unrealistic expectations

Let’s be real – I have had some pretty lofty goals in my day which is no surprise. “Do all the things!” is such a common mantra that I hear amongst friends. We set goals and want to do everything! Goals are great, but what happens when you don’t meet those goals? Quite a few images flood my social media feed that have some inspirational message about making/setting/accomplishing goals. I want to talk about the ugly thing that no one seems to mention. Kind of like how we only post things that are our best image of ourselves. Sometimes we are real. But many hours can be spent crafting that perfect image of who we want the world to see us as. See our lives as.

The past few weeks specifically, I have had many a mornings where it’s gone great, I seem to be on a roll, things are going well, and I’m positive and optimistic of the day ahead. It is a new day. Then something happens and I start to spiral downwards seemingly incapable of pulling myself out from whatever that thing is. I sit on the couch, still working, but in this funk that consumes my head. I am aware that this happens. The next day comes, I try to determine that what happened yesterday will not happen today, and then it does. Repeat cycle.

However, today I am writing. This morning was different. It was productive. I had accomplished everything I needed to accomplish by 1:48 pm.

I have been telling people for months, “One day at a time. Tomorrow is a new day.” Even though I think that is the right answer, there’s something in me recently that has been a little off. Yesterday I think I was able to realize that I am lonely. I miss interaction with people (insert laughter here). I laugh at that because at my last job, I declared myself an introvert. I’ve studied theory for years – even wrote my undergrad “dissertation” on personality types and how knowing more about ourselves can empower us to be stronger. Here I sit – lonely. Go figure. I may still be an introvert, but what I do know is that I truly miss being able to develop strong relationships with those around me. Previously, I often wanted to be alone and not go out with everyone from work, but I did appreciate the random phone conversations I had where I could pick other coworkers’ brains. While I do work with others, in my new role I work by myself and there isn’t much collaboration with what I do. Even though I couldn’t tell you what “I want to be when I grow up” according to industry standards, I do know I want to help people. Plain and simple. It has taken a couple years to be at a place where I can accept that as complete truth – not needing any additional branches to what that means specifically.

While I don’t have a specifically neat and tidy answer to all of this, I do know one thing: what does your community look like? Do you have it? If you do, when is the last time you quieted yourself to reach out to someone who may not have it? If you don’t, what are you doing to be seen by those around you? I get it, I was there. I sat in the same seat expecting people to reach out to me and when they didn’t, I was hurt and then ran away quietly. Don’t respond to others like you would post about your life on social media. Be vulnerable. Don’t respond with the best version of yourself. Be real. How can we expect ourselves to develop true community if we aren’t actually giving ourselves wholly. We are essentially giving something that is not real – you as your best self does not exist without the ugly you. You can’t separate those, so how can you expect to only give one side to those around you? I do believe we are made for community <– that is not an easy thing for me to say. I am anti so many weird things that we are used to hearing. But I think it can look different. I think it can look beautiful. I’ve always enjoyed seeing things in a different light, and looking at life in a way that challenges what everyone else is telling me. I challenge you to take a moment and ask yourself what that means in your own life? I’d love to hear what those things are to you.

When goals aren’t met, when we fail, when we can’t reach expectations set for each other – I want you to know that there are other people out there. That you are not alone. That it’s ok. I am still a work in progress and working through my own expectations. Writing this has been one step in the right direction. What does your one step look like?