Have you ever felt deeply disappointed in your expectations? Alexa shares how she realised high expectations are vital to being strong and happy – even when things don’t work out the way you expected them to.
Dreaming about growing up
I never liked being a kid. I was always running around the house with my mom’s old purse and her phone – pretending to be a very busy business woman. That was me aged six.
As I grew older, this mission became more conceivable and my mission involved less playtime and more planning. I was frustrated that life would not move fast enough for me to enter adulthood.
So there I was, eighteen and longing for that Coming of Age moment that would skyrocket me into the era I had always been dreaming of…
Actually growing up
University life was everything I had hoped it would be. I had just the right amount of focus and I still allowed myself the freedom to grow. I totally immersed myself in my new environment.
Fast forward another four years and I had outlived my student life. Emerging from it strangely less of myself than I had hoped – less me, less confident, less sure of anything (a quarter life crisis some would call it).
Yet what troubled me most was not that I had nothing figured out or any idea where I was going to live or work after my studies, but that I had stopped being that wilful girl who played so confidently in her mother’s shoes at the age of six, never doubting the woman she would become.
Being all grown up terrified by failure
Packing up my college dorm room was even more frightening than those terrifying few hours upon entering it. I didn’t realise that this was the moment six-year-old me was longing for all her life.
This was my great expectation and I had completely failed at it. Now a twenty-something College grad in the world of work I revisit those days when I was so fiercely passionate to “achieve adulthood”.
And I ask myself how is it possible that I had more tenacity and power twenty years ago playing in my mother’s closet than I have now. I have come to this conclusion: as an adult I’m terrified of my expectations rather that revelling in them as I once did.
If it’s your first year in high school or if you’re filling in your university application forms and you’re afraid, please don’t hesitate to expect great things in life.
Be fierce, bold and proud of yourself no matter what you set out to achieve – if you fail or if you succeed. Have the faith like a child. Kids don’t worry about probability or about thinking realistically. A six-year-old isn’t merely cautiously optimistic, she’s fearless in her expectations. Never lose that – adulthood is overrated anyway.