Changing Expectations

expectationIt has been a long while since I have posted on my blog, 8 months to be precise. When I chose to take a hiatus from writing, I had a few good reasons. Ok, I had a few horrible excuses.

One of those horrible excuses being… I was distraught. I was disappointed by all the work I had put in to my writing and not scoring a job. What did I expect? A job…with money coming in…paid bills…recognition. It is what every writer expects.

As the months went by and my life took every single U-turn, side road, and dark dirty alley that it could find. I found out several things about myself and other people. I never imagined that I had high expectations. Hell, compared to most people I’ve ever known in my life; my expectations were damn near invisible. But, there they were, in their obnoxiously repugnant glory.

I expected friends to be friends. Friends like I am with people. It never occurred to me that some people have a different view and belief about the meaning of friendship. Facebook taught me that many people don’t even consider strangers to be their friends. That was an alien concept to me. Because a friend can be anyone, and some of the bestest friends you may ever have will turn out to be that unlikely one. The person that you didn’t even think you needed, the shy one in the corner with an occasional glimmer of fun times and tomfoolery. The one who picks you up so you both can stalk their ex in low-cut tops at a bar while he is on a date with some insignificant hussie… YES>>>that one!People

Friends are friends are friends. Until they aren’t…and trust me, lately, I’ve found that many that I thought were…weren’t! The reasons given for breaking a long-standing friendship were asinine, to say the least. Well they were to me anyway. Because, as I said, friends are friends are friends. They are similar to a marriage, without all the fighting. Nothing can get between two friends…or so I believed. But, as with many things in my life…I got educated quickly and painfully on the subject of true friendship.

It seems to me, that when I was a lowly nobody…let me clarify that. When I believed that I was a lowly nobody, I had friends that stuck beside me no matter what. However, when I started believing that I was somebody and even worse, when I began telling them that they are somebody and could do better…well, that was the end of that friendship. This happened repeatedly. Something was clearly wrong here.

The thing about changing, growing, and becoming a better human being, is that it is a lonely road… it is a path that one can only travel alone. You cannot take anyone with you, even though you desperately want to. People cannot be forced into changing. No matter how much you shove your opinion down their throat…I am guilty of that. No matter how many inspirational/motivational photos you share on Facebook…I have done that. No matter how much you try to make them see that the only people who can make them happy are themselves. No matter the extent in which you try to convince them that they are hurting themselves and everyone around them as well. No…you cannot force anyone into changing!

But…I could change me, and I did. I changed how I viewed friends and how to distinguish between real and fake friends. I changed how I allowed others in my life…positive in, negative out. However, the most important change was about expectations. I didn’t lower them and I surely didn’t raise them. I got rid of them entirely. Expecting others to be someone they weren’t or in most cases, couldn’t be was what I had bitched about them doing to me. They were expecting me to shut the hell up and I was expecting them to speak up. They were expecting me to stay the same and I was expecting them to grow up. It was becoming a vicious cycle of why can’t you be more like me and less like you. What the hell? Who had I let myself become?!

I was always angry, sad, depressed, and worried because of the expectations that I had of other people. All of which had nothing to do with me really and everything to do with them. I wanted them to change and become people of their word. They weren’t that. They couldn’t be that. It was an alien concept to them. If only I had let them be who they are.

But, in that lies the problem. Not everyone is supposed to stay in your life. It is just not possible to keep people in your life who no longer mesh with you. I am not saying they ALL have to mesh, that would be boring and nobody could grow that way. However, some people are just too low on the rung of the ladder of life to notice anymore. Not that I am calling them lowly nobodies…because I’m not. I am just saying as you make your climb up the ladder you do not keep looking down and expect to keep going up. You would fall off the ladder and then where would you be? At the bottom, on your back, looking at where you use to be and having to work even harder to get a portion of the way back up there. Nobody wants to fall off the ladder of life…NOBODY!

So release your expectations of other people. Let them be who they are and you be who you are… And if it’s bad for your well-being, then stop looking down the ladder and let them “fall” out of view. You will be happier and they will be happier, the universe will once again be in balance.Happiness

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I Want To Be Like You

I Wanna Be Like You The Jungle Book Movie Disney

Have you ever read other people’s blogs and thought to yourself, “Wow, their lives are so great. If only mine was so blessed.”? Have you ever wondered why some people’s lives seem relatively easy-going, stress-free, everything you wish you could have in yours? Have you ever imagined what you could have done differently, if only you had been given a chance? Have you ever wanted to be just like someone else?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a jealous person and in no way would I ever compare my struggle or lack thereof with another’s. I wouldn’t change one thing in my life if it meant not learning the lessons I have learnt. I am me because of what I went through and what I got out of it. Nobody else could ever be who I am. If a group of people lived the same life, no two people would ever come out of it the same way.

It’s been a very difficult month and umm… yea, I’m not counting. It’s been awhile since I have sat down in the quiet of my home and written anything pertaining to anything. (You know you like that statement.) My life has been many things but, never has it been easy. Even as I sat at home and raised my kids with absolutely nothing pressing to do; my children made it their life’s mission early on to make me work for the roof my husband provided over our heads.

My daughter was the first child and she started out her little journey by damn near killing me in the first month of pregnancy. I was in so much pain I couldn’t move and when I got to the ER and was finally seen, the doctor nonchalantly stated, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re pregnant.” I was 19 years old, unmarried, it was only about a year since I had moved out of my father’s house, my husband and I had been together a earth-shattering 4 months, I had moved 2000 miles away 5 months before, I had no job, my husband had no insurance, etc, etc, etc… There’s nothing wrong with me? Oh, I beg to differ! My daughter showed up late, 6 days late to be precise. She was just short of 9 pounds and forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. She also allowed me to gain a whopping 100 pounds because mommy didn’t know how to cook and since nobody was home all day to cook for her, she had to order such delicacies as Taco Bell, pizza, Chinese, KFC, etc… Her father wouldn’t allow mommy to go anywhere, pick up anything, or even take a simple Tylenol. The first child is ALWAYS the hardest. When Her Highness decided to make her entrance, she took her dear sweet time. As if the 6 days wasn’t long enough she had to add another 20 hours of labor to it. She refused to take her place and right before a C-section was getting ready to be performed, she about-faced right out of breech position and let me dilate enough to start delivery. The only reason I was finally able to deliver her was because I was coughing constantly. (Because I had bronchitis… got to love doctors.) The nurse putting all her weight on the top of my stomach and pushing on me didn’t help at all. The 5 other medical staff watching didn’t help. The doctor who was delivering my daughter and yelling at me because I was too weak, sure as hell wasn’t helping. But, then she came… like the Queen she was meant to be, with a crown over her head and veil over her face. (The placenta broke as she was born) Her right pupil was a lovely triangle. My mom held her first and tried to heal her eye. (She has a congenital cataract and is nearly blind in it. It is also been diagnosed lazy and astigmatism) Then the nurse handed her to me and we tried to get her to breast feed. Her mommy was exhausted and still coughing, she refused to latch on and so formula it was. Her highness stayed in the hospital in ICU 24 hours after I was released. She was the biggest baby in there and the other mother’s gave us the stink-eye. Luckily for us though, her heart murmur closed and she got to go home. A month later her mommy almost died in an ER waiting room with a fever of 109 because the doctors who noticed she had bronchitis after delivery sent her home with no meds and mommy got pneumonia. Now baby girl made sure that mommy got no free ride and as she grew more illnesses came too.

My son was no different. He was a screamer from Acid Reflux Disease and would vomit constantly between screams. His screaming matches would last for hours (several times a day for the entire first year of his life) until he was physically exhausted and would finally pass out. He was tested in the Hospital for 24 hours, and then placed on medications for the Reflux. (Which is a fancy way of saying he vomited a lot due to acid backing up in his throat. Some people call this Heartburn, only this is much worse.) The test involved a tube being put up his nose and down his throat to his stomach to monitor his acid levels. He would drink juice completely lying down and then 4 hours later completely sitting up, and back and forth for the 24 hours. Sleeping for me was not an option, as I held him in my arms in a chair the entire time. One of his medications turned out to have a little side effect that could cause this wonderful thing known as a heart attack. My son was not even a year old and was taking two medications, a special (extremely expensive) formula, and now had to have a test to make sure his heart was ok. After the test and putting him on a heart monitor for several days we found out his heart was fine. That special formula came into play because he wasn’t gaining weight with the first one and then the next one he vomited more and lost weight, finally after trying every formula on the market we ended up with one. It wasn’t enough that my son didn’t make himself known through pregnancy tests until right before my 7 month. It wasn’t even enough that in the first 2 months of my pregnancy I was told I wasn’t pregnant and was given the Depo shot. Which resulted in me taking medications and drinking because… “I WASN’T FRICKIN’ PREGNANT REMEMBER!” And it surely wasn’t enough that he forced me into bed rest less than a month after I found out I was pregnant, because he decided that I was far too comfortable and well contractions were a must. Then he decided that he wasn’t coming out on time (also 6 days late), so he forced the doctor into inducing me and breaking my water. And then when His Highness did finally decide to show up for the audience awaiting him, he had the audacity to come out saying “Dad” and weigh damn near 10 pounds. He went on for many years like this doing little things here and there to make sure that mommy never got a free ride. He continued to grow and brought more illnesses too wouldn’t you know.

I could go on all day and night about the things I’ve been through raising my two children. Or about my 17 years with my husband. Or about how I did any number of things since I grew up and left my father and step-mother’s house. Or I could even be so bold as to share how I didn’t die or go crazy living in Hell for 14 years (age 4-18).

Maybe one day I will but, not today. Today I want to share with you that life is not easy for anyone. Nobody gets to a peaceful place without enduring the harshness of the elements. It is very easy to assume things. It is very easy to look at where someone is today and think they have never known hardship, struggle, or pain… and we would be wrong. We can’t see where someone has been by looking only at the soles of their shoes. It only tells a part of the story, just the most recent part of it. Remember this…The grass you see in the treads of one’s shoes today, have covered the grains of sand from yesterday, and with tomorrow’s rain will be entirely washed away.