Great Expectations

Expectations can often be a disabling challenge. When I have expectations of a certain outcome, I am met with often two simple results. In one situation, the results do not meet my expectations and the good I thought would happen doesn’t. Not only does this mean that something good didn’t happen, it also means that I made something bad even worse. I turned a possibly neutral situation into a negative one just by expectation. In a second situation, the results meet my expectations, but the good that I thought would happen is only still as good as I thought it might be. For example, I thought I would win the President of the Year Award. I hoped I would, I expected I would, then I did. Somehow, however, I began to take it apart because of that. I didn’t enjoy it like I might have, I was so nervous, I was so anxious about losing, I was so worried about who might win, I was worried about what it would mean if I lost. Now that I won, I can sit here and worry about if I had good competition, if I tried hard enough, if the award is really worth anything. Over and over again in my head, I can think through what could have been. I can rethink what was, I can overthink what has been and I can experience almost everything under the sun expect for one thing…the exact moment I am in.
I didn’t stand there and receive the applause, I didn’t look in Alec’s eyes like I could have and appreciate his congratulations, I didn’t take my time in thinking through my feelings and the moment and my emotions and my great fortune in being right where I was that moment. I thought about where I was going, I thought about where I had been, I thought about what else was coming and I was thinking about what it took to get to right where I was. Why wasn’t I where I was? Why am I having such a hard time being me, Travis Craig Hellstrom, during the 128,567,679,657th second of my life, give or take 1,000, just doing the best I can? Why am I everywhere but here? Where am I?
I think I’m growing. I am learning and becoming a better person little by little. It’s exciting and wonderful and requires, I think, a great deal of reflection on my part. I have learned a lot about who I want to be, and I have mostly learned a lot about who I really am. It’s confusing, honestly. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I am and that seems to be often one of the most concrete things that I should know. Maybe that’s just it though. Maybe the key is to ask myself right where I am, am I doing everything I need to do? Am I living my life like the dream that it can be, like the wonder that it is, or am I creating for myself a nightmare of confusing, second-guessing and numb experiences. Often I’m doing both. Not so often do I sit back and enjoy right where I am, right now. Just like right now.