Expectations shall be the death of me.
My grandparents expect me to marry a respectable Indian doctor/engineer and provide them with a dimpled baby grandson.
My parents expect me to play by the rules and keep adventure at arms length.
My teachers expect me to reproduce scientific jargon seamlessly, though I have always been only “slightly above average.”
My friends expect me to listen to their drunken 4 am rants and turn a blind eye when they refuse to do likewise.
My lover expects me to be the woman of his dreams even though we remain hidden in the shadows behind his car.
My boss expects me to drop my life at a single text message and run to his aid, since that is what I am paid to do.
Society expects me to be modest yet sell myself.
Look flawless without makeup.
Celebrate my womanhood yet take longer routes to avoid empty alleyways.
Acknowledge my emotions yet suck it up and smile.
Celebrate failure but settle for nothing less than success.
I expect myself, to not only live up to, but surpass these expectations.
I expect myself to be someone I am not, and be happy at the same time.
No wonder I’m sad.
No wonder we are all forever wallowing in our self constructed misery.
Let’s all just take a moment.
Look around you.
Billions of people with the same expectations burdening their shoulders.
Billions of people desperately mimicking Atlas and failing miserably as they fall underneath the weight of all the expectations they impose upon themselves.
So many lives built upon what society dictates, an endless sea of calm water with not a single ripple in sight.
What will living up to these expectations ever do for us?
What will being the perfect daughter, sister, mother, wife or employee ever achieve us?
When the grim reaper comes to claim us as his own, will we look back at our lives content with our decisions?
Or will all we see be a never-ending stream of “what if-s” and “maybe-s”?
In this desperate attempt to match up to our expectations, are we pushing away the last vestige of our individuality?
We are afraid of what people will say if we don’t get into the college of our dreams.
We are afraid that they will point and whisper, “That’s the girl who choked.”
“That’s the girl who failed to make something of herself.”
“That’s the girl with a privileged upbringing who could not cope with the real world.”
All of this incessant worrying, perpetual fretting, unending tension.
Constantly struggling to be somebody else, we inevitably forget to find out who we are in the first place.
What if I don’t want to go to college?
What if I don’t mind getting an F every now and then?
What if I want to sleep in a glass igloo and watch the Northern Lights?
What if I want to climb to the top of the world while my legs are still young?
What if I want to sing around a bonfire on the beach, and not have a care in the world?
What if I don’t want to survive and forget what it is to live.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of a good education.
I know that in order to live, one has to survive.
I know that financial stability is of the utmost importance.
I also know, that there are millions of people who can only dream of the luxury of complaining about the education they receive or the work that pays them a decent salary.
All I wanted to say is this.
Expectations are our undoing.
We expect so much, and cannot come to terms when failure greets us.
If we could, if only for a moment expect the one thing that should be expected from us, we would probably be a lot happier.
We should expect failure.
We should expect happiness and not take it to be a luxury that we cannot afford.
We should expect to be loved as well as to love.
We should expect to live a life of our own making, not one dictated by a long line of miserable people.
We should expect ourselves to be nothing more and nothing less than what we are.