Having expectations can lead to disappointment, but having no expectations can lead to failure. How do you balance wanting something to happen with being realistic?
And what happens when our lives converge with our favorite characters'?
Yesterday, I thought I was going on my first New York City date. I got all spruced up, did my hair, carefully contoured and made-up my face, put on a brand new outfit and kept my expectations high. I haven't been on a date in a while, and after a string of long, committed relationships, I was ready to take a chance.
New city, new you right?
So It's an hour before I have to leave, and I'm sitting on my couch doing some work, when a million thoughts start flooding my brain.
Would I like him? Would he like me?
Is this going to be like Sex and the City?
Am I still the Carrie I think I am? What shoes do I wear? Is this outfit right? What if he doesn't like me? What is my exit strategy?
Wait...keep it cool. It's just a first date. It's a new person in a new place. Things will be okay!
When we launch into the unknown, things can get a little scary, but if we don't take the chance it's even worse. There is no outcome at all. Some may say that having no outcome is better than a negative one, but I don't believe in that.
We have a way of over-thinking, expecting too much and creating ideal situations in our heads. We choose prince charming after we see his picture, and then we set our sights on a fairy-tale, even though our better judgement tells us we shouldn't.
All of those thoughts didn't even matter, because I ended up getting stood up.
I got a text message about 20 minutes before I was going to leave. "Sorry! Let's raincheck, next week?"
Next week? Next week?
But I'm ready now. I spent two hours primping and prodding, picking out the perfect pair of shoes, and you want to do this next week?
I put so much thought into how things would go, my appearance, and what kind of impression I would make. I psyched myself up, took a chance and finally said I'd go out with someone, and it ultimately backfired.
Instead of having a nice date, I ended up like Carrie when she was stood up by Alexander Petrovski. Maybe not on the same scale, but it definitely garnered the same feelings:
Am I just not worth taking out?
I psyched myself up just like Carrie, and was left ultimately alone, writing at my desk that faces out at a busy New York street. It wasn't sad though, it was good. I knew that this one thing wouldn't get me down. In fact, it'll probably make me stronger. Throwing the guard up and saying "everyone is the same" is not going to help. Putting yourself out there is always hard, but in the end the rewards will be greater.
Sometimes, art imitates life, and life art again.
The things we expect to work out don't always end how we plan. It's like betting on an undefeated team, each time, there's a greater chance they might lose.
I couldn't help but wonder, if I bet on myself, am I bound to lose?
Or do our expectations have to meet reality halfway?