Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dallas does...the expectation game.

Sticks and stones don't really break my bones, but expectations always hurt me.
Before you ask, no, I have not recently been the target of any nature-based hate crimes, but the quaint little rhyme seemed a fitting way to ease into a discussion that began long before the clock counted us down into 2012.
You can't live with 'em; but I can't live without 'em.
Blessed with a large head that seems to house more than its fair share of complicated thoughts, my overactive imagination has been raising my hopes and subsequently thinking me through their shattered remains after reality takes over for about 21 and a half years now.
I'm just not equipped to pair patience with an open mind.
But maybe 2012 is exactly the year I've been waiting for.
To my December mind, 2012 was the bully lurking in the shadows waiting to destroy any ounce of confidence I had about my future self.
2012. The year of grad school applications...and potential rejection. Job interviews...and potential rejection. College graduation...well, I guess I'm pretty much in the clear with that one.
But anyway, the point is that 2012 was a year I wanted nothing to do with, until, that is, I realized that perhaps 2011 was a year I should be glad to leave behind.
No need to dive any deeper than to say: It simply failed to meet my expectations.
It was a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching kind of year the likes of which I thought I outgrew when I left Lincoln Junior High School.
It was twelve months of complication that left me introspective and confused as I counted down the days until January's fresh start.
And here I am on the other side, and I've got to say, in my starry-eyed way that you've come to know and love, I do feel fresher. And relieved. At the starting line doing energetic jumping jacks instead of laboriously breathing with the finish line off in the distance.
Maybe because in some sort of twisted self-deluding state I've convinced myself that I will remain centered in reality, as expectations ain't no friend of mine no more.
I know, I know, I know, I just said that I can't live without them. And obviously they'll come creeping in from time to time. But just think about it. Think about how much more exciting that happy ending will be when it sneaks up on you while you're busy finding other ways to make yourself smile.
I'm through with that formulaic mindset that says if A and B happen then C has to be the result. Because as 2011 has taught me, C offers no guarantee.
Stupid C.
But I digress.
The idea is to stop being Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer as he watches his expectation of a romantic evening with Zooey unravel in one of favorite movie sequences of all time.
Because we've all been there. And we all know how sucky it is to feel like you've broken your own heart counting your eggs before they hatched.
And not to get caught-up in too many old-fashioned sayings, but, I guess all of this is really centering on the idea of the watched pot that never boils.
Forget the pot. It's 2012. Who wants to be trapped in a kitchen when you can be off chasing your dreams?
You could stand their expecting the pot to boil any minute, or you could just trust that it eventually will when it's good and ready and head off on other adventures in the meantime.
But this is just January 1 talking.
And we all know the dangers of January 1 optimism.
But, as you have many, many times before, I ask that you leave me to my naive trust in positivity.
And I'll leave you to your resolutions.
One day at a time, my friends.

Peace, love and powerful new beginnings,

"I think we like to complicate things when it really is quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you're set. Promise."

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