Expectation vs. Reality

Occasionally I'll get on Pinterest and browse for fun DIY projects. I'll see these really great ideas and instantly be convinced I need to try it for myself. It seems so simple reading through the few easy steps they provide and seeing the picture perfectly showing the end result.

Yet somehow along the process, something goes terribly wrong, and it ends up looking like a 8-year-old version of what you were going for.

I think we've all been there.

Expectation vs. reality is some sort of joke on social media (usually quite funny), but we don't realize how applicable it actually is in our lives. Unfortunately, we don't necessarily handle it the same way. On social media it's a good laugh because it's about something less personal, like baking a cake or making a t-shirt; but it isn't always funny when it's happening in a different, more serious, area of your life. In fact, more often than not, it's something we keep more hidden.

For example, I had this image in my mind of what my summer was going to look like. It included hanging out with friends until 2am, going on exciting adventures, having two perfect jobs and somehow still having time to travel, read books and keep up with my art.

Reality: I think I've hung out with like 3 people this summer and I have yet to stay up until 2am (so the adventures aren't too exciting.) I do have two jobs now, but the process wasn't fun and it limits my free time (go figure.) Thus, causing me to not be able to go on super exciting adventures, stay out until 2am, travel, read books or keep up with just about anything.

I had this "plan" with all these things that ultimately didn't fit together. My expectations were set so high and narrow minded, that when it didn't all come together as I hoped it would, I was extremely frustrated and let it affect me and my overall attitude in ways that were a little more dramatic than necessary.

Dreams are good and being hopeful of these "perfect" pictures in your mind aren't bad. I am still a firm believer in dreams and having high hopes, but it's important to know how to handle your life when it doesn't go as expected. I'm learning to not be surprised when my life doesn't turn out perfect like my brain imagines it, and that it's okay and normal. If I keep being disappointed with reality I'm never going to be satisfied and it will be a long road ahead. I don't want to live like that! The next step in the process isn't to give up on your dreams or set lower goals; it's to reevaluate and figure out how you can still get to a place where you want to be, realistically.

Sometimes being an adult includes working full time and being behind on your to-do list. I'm finding out what my real priorities are (and what they should be) and learning to love it along the way.

 

Don't let your expectations ruin your dreams!