Expectation is burning a chokening rope. Yes, I made that word up. I’ve always been the type of person to “hope for the best, but expect the worst,”
Although I’m not sure exactly what moment my parents failed… it had to have been repeatedly, after 30 years went plop. I’m still not entirely convinced they aren’t still in love with each other to this day the way my father spews stories of her—it almost makes me feel as though I am in the kitchen with him as he slams down his newspaper. Storyteller he is indeed. And my mother, well, despite her shell—when she recalls the best times of her life… they always involve my daddy. What can I say?
I am doomed to forever look for someone to spend about 30 years with; only to find out I failed to get to know an aspect of them that ruffles our plans. I tried to be old fashioned, I tried to be the person that doesn’t believe in failure, but the older I get… the more I witness the crumbling.
I used to think (as I quote Kanye): “I’d rather argue with you than be with someone else,” but these lately days, I seem to be more or less the next few lines Kanye spits after those words, which aren’t incredibly appropriate at all, but a vague reality. What happens when you change your mind? Make the wrong choices? Didn’t think every decision out to the fullest? I see so many people take chances they regret. What about being afraid to regret?
I stay caught up in myself so often that sometimes I wake at 1a.m. and race to a 24-hour coffee shop in search of answers I can’t find anywhere. Answers that I may not ever find.
I have come to the realization that what I expect is still just too much. Perhaps even the expectations I have of myself. To U-turn in the middle of my plans is embarrassing and uncomfortable, and apparently inevitable.
The other day I was driving around aimlessly and wandered into a cul-de-sac, inside the cul-de-sac, a dog park, tennis courts, soccer field, a diner, and breathing room. I watched as the people tussled about, then I made a U-turn and went home. Later on I tossed and turned.
Somehow tonight I find myself in a coffee shop when a guy walked in. We both flutter about aimlessly talking, telling jokes, he tells me stories. I love it when I am told stories. He tells me I have a peanut head–jokingly, he goes on about some masonry business. He’s very entertaining for a stranger… we build rapport, says he’s in from out of town. He’s funny, and for one second I forget where I am and why I came here, I laughed. He invites me to his hotel room.
You already know my answer. What the? Then just as fast as he came to the coffee shop… he was gone and I began to piece together why I’d wandered. Why I wander at all. I wander because I love to explore and experience. I want something to go against the expectation I have for my life to just revolve, how boring. I was searching for that moment I found when I forgot where I was. I laughed, and when I laughed I went back to the cul-de-sac, the families walking together, my mom and dad vacationing, dad with lots of hair back in Hawaii, mom wearing a colorful romper posing in pictures for him. What happens when people fall apart? Do they just become alternate versions of themselves? I thought my parents looked so happy… I found what I was looking for the other day: Inspiration.
A friend of mine asked me after I made a few improvements to my house- “if I ever sit back and enjoy my big plans?”
My expectations precede me. There is no stop. I hang onto my little burning rope.
“Nah, I just keep improving,” I tell him.
He looked at me and said, “I wonder what it must be like to be in that kind of fire?”