When I was younger, I had big dreams. I believed the lie that all it took was hard work and determination to achieve anything your heart desired. What this little motivational blurb failed to mention was that while your individual perspective is completely under your control, the forces in the external world are not.
I learned hard lessons that not everyone has my best interests at heart. I learned there are people that want to take what I have away from me simply because they do not have it. I learned that I am not special. I learned I am awkward to be around because I think differently. I learned that I do things, say things, or think things that I am not supposed to.
I learned that life is not as wonderous as I originally believed.
I have tried and failed so many times to fit into the mold of what “normal” people are like. I try to look the part and act the part every day. At work I often play the role of an outgoing go-getter when inside I am just wanting to be left alone to complete my job and collect my paycheck to help fuel the lifestyle that I believe my family wants.
In trying to fit into so many different roles I believe people expect from me I have completely lost track of who I am. When I discover a piece of myself and let it show the comments of “oh, I never expected that” cause far too much second-guessing and tuck that little piece in a dark corner allowing the demons to have their way with it. Whatever remains, remains. Whatever dies, dies.
On rare occasions I am passionate about something enough to let it through.
I have found so much inner peace in the study of Eastern philosophy, especially Zen Buddhism. My soul sings after an intense meditation session in the same way my wife’s does after an inspirational Christian church service. I know it breaks her heart I have strayed from traditional Christianity while forging my own path, but it is the biggest example of the rare occasion I do not act based upon the perceived expectations of others.
I battle a lot with expectations. Many I place on myself. Few are placed on me by others albeit I believe wholeheartedly many more exist. My expectations of others are just as bad as what I place on myself –and that is extremely unfair all around.
I fear when I bring this up to my new therapist that I will meet next week, the exploration of this will be painful. It is something I know I will need to do. I am uncomfortably building a support system around me doing my best to allow trust (another major issue) humans genuinely care and do not wish bad things on me at all times.
WE will get there, right?