I’ll be 30 in 2 weeks.
I’ll be 30 in about 2 weeks. I could cry, but no. I’m going to celebrate. When I was a kid I thought I would have published 2 novels by 30. I also thought I would be married to someone downright adorable with abs sent from Hercules, the mischievous charisma of Jude Law and the character of Biblical Joseph. I added to this life portrait 2 of the cutest children possible with human genetics, a highly successful career, an apartment designed and decorated by myself and a wardrobe that would make SJP gush lime green with envy. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I had a nutty idea that when I got to 30 I would wake up in the morning with the sense that my world was in order.
POP- 30 is here and with it a big hug called reality. And a choice. The choice to beat myself up because I have not achieved every childhood expectation or accept that these may have been unrealistic, I am doing ok and I still got a lot of time to hit it out the park.
Reflecting, I have to say that one of the greatest contentment snatchers in our lives are the notions that we build in our heads of how things “should be”. Believe for big miracles and work towards goals- God can do anything, but this is different. This “should be” is basing your value on what you or society expects of yourself, this shows no acceptance of the seasons in life or God’s timing, and sadly these unrealistic expectations leave you with the lingering scent of disappointment. No thanks…
Unrealistic expectations of ourselves
We often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves about our physical appearance. If people aren’t into you because you are not 5:10 and weigh 48kgs (Girls…) then they aren’t worth sticking around. If we’re honest, we expect ourselves to have frames like a praying mantis, ridiculously good looking features and curves and muscles in all the right places. Enough, don’t downgrade your worth because of some vague idea of what you should look like. The sooner we stand our as people who have a healthy attitude to our body type and features the better for all.
If you don’t have a fancy title behind your name on a gold embossed business card it doesn’t mean your whole life is a failure. We often expect a certain degree of success in our work and measure this based on earning or position. It’s great to have goals and work towards them, but if you are upset because you don’t have the so called “title” you thought you would by this stage, relax. Don’t throw your self esteem in the paper shredder, rather focus on working hard and feeling good about your progress.
Unrealistic expectations of life
First off, if you expect life to be fair or require no work, then your barometer is set at the wrong zero. We can’t control a lot of life- unexpected things happen to every one of us.Things we don’t like and things we do- yet we have to keep a good attitude regardless.
If we think life is a never ending party, we have an unrealistic expectation of it. Life is not a party and it’s also not a mathematics formula; it’s a richly complex experience in which we find ourselves united in our humanity, need for purpose and love. Life, if we let it, has a funny way of teaching us and making us better people.
Unrealistic expectations of others
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” – Donald Miller (http://storylineblog.com)
No relationship is easy and every relationship needs proper time, effort, love, affection, patience and dedication to grow strong.
A lot of the time, instead of seeing the beauty in each person, we have unrealistic expectations of the people in our lives. We expect our friends to always be available for us, we expect our families to be perfect or we expect our partners to never fight with us. It sounds like: “My spouse should know how I’m feeling without my needing to tell him or her,” or “My kids should always listen to me.” People are intricate and we have to chose to love them and see the potential in them instead of expecting them to have it all figured out.
All the pressure around 30 and these unrealistic expectations are founded on shoulds- whether it’s about ourselves, life or others. Shoulds creep into our vocabulary because we let society’s dumb standards measure our worth. They interfere with our ability to pursue what matters in life and make us focus on what we don’t have not what we do. God didn’t create us to feel like we never measure up. He created us to live a life which is content, yet brave. He created us to live a life where we build for eternity while we are here on earth.
It’s ok if you don’t have everything figured out. Despite what I thought as a child I don’t think we ever feel like we have it all in order.
I’ll never stop working towards new goals, but in the meantime, darn it, I’m proud of me.