image by dear_introvert
image by dear_introvert

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – William Shakespeare.

Are there deadlines that one must meet in life? You come of age at a certain time, you become a legal adult at a certain time, you ability to drink alcohol legally occurs at a certain time, and you are deemed a senior citizen at a certain time (even if you don’t feel like one).

But what about..

an education, a career, a marriage, a house, a baby, many babies?

It seems as though society “expects” certain things. Timelines. Deadlines. Acquisitions. Quotas. It puts a lot of pressure on you. Society doesn’t have to be the collective. It could be your parents, your friends, or your peers. It could be your significant other. Or it could just be that voice inside your head.

So by 30 years old, do you need all of the above to be considered “on track” with your life? I hope not. Otherwise, I’m one serious rebel. I deviate so far from the track that my life train has derailed full speed without a brake system.

Expecting things and making deadlines to reach in your life means you might set yourself up for failure. Leave the deadlines at your job. It is awesome to set goals for yourself, meet them, and sometimes exceed them. That’s great! I’m not saying live life like a free-spirited gypsy soul wandering aimlessly and living life with reckless abandon. No. Everyone needs to strive for what they want.

But it can really dampen your spirit if you happen to not meet certain life deadlines when you want to. Everyone you know is either engaged or married, has children, maybe five of them, at least lives together in an apartment or might even own their own home by now, has forged a successful career after completing their college education.. I could go on.

And here you are, attending graduate school with people that are still practically teenagers (thanks to those five year accelerated degree programs that didn’t exist when you were fresh out of high school), living in a dilapidated bungalow the size of a shanty with no insulation that’s propped up on cement block stilts, no wedding band, no babies (besides your fur kids), and no career to speak of. You still make under $25,000 a year.

Maybe it’s not kids or a house or marriage that you expect. Maybe it’s finishing that novel of yours and getting it published, maybe it’s a travel adventure you want to take, maybe it’s a cross country move, or even just the ability to live financially independent and secure. Whatever it is, just keep striving for it. The time and the date and those years are all merely numbers to give us structure to our days, not to inform us that we are too late for life.

If I held grand expectations for my life that fit into the perfect puzzle of time, I’d be diving into the great depression right about now wondering where I’ve gone wrong in life, drowning in a sea of failure. But I’m not.

I’ve decided to live expectation free.

I am not you. I am not them.

I will not compare my life to the lives of those around me. And neither should you. Even despite all they will say, can say, do say. In fact, it’s none of their business how you live your life. To be honest, if they’re not in your life to support you, you should shed the heavy weight they throw down on your shoulders with their judgments, opinions, and those damn expectations I’ve been talking about.

As one of my favorite quotes goes: “Everyone is fighting their own battles, try not to be a cunt.”

It’s the truth dammit.

There is nothing set in stone somewhere with the rules of life for all to follow. And for those who don’t succeed in meeting them means you have failed. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not where you thought would be today. What battles have you overcome? What ones are you still fighting? As long as you are moving forward, that is all that matters.

Just like Dory says in Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming.”

Love the person you are because you fought to become her or him.

Never rush things. All things worth having are worth waiting for.

Too much of our time can be wasted comparing ourselves to others. Sometimes we even wish we were someone else. Or had a life other than our own.

Please stop that. Um.. right now.

If you can accept who you are and who you aren’t, what you have and what you don’t, and that all great things reveal themselves as they should, it will simplify life. Time has a way of working things out. Don’t rush it. When you expect less, life gives you so much more.

One of my greatest freedoms is not caring what anyone else thinks. It’s hard to do, it took a long time to get here, but the struggle was worth it.

When I told you earlier that I have yet to meet those “life deadlines” I failed to mention it doesn’t bother me in the least. It used to, for quite some time before now. I won’t lie to you. But life and all it has brought me thus far, has given me the ability to let the expectations go – along with the opinions of my peers, the lives of my friends, and that nagging bitch of a voice inside my head.

I say – good for them. Whether they worked hard for all of it or had it handed to them on a sliver platter, or even just got lucky, it is theirs to have.

And what is mine, is mine. Therefore I embrace it all in the glory of everything that is opposite, different, out-of-the-box, and upside down from the “norm.”

True bliss is defined by the individual. That means you can create happiness out of anything or anyone – so live unguarded – don’t be left wanting. Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet.

Believe in yourself and the path you walk down no matter how off-beaten it might be.

That path is your own. Now run that shit like a marathon.

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