter; but my grandparents thought I’d be better suited as a nurse because I have a nurturing nature and a knack for caring for others.
I thought about becoming a writer when someone paid me fifty dollars to publish a poem when I was twelve; but my siblings thought I should be a criminal investigator because I became obsessed with crime shows.
Their thoughts behind their plans being better than mine was always ‘the money’. Sure, money is great and I’m an adult with adult responsibilities now. But I’ve always felt that attaching money to the things you love most strips the fun and joy out of them.
So I made attempts at all of their ‘great expectations’, and even some terrible ones I held for myself. Struggled through college, dropped out, and went back because it was expected of me to finish. I hated it.
I’ve worked every job imaginable, sometimes multiple jobs at once… and did so for YEARS. Nothing ever stuck because everything was attached to some expectation by someone else. OR because I was doing something just to make a check to survive and get by.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t found that THING that makes me feel good, that THING that makes me happy and meets the single expectation I hold for myself now at thirty. But it feels damn good being able to say that, now, I’m happy to go forward with my journey because no one else’s expectations hang over my head.
It’s only about what I want, and what I see for myself. And, if this makes sense to anyone reading, I hope that your journey is for you and you only. Well-intention or otherwise, your life is your own and you’ll only ever be happy if you’re living that life for YOU.