brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

hopes and expectations

I got a chance to catch up with one of my good friends from high school this weekend. we'd lost touch for a while, then ran into each other at the grocery store a while back. we live less than a mile apart.

this past weekend we decided to go for a hike on the extra day off. and although our hike got rained out. we wouldn't let it ruin our day, and decided to grab coffee then dinner instead.

we talked and talked. so many years to catch up on. so many big and little stories to share. even some stories from strangers.

we got to talking about where our lives were. if we were where we thought we would be at this point.

she said she (and her parents) always assumed she'd work for a few years after college, then get married and have kids.

I used to think I wanted to get married to a guy that would stay home with the kids so I could have a career. my parents always told me I couldn't get married until I was 32. I needed to make my own way first.

both of us finished college, went to grad school and have done fairly well in our careers. we've both had good and bad relationships along the way.

she asked me if I was happy with where I was in life. I answered with a definitive yes. I aked her the same. she answered that in some ways she was, but she wishes she were married. she wants that, expects it. and the kids, too.

she asked me if I expected more. I answered that I didn't so much expect more as hope for it. I do hope to find someone to share the rest of my life with, and maybe to have kids with. but if not, I'd be content with my life the way it is.

somewhere between those questions and our lists of who we were looking for, I realized that our general outlook on life was vastly different. and the biggest difference was that between our hopes and expectations.

she's not happy with where life has taken her, or where she has taken her life. her expectations haven't been met.

I am happy with where my life is. sure I hope my life becomes more and different, but I don't expect anything.

maybe that's why I'm happy with my life, and she doesn't seem to be. when you expect something and it doesn't happen, you feel slighted. when you simply hope for something and it doesn't happen. you continue to hope for it, maybe even work a little harder to turn your hopes into reality.

I hope my friend learns to be happy with where she is, yet not lose hope for something more.


later, I got to thinking about what would happen if I lost everything I have worked so hard for, my house and my career, like those in the New Orleans and other places hit by the hurricane.

sure I would be sad, but as long as my friends and family were alright that would be all that would matter. I think that's what happiness is. loving and feeling loved. and I do, even if right now it's not by one special guy.


dewey said...

In many, many work settings, I find myself "managing expectations" for others. It has helped me to keep my own in perspective. Some might thing I set the bar low with my low expectations, but I choose to think of it as being more accepting.

It sounds like you're there too. Maybe, some day, you friend will get there.

28goingon40 said...

Your friend and I seem very similar...maybe her and I should chat!! Good for you, should train us how to be happy and not be disappointed at our expectations that were not met.

Kelly said...

I know WAY too many people like that with so many expecations and disappointed with their current place in life. It's sad really. I feel the same way you do. I am also single, 28 and very happy with what I've accomplished. I hope there's more...but I also KNOW there is, so I'm not worried about it.

Robb said...

"I do hope to find someone to share the rest of my life with, and maybe to have kids with. but if not, I'd be content with my life the way it is."

Having that outlook is one of the things that will attract that someone to you.

Have a great weekend!

Aarwenn said...

I read this post several days ago and thought, "Right on!" And then I forgot to comment. So here it is: I loved this post. This is exactly how I feel, too--I never really thought I'd GET married, so it's not an expectation for me. Sure, if I did, it'd be great, but it's not necessary. In some ways, I'd like to grow old with just my friends. Is that weird? I don't care, if so--I would die for some of my friends, why not include them instead of whatever boy I'm with at the time? In fact, boys come and go, but if t-town girl left our friendship, I'd be pretty much shot for life and might never recover. Hmmmm. Maybe that's because I'm an only child?

No matter. Congrats on being your own woman. I admire you.