No expectations, only hope

If you are looking for Knitting content today… you should stop here. I mean it. This will be just rambling today… consider yourself warned.  🙂

I have been watching the latest season of project runway online the last few weeks and am getting caught up with the episodes. I know that the winner has been picked a long time ago but since I live in canada with limited cable channels (by choice), I am a bit behind on watching the challenges that have led up to the final win.

Yesterday I watched the third last episode and I saw ” No expectations, only hope” written across one of the contestant’s bed. That quote got ingrained in my memory and was on my mind until I fell asleep last night.  I watched part 1 of the finale this morning and the episode struck another cord with me.  In the episode, one of the contestants is told that he will not be able to compete in fashion week and he falls apart. He is crying and you can see anger and fear in his face.  The first words out of his mouth are “what am I going to tell my family?” which brought up a whole heap of emotions for me.

Conversations about expectations has been a conversation topic between both my family and friends over the past few months.  I was brought up in an old school italian family and have always felt like there are high expectations that I need to live up too and most of the time haven’t. This has continued into my adulthood.  I get upset when I can’t achieve the most ridiculous goals and the thoughts of what my family think about my choices and almost always put their opinions before my own.  I am used to being told that I haven’t lived up to their expectations and this has caused me to take the same negative behaviour with myself. I know that my family tries to use it as motivation but in fact it has done the opposite with me. I have given up opportunities because I have convinced myself that i will fail and I have anxiety issues when I do go for something I want.

My dad has told me that I need to stop having any expectations of people or even my job because it will just get me disappointed.  I was also told by a friend last week that the time when expectations are brought into a relationship is when it starts going down the drain. To be honest, I never believed them. How could I when I was so used to having a ton of  expectations placed on myself? Why am I not allowed to expect a lot out of other people when they expect a lot out of me?

I had watched my own destructive expectations and behaviour effect other people but never stopped it. I watch as my close friends and family do the same things to themselves. If only they could loose 30 pounds, go back to school, find a new job or buy a home.  If only they didn’t have a child that needed a lot of medical care, who wanted to play the tuba instead of play hockey or wanted to be a make-up artist instead of a doctor.  In most of these cases, they were devastated when things did not go according to plan or live up to their expectations.

It wasn’t until I watched someone fall apart, like I had done many times before, that it finally clicked. I was hurting myself with these crazy expectations and I was hurting other people when I put these crazy expectations on them. I have decided that it is time to adopt a new mantra to life, ” No expectations, only hope”.

I am going to look positively on my future without any crazy expectations or goals. I am going to look hopefully towards the future and I will go forward and accept all the challenges that come before me gracefully. This doesn’t mean that I will give up having goals and wanting to complete projects, but I will be looking at things with a different eye. I will accept my friends and family at face value. I will accept that I can not change everything about my life but I can change my attitude and how I act towards the situation. I will accept that nothing will go according to plan and that the man upstairs will always throw me a curveball just to keep things interesting.   The best part is that I am ready for it.

PS… if you are wondering about the picture above,  its a painting of a young Elizabeth Taylor I took a picture of at Nuit Blanche back in Oct. Its one of the only pictures I was able to recover from my camera when it crashed and it was one of the paintings that spoke to me the most that night. The whole gallery was filled with pictures of these perfect Hollywood starlettes that seemed perfect at first glance. A little unexpected, no?

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