You will be disappointed

I missed a friend’s birthday last night. It was her thirtieth birthday, a special evening for her, and I wasn’t there. The reason I wasn’t there doesn’t matter, what is important that I woke up this morning to a sarcastic text message from her thanking me for being present. It’s her way of lashing out, and knowing her, I am familiar with these types of outbursts. Nevertheless, it does feel horrible letting someone down. My reason for not being there does not matter, because all that matters is her feeling of disappointment.

This instance have made me realize that disappointment is not something to be avoided. You will be disappointed by your friends, your family, your co-workers. And more importantly, you will disappoint them. Obviously we try not to, but it is unavoidable. You cannot make everyone happy, especially not those people whose expectations of you do not align with your personal hopes and dreams in life. It is essentially a given that these people will be disappointed in some way or another for not living up to what they expected of you.

Disappointment: accept it, expect it, embrace it. Clearly, do not seek to disappoint people with weak excuses. Even though that will also happen, and when it does, accept it, move on, knowing that time will make even the deepest disappointment pass.

Accept disappointment.

And by the same token, when someone disappoints you, don’t hold a grudge. In that moment you may be deeply hurt, you may feel betrayed, but you don’t know the whole story. As a matter of fact, take this as a general rule: You never know the whole story, so they always deserve the benefit of the doubt. And because you don’t, forgive them. They feel bad about it, and they’re reasons for doing what they do are complex and unknown to you. Everyone involved is better off if you grow up, get over yourself and realize that disappointment is all about you and your expectations and, ultimately, just a part of life.

In the meantime, I will try and make amends and hope a dinner invitation will help me get back on my friend’s good side. Wish me luck.

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