I used to cry myself to sleep at night; the pain of unmet expectations haunting me.
Why won’t anyone love me?
Why can’t I find a way to support myself without giving up my soul?
Why am I not a better mother?
Why won’t the world do what I want it to do?
I wrestled with these imaginary demons through my 20’s and early 30’s until one day it occurred to me that the expectations I had for my life were the very things that were causing my misery. I had created a grand dramatic production for how my life should unfold and had been indulging in self appointed misery for so long that I no longer thought my life was worth living. I wanted out of this ‘play’ because no one seemed to be following the script.
Where is my husband? Where is my Mustang? What happened to my million dollar book deal and all the love and laughter that is supposed to come along with being a good person? My life was a failure, or so I thought until one day I asked myself:
Where did these expectations come from?
Who determines what a ‘good life’ should be?
If ‘I’ am the one who made the decision to gauge my life satisfaction by creating these expectations then surely ‘I’ can change them. Can’t I?
That didn’t work.
I just HAD to find financial freedom and be adored by someone who loved me unconditionally or life was not worth living- end of discussion. So I set out on a personal development journey, reading the best of the best of the best in inspiration, practicing their principles and meditating on them. This book promises that I could be happy all day everyday if I imagine myself happy and think only positive thoughts- so I did it.
That didn’t work.
Then one day through my tears and frustration over not being able to control the details of my life I decided that maybe I was born to be a failure. Maybe this life cycle wasn’t supposed to be good to me. Maybe I’m supposed to live a life of lack and depression with no love and no laughter.
I allowed these pessimistic thoughts to linger. I wallowed in them every moment I could until…
The clouds parted and I felt the sun shine on my face, bathing me in all its beautiful radiance and love. If the sun could still love me in all my misery then maybe being miserable isn’t the worst thing.
I decided to say YES to my fears and doubts.
YES, it is true, I will never be loved.
YES, it is likely that no one will support me.
YES, it is certain that I won’t fit in anywhere I go.
Does the sun still love me anyway? I stepped back outside, closed my eyes and felt the warmth from the heavens caress my face. “Oh Yes!” beamed the sun, smiling down at me, teasing me with twinkles. The sun is PLAYING with me! In all my misery, the sun still comes out to play. At that moment, I had a change of heart.
If I am doomed to be single forever, if no one ever googles my name, if my face becomes synonymous with failure and everyone continues to laugh at my dreams- how much FUN could I have in this world anyway?
This led to the most amazing existence imaginable. I decided to TRY to fail as much as I could. I laughed at myself every day saying, “You’re a big fat LOSER, Te-Erika! Come on, let’s lose some more!”
I approached men and women for dates and was rejected most of the time. I walked into companies demanding opportunities for work and was shooed away by busy managers. I called up the best and brightest women I could find to ask for their help with my goals and was largely ignored. Hmm, Let’s see just how much fun I can have as a homeless person traveling the country looking for my dream job- that was crazy fun! I even wrote the President of the United States to ask for a meeting to discuss strategies for helping this country prosper. He didn’t write me back.
Oh well. If I have to fail, I’m going to be the BIGGEST FAILURE EVER and I’m going to love every minute of it. So what if my life isn’t following my script. So what if my best hopes for myself won’t ever come true. They won’t. I’m okay with that. Who says any of that stuff was promised to me anyway?
As long as the sun comes out to play and shines its magnificent light on my face, I bet I can come up with a few more brilliant ways to fail as I turn this miserable life into one big fantastic joke.
Yes. That’s emotional freedom; the pessimist’s way.