On Other People’s Expectations

Many of us are familiar with an existence where parents, friends, teachers, bosses, the world at large have expected us to act a certain way, to live a certain life, to abide by certain conventions/traditions, to follow the rules, to want certain things. To do otherwise would be a challenge to their beliefs, a denial of their authority, a threat to their existence.

Maybe we were seen as extensions of those parents, friends, teachers, bosses, and the world at large… extensions that represent reflections of their teachings, choices, performance, guidance, and humanity. There’s a lot at stake when someone you have tied your own value to doesn’t fall in line.

Maybe they were taught to think that way. Maybe they never thought to question what they were taught. Maybe they weren’t allowed to and if they dared there were consequences they didn’t want to bear. Maybe they never explored the alternate universe, one where they could define every. single. thing. for themselves.

I’m familiar with that world. My mom had expectations for me that I could never meet. Not only because I didn’t want to try, but because her expectations were so abstractly formed based on ideas of safety, security, convention, freedom, success, and happiness… that perhaps she wanted for her own life… but hadn’t fully grasped and understood herself.

She inherited a set of rigorously ingrained beliefs and then lived in a constant worldwind of life coming at her, there was no time to pause, consider and define indulgent ideas like…

… what my values are
… what makes me feel fulfilled
… what makes me happy
… what brings me joy
… what value do I want to create in this world

But we can always pause.

And we NEED to pause if we don’t what direction we’re heading in and why.

Otherwise, WTF are you working so damn hard for?