Living Up To Expectations

If I could give one piece of advice it would be to “do you.” Stop caring about what other people think and stop living your life based off of their expectations.

But if I could add onto that I would tell you it’s almost impossible. Whether it’s about your job, your friends, your social life, love life, weight, appearance, or whatever – you’re always going to listen to what other people have to say. And even if you try your best, even if you think you’re doing the right thing, their conflicting opinion will conflict you.

We tend to put people up on pedestals and expect a lot out of them. We expect them to succeed, we expect them to be emotionally available, we expect them to be perfect. Especially when we’re trying to date them.

I know we can’t help but day dream. Can’t help but think that boy must be perfect in every way because his hair always looks so good in pictures and he’s always surrounding himself with the best people. We can’t help but think they’re probably a great kisser, they’re probably so romantic, they’re everything we’ve ever dreamed of.

But how unfair is that? To put all those expectations on someone’s shoulders. You certainly wouldn’t want it done to you. You certainly wouldn’t want someone to build you up in their head, because that just means no matter what you’re going to disappoint them. How are we supposed to live up to day dreams?

The next time you think someone’s perfect, put yourself in their shoes. Realize that everyone lives as complex of a life as you do. They have insecurities too. They can’t be everything you’ve ever imagined right away because you couldn’t even be that to someone else.

Do you, or at least try to. And when you don’t live up to someone’s expectations, stop and focus on the fact that you need to be living up to your own expectations. You’re hard enough on yourself already – I don’t have to know you personally to know that. Be the person you want to be and accept the people who motivate and want you to be nothing more than yourself.

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Forgetting How To Be Vulnerable

It happens to the best of us, we put up a wall and we have no idea how to knock it down.

Someone along the way hurt you enough or broke your heart enough for you to start building brick by brick.  An indestructible shield around yourself so that no one could get through like that again.  So no one could ever cause that kind of damage to you again.

You probably let that wall down a few times since the initial heartache.  Believing that this time it would be different, that this time you could handle it, that this time there would only be love and not lies. But this just lead to you building that wall with stronger materials. Taller and wider and stronger. Now there really is no way around it.

Being vulnerable is a huge part of a relationship.  The difference between someone being your friend and someone being your significant other has mainly to do how open and comfortable you are with them. If you can’t reveal your blackened and dusty secrets to them – who can you tell?

Now so many of us don’t know how to be vulnerable anymore. Everything we do in the dating world is hidden behind a facade – whether we mean to or not.  Yeah, it would be great to connect someone on that level.  It would be amazing to dig up the things you’ve buried so far deep in yourself because you didn’t have anyone to tell.

But how do you know when someone deserves this information?  And how do you know what they’re going to do with it?  They could cherish it and understand you – forming a bond and a love that will make your life bliss.  Or they could crush it and ignore you – do what everyone else did and leave you in the dark.

Not being vulnerable will hinder your relationships.  I often find myself answering questions generically rather than thoughtfully saying what I’m thinking because I don’t see the point.  You can ask me how my day is going and I can either tell you how it really is.  How I’m really bummed today because it’s raining, I had awful nightmares and didn’t sleep, I’m just overall cranky. Or I can tell you it’s fine.  Because are you really going to fix my bad day – do you really even care?

They say the right person will knock down your wall. They’ll take their hammer and chip away at the hard pieces of you.  But if you have no vulnerability left – will that person ever even get close enough?

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lockechrisj/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lockechrisj/

Keeping Your Expectations Low

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aesum/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aesum/

There will be high points in your life.  Where you’re working at the perfect job for the moment and you’re feeling healthy.  Where your friends are all you need them to be and your family is supportive.  Where you are happy as is and nothing can change that.

But then come the lows. Where you get fired and eat junk food for days to make up for it.  Where your friends start ditching you and your family is far away.  Where everything sucks and nothing can change that.

I’ve always been a realist. I know a lot of people either want optimism or pessimism, they don’t believe in the inbetween.  They believe this world is black and white.  I believe in shades of grey, therefore I’m a realist with a hint of pessimism.

During the highs in our life, we tend to forget about the lows.  We forget about all of the unbelievably tall mountains and sunken valleys we had to crawl through to get our lives to where we actually want them to be. We become comfortable and we begin expecting good things to keep happening because we have become so accustomed to such a blessed life.

But nothing gold can really stay, can it?

So then we hit the lows.  We forget how to get back up to the highs and every beautiful expectation we dreamt up is quickly shattered as we fall back to earth. Back to reality.

So it might be pessimistic, but always keeping your expectations low keeps you from getting hurt.  It also helps you to be pleasantly surprised when things do go your way. Building up the way our friends should act, the way our jobs should be, the way our life is going will only end in disappointment.

If you live your life expecting everyone to treat you the way you treat them, you’ll only be let down. Keep your expectations low because it can only go up from here.

Having Faith

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rk_photos/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rk_photos/

The world is filled with cynicism and pessimism.  The news mostly shows depressing wars abroad or even in our own country. Our generation is consistently put down for not being good enough.  Everyone makes the future look so bleak.

It’s easy to just adopt that attitude.  To look at things with a half-empty glass point of view.  If you have no expectations, you can’t get hurt – right?

I’ve always considered myself a “realist.”  I don’t necessarily always see the downside to things and I often do have hope for things to get better.  But it’s more of an empty hope, chances are nothing is going to get better. Looking back, everything has only gone downhill so it makes sense that it would continue that way.

We forget to have faith on many occasions. It’s understandable when we’re surrounded with so much destruction and chaos. But, it only takes one moment to make something dull seem shiny again.  It only takes a little bit of faith to know that eventually, if we work hard enough and think smart, things can begin to get better.

People come through more than we anticipate and no matter how alone you feel, you are never really alone. Take a moment each day or even each week if you can to realize how much you have to appreciate. Honestly, when things start to suck it is really hard to remember all the things that don’t.

Think about how nice of a day it is out today, how great your friends can be, how your family always pulls through in times of need.  Think about how you got to breathe today and think about how you have a future – even if it is a little blurry.

Find your faith wherever you can and don’t let the world take it away.

Were You Really In Love With Your First Love?

Your first love more often than not leads to your first heartbreak.  It’s a hard lesson most of us have to learn, but in the end it’s for the better.

Initially, I blamed my ex.  Called him every name in the book, drunk dialed too many times to count, cried like the world was ending, and told everyone how I had gotten screwed over.

Then, I asked myself a lot of questions. Was this my fault? Could I have been a better girlfriend? Would it have worked out at a different time? Did we love each other at all? Did we like each other at all?

Most of these questions I still revisit to this day, because a year and a half of being single has left me still not sure I want a relationship – like, ever. It probably was a little bit my fault and I definitely could have been a better girlfriend if the timing circumstances were different.  Although, if we had met 5 years in the future, we probably wouldn’t have anything in common and I probably wouldn’t be who I am today – which is someone I am 80% content with (there’s always room for improvement).  There wouldn’t have been any of the drama to overcome and I wouldn’t be so doe-eyed and naïve, it just would’ve been different.

I think most relationships that don’t work out go like this: They love each other at one point and like each other for a while.  But being in love quickly turns to just love which quickly turns to caring and comfort.  Liking each other quickly turns to tolerating each other which quickly turns to being stuck.

It starts as a fairy tale romance, but year after year we ignore how our relationships grow worse and worse. Is that what being in love is like? Being a part of something so grand that begins to dull and lose its spark but we deal with it because nothing gold can stay?

In the end, I don’t know if you were really in love with your first love because it all depends on how you feel with your last love.  I haven’t had much to compare it to since, but I look forward to finding out if you can fall in love more than once  or if you get one shot and it’s over.

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roel1943/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roel1943/

To Those Who Self Sabotage

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/european_parliament/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/european_parliament/

In most cases, you are your own worst enemy.

Someone who self sabotages knows what they want and have all the means to get it.  For instance, they are on their way into a great relationship and actively do something so that relationship never begins.  Usually they do this because something in their past is subconsciously affecting how they think now.

If you self sabotage, you probably have problems managing your emotions or thoughts.  I’m a classic over thinker, myself. Every time something good comes my way I start to question everything about it.  Is this really what I want? Will I succeed or will I fail? What if something else comes along?

It’s hard to identify when you are self sabotaging.  Mostly because you’ve put so much thought into your life that you’ve convinced yourself that your decisions are correct.  I repeatedly convince myself that i’m making the right decision after completely overthinking it – but on a day to day basis, I shouldn’t have to be putting so much thought into something that could be so easy.

All you can ever do is learn from your mistakes.  Identify how you are self sabotaging and figure out the best way to stop it according to you.  I’ve learned to stop self sabotaging in most aspects of my life, but am still working on forming relationships.

Ask yourself questions, but don’t overthink.