“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein

I admit, I am a big people pleaser. I hate saying no and will stretch myself way too thin to make everyone happy. Like a lot of people, I really enjoy when things fit cohesively and will do whatever in my power to make that happen. Sometimes, there are situations where you can’t just “fix” it, but you are forced to adapt. My world was slightly rocked recently. Nothing serious but it’s a situation without an easy solution. It’s a struggle between what makes me happy and what makes those close to me happy.  What do you do when your decisions don’t fulfill the expectations that others envisioned for you? Do you keep doing it and hope to prove them wrong? Or do you succumb to the pressure? How much weight do their comments hold?

Those who love you will support you no matter what your choices. This is always easier said than done – everyone always has their own opinion on what they think is best. And they will save face while they wait for you to come around to their perspective. But their true colors are shown when they realize you aren’t coming around to their side. Not everyone is on the same path, just because you were walking together doesn’t mean you can’t veer onto a different course. It takes a lot of effort and understanding to accept that. So what do you do when those around you won’t? When they think they know what’s best for you and act accordingly? Do you keep your mouth shut and hope they see what you see? Or do you say “screw you” and don’t take any prisoners? How do you get them to understand your perspective without damaging your friendship? And if not understand, at least respect your decisions?

There is a lot of weight on the word “expectations.” Who defines your expectations – is it the people around you? Or what your situation holds? Or do you just make them up as you go along? What makes us think that we have the right answer for anyone but ourselves? Everyone is in a different place, how can we expect to compare our lives to theirs? We never really know someone’s full story, we only know what they choose to share with us. We can speculate and make our own assumptions, but we don’t really know. How can we use that to create expectations for someone and think that is fair? I have been guilty of it, but when you take a step back, it’s their life. While they may not be the same decisions we would make for ourselves, they may be perfect for someone else. Instead of harboring on what we think should happen, we should be embracing what is actually around us. So what if they are different, it makes life more colorful. Maybe we’ll learn something we never thought we would. Not everyone fits into the little peg that you think is life. It’s worth forgoing expectations and looking outside the box, you never know what you will find.


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