Friday, November 21, 2008

Perceptions and expectations can be a wicked, wicked thing

There are many things as I've grown up that I have expected to happen. I expected to get married, to have a career, and to have kids. I knew it was possible to not like my job or to sometimes wish I lived in Italy (random but true). Even with these basic life expectations, I have always been a firm believer that the less expectations you have the better. Why? Because then when good things happen to you, you are nothing short of pleasantly surprised. When bad things happen you weren't expecting the best so you deal a lot quicker. This could be called pessimism. I'm not really sure.

I have also always had very specific perceptions of myself. I know what I am capable of and I also know that I could be capable of a lot more. I don't think I'm dumb, but I'm very sure I wasn't meant to cure cancer or really ever understand the nature of a mortgage, the need for algebra, or the reasons behind many political issues. I find myself to be fairly attractive based on the sole fact that I really do think my parents and my sister are gorgeous people (so basically I must have gained some of that). I know I have talents, abilities, bla, bla, bla. At the end of the day I am still a female and I'm still pretty sure that I could look a lot hotter if I tried or be a lot smarter if I really felt the need.

At this point you are probably thinking, why on earth is she going on about herself? I will tell you. I had a rare and astonishing moment of self education. If I ever have a daughter and she's 15 and telling me she's fat or ugly or something equally as difficult to respond to as a mother (because she will think "you have to say that") I am going to tell her this:

There are rare people who remain very much the same physically as they age, but don't bank on it. HOWEVER, don't ever assume that your perception of yourself is correct. I have decided that it almost never is. I am nearing thirty and I have often assumed that I look drastically different than I did at 18. I am mainly using the example of weight. If I were just basing this on sheer numbers I would technically be right. My moment occurred last weekend when I was desperate to find a formal gown for a charity ball that I am going to with my dad when we go to his house for Thanksgiving. I know I am 4 months pregnant, but I figured I could try for the non-maternity route and hope for the best. I went a few places, got sick of looking, and went to my mom's hoping one of the 18 bridesmaids dresses would suffice. She then pulled out two dresses I wore in high school. Laughable, I know, but going with the no expectations lifestyle I tried them on. I didn't do this to humor her or to attempt to make myself cry. I just did it kind of fleetingly. Here comes the astonishing part....both of them fit. One was a little snug, but seriously either one would work. Not to mention, they aren't horribly out of style. So in a matter of 5 minutes two perceptions of myself were, I have no style and two, I am dramatically larger now than I was ten years ago.

One of the best feelings in the world came later when my sister text messaged me and said "I heard you are wearing your prom dress...go on wit cha bad self!". I think in life it isn't often that women sit back and feel really good about themselves. When I got that text message I really wanted to bottle up the feeling and sell it. If you find yourself wallowing in self-pity or dislike you should really think about how wrong your probably are.

1 comment:

  1. I love you! You know I check your blog at least 5 times a day and I am pleasantly surprised when I find it's been updated! And today's was perfect. I had a realization last night when I got my Christmas stuff out that there had been some water damage to our "storage area." It dawned on me today that all my scrapbooks are somewhere in that room. So I just found the box and got out all the books to find they are all okay. So now I'm about to sit down and look at 4 years of college, a summer in NY and 6 weeks in Europe. We have been through so much together and I can't wait to get home and watch you thru this pregnancy and at the end of the nine months, you'll have your lifelong dream'll be a mom!


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