Focus on our “right nows” and  not “should bes”.

Its funny however, when we realize just how difficult that actually is.  People often refer to the phrase, “easier said then done” when speaking about taking action. Oh how accurate that is when it comes to living up to expectations, or in some cases, NOT.

WReCKxpectation (R-ekspekˈtāSH(ə)n) [noun]  a belief so strong that someone will or should achieve something it ruins any other possible positive outcome if it is not met. 

WReCKxpectation. 

As defined by yours truly.  I may or may not have made this word up.  But for today, and right now, I’m going to just say I did.

I remember years ago someone saying to me that the problem with my approach to relationships was I didn’t have high enough expectations for the guy I was dating.  I remember at some point after that another person telling me my expectations were too high while we were talking about a specific position in the company I was working for at the time.  I remember tons of other instances where expectations were the topic of conversation among family, friends, colleagues, and lovers .  Most of all I remember everyone having an opinion about what expectations should and shouldn’t be.  And I remember at some point in my mid twenties thinking screw everyone else’s expectations I have my own…. and THOSE are whats important.

Insert the setting of the bar.

I carefully began crafting and compiling a list of everything I would need to achieve over the course of the next few years.  Hell, over the course of my entire life. I started listing the qualities and traits my partner would need to have or meet in order for me to continue considering them as my partner.  I started organizing notes on what a job would need for me to entertain the thought of building a career with them.

This all sounds smart right? I mean, who DOESN’T have expectations? Why settle for less than exactly what you want? Or better yet…. everything you want. You need to have goals. You need to have standards.

And all of that is true.

Also, here is where all of that gets tricky.

Having SO many expectations that there is no room for the UN-expected pleasantries of life is the problem.  It has come to be my strong belief (expectation?) that THIS is where expectations become WReCKxpectations.

You spend years compiling a list of expectations for life and the people in it. From your mother to your boyfriend and especially… yourself.

You start labeling and comparing every encounter, every action.  Did I hold true to my standards? Is he everything I need in a man? Does she hold up to such and such? It’s a continuous cycle.  Suddenly you’re so focused on this group of preset criteria that you fail to notice the small accomplishments you make daily or the simple gestures aimed your way. You start to take for granted all the beautiful brush strokes it takes to paint the bigger picture.

Recently, I had myself convinced that I had “mellowed out.” I had become more of a compromising person and had humbled myself. I should have known better considering 2 things:

  1. It’s really not in my genetics to be “mellow.”
  2. I’ve held a firm stance over the years that if you have to SAY you’re humble, you’re not. (Kinda like if you’re a lady you shouldn’t have to keep REMINDING yourself (or others) you’re a lady)

Now it’s true in the past few years I’ve done some SERIOUS soul searching and have grown increasingly year by year, but my core has remained the same.  I have and will always strive for more.

Recently during a conversation the phrase “you have a certain set of expectations” was thrown repeatedly my way. While it wasn’t necessarily meant in a derogatory or venomous  manner, it was something that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. So I did what I do best and analyzed.  My actions and reactions. The interactions, the non-verbal & verbal communication. Every. Small. Detail.

And this is what I’ve found:

In creating a set of specific expectations, of both myself and my partner, I had set a standard and goal for our relationship.  In doing so we pushed beyond all conceived boundaries. But also, I left no room for the “extras.” Suddenly I was so caught up in what was expected of us as partners, I forgot we were people too.  We don’t always fit into tiny boxes. We have quirks and unique behaviors. More so what we lack in one area, we may more than make up for in another.

I was so busy allowing my expectations to rule my thoughts that I didn’t realize I was missing out on all the things I wasn’t asking for, but was being given.

I was plagued with another question… Why am I so incapable of going with the flow?

It took me a lot less time to figure that one out.  It’s really quite simple.  I yearn for growth and forward movement.  I crave learning and development. I aspire to always be better than I was yesterday and a partner to match my stride.

Also….. there is nothing wrong with any of those things either.

By this point you’re probably like, well if there’s nothing wrong with ANY of these things she’s talking about WHY IS SHE TALKING? WHAT IS THIS EVEN ABOUT?

I’ll tell you.

BALANCE.

The key to ensuring expectations do not become WReCKxpectations is balance.

You have to find that sweet spot between holding to your standards while making room for the things you forgot to consider in the first place. You have to allow space for the growth. ESPECIALLY when your ultimate goal IS growth.

Expect everything and be open to all things.

This Stop: WReCKxpectation
Next Stop: Balance

Published by Nancy Jane