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Escaping Expectations

2100 miles. Countless used cell phone minutes. Chance run-ins and Cheerwine BBQ ribs. 6 tanks of gas. 5 plays of Mumford + Sons. 4 days on the road. 3 dropped calls. 2 books on tape. 1 very well behaved husky. And now, 5,280 feet above sea level, 10 weeks and counting, 0 expectations.

While driving (and driving, and driving) this past week, I thought about how things have been for me over the last two years. I've been seeking, searching for something that I can't quite put my finger on. A career? I had one. A relationship? I had that too. A nice apartment? Clothes? A car? Friends? I had all of those things, and yet, I wasn't quite happy.  I was going through the motions, constantly disappointed, and confused as to the source of my unhappiness. I had fallen victim to my expectations. Rather than let things unfold, I always conjured up how I thought things would play out - what were the chances that I would be right?

I like making plans, but unfortunately, I tend to include outcomes in my plan making. I will do this, and then this will happen and I will feel like "X" about that. Maybe I was projecting how I hoped I'd feel or how I wanted things to play out, but in doing so how could I help but be disappointed? When I moved back to North Carolina, I expected that my friends, etc. would be as they had been when I left. I thought those relationships and the comforts they provided would be in the same state as they had been in 2003. I was not the same as I'd been in 2003, so how would that scenario even be possible? I was setting myself up for disappointment. I created false expectations for my job, living situation and relationship this past year. In retrospect, it was impossible for things to play out as I'd constructed them in my mind. This is not to say that there were no good times (there were many), but again, disappointment.

As I drove, I tried to think about my upcoming time in Boulder, my teacher training, my friends, where I would stay... and I stopped myself. I have no idea who is going to be in training with me. I don't know what friends I'll run into, who is still around, who may have written me off years ago. I don't know where I'll be staying next week, next month, next year. I don't know where I'll have my mail forwarded. I don't know what my job situation is or what I'm going to do after my next paycheck clears. My parents asked what my plans were post-May when I finish training, and, while I'd normally have a slick answer prepared so as not to disappoint them with my lack of planning, this time I responded, "I don't know."

Rather than set up false expectations, I left the future open to possibility. I did it with my parents and I'm learning to do it with myself.

I'm just going to see how things play out.

No expectations, no disappointment, just movement and flow.

Onward + Upward!