Great Expectations (The Anniversary Edition)
“Ask no questions, and you will get no lies”- Charles Dickens
Today is the anniversary of the launch of my blog. This time last year, I published my first post here on Missing Perspective. And the rest is history. I am so thankful for my faithful readers, commentators, and sharers of my work. Without you this wouldn’t be as interesting, engaging or fun!
As I have been approaching my one year anniversary, I have been asked: Have you reached your expectations over the last year? Absolutely! Why? Because at the beginning I set zero expectations. I had purposed in my heart, I was going to do this and anything was going to be better than nothing. Sounded like a good idea in the beginning. Well, along the way, I laid out expectations at different times of the year. At times, I reached them and others, I completely, and utterly missed the mark. But that’s okay, because no one is perfect right.
When you’re starting something new in uncharted territory, you take advice from others, read tips, how to’s, and every manual that tells you exactly what you should do. And sometimes people ask your advice along the way, because they too are trying to do exactly what you are doing. Having to read what others did, successfully or unsuccessfully, and then describing to others what you did/do, is one of the ways we can have Great Expectations failings for ourselves every time. But guess what I learned from that experience.
In the process of working on my blog, I learned to read, hear, and know bull shit better than ever before, and boy, did I need to learn that lesson. If you ask my mother, she will tell you that I am naïve, and even though she would never admit it, sometimes I surprise her with my silly naiveté or trust and belief in what other people say. But when you embark on a journey like writing a blog, which causes you to put yourself out there, you learn a lot from this experience, but that’s only when you’re honest with yourself.
So after 6 months, when I would read other blogs, or talk to other people about blogging, I could honestly tell the fakers from the truth Sayers. Some people are quick to tell you their readership, or following and why they are awesome, instead of providing practical application and advice. This matters, because if you start to compare yourselves to them, you start wondering if you are doing something wrong or what more could you be doing, even though you are already barely getting any sleep.
But I just decided to sit back and learn genuine people versus the completely lying out of the side of their mouth people. Blogging and social media worlds are generally pretty friendly, sharing, and authentic. (Join any tweet chat, and the top word most of the time is authentic, trust me, I know). Everyone has been to lie to, and that gets kind of old.
I say all of this, because expectations are important. We should all have them for ourselves. It’s good to even have expectations of others, but if you don’t like heartbreak, having few expectations for your friends, family, and significant others is probably the best idea in my book.
I write a lot about creating goals, working on them, and achieving them. But the reality is that it’s so much more than your professional life. It could be personal, spiritual, among many other things. More importantly, they can be small or large goals, just don’t let anyone else define them for you. I wrote earlier this week about not putting ourselves in boxes, or getting caught up in identifying ourselves with a particular group. But sometimes, people on the outside do just that, and try to set our expectations.
Because of my aspirations (taking over the world), ambitions (semi-entrepreneur), views (feminist, feminist, feminist, and girls rock), and passion (there is literally no end to it), people even put me in a box. I have to explain so many misconceptions of what I believe, what I am most proud of, and what things are most important to me. To the point, I create expectations based on these demands and not because it is in my heart. I encourage you not to do that as well. At some point in life, you have to live for you and realize, like I have learned, misconceptions will always be there, there is nothing you can do about it. Smart people will move on and keeping doing what makes them happy, because at the end of the day that’s what is important.
So I picked, Great Expectations as my title, not because I like Charles Dickens’ book by any means. If fact, Great Expectations is probably my least favorite Dickens novel and not because it isn’t beautifully written, and the story is compelling, gut wrenching, etc, but I just wish the story was different for Pip. Who can’t help but sympathize and admire him throughout the story. I oddly have a fond admiration for a story that I do not enjoy.
The term “Expectations” refers to a Victorian definition, “a legacy to come”, sounds beautiful does it not. Despite Pip’s orphan status, he has great ambition throughout this book, but at many points throughout, he is disappointed and it kind of hurts. So for me, I can love the thought of having great expectations, but reality will always set in. But as the preacher used to say, “trouble won’t last always”, and that’s exactly it. It is always better to try and miss the mark then to never try at all. Hopefully, our lives won’t be a tragedy like Pip, but at least it won’t be half lived. Create expectations, reach for the stars, and believe in dreams that only you are meant to enjoy.
So as I celebrate my anniversary, I encourage you to remember:
Thanks for reading, and to another year!
Originally published at missingperspective.com on August 13, 2015.