Thursday, January 15, 2009

Six Word Memoir

I came across this awhile ago on postsecret and stubbled across it again today on a thread of Ravelry. If you could sum up your life in 6 words, what would it be? Obviously it will change as we all change and grow but it made me think. Where am I right now? What are the six words that could sum up what makes me tick at this moment? I came up with two different ones that are closely related, two sides of the same coin.

Don't care about your expectations anymore.


I don't want to disappoint myself.

I feel like I've been fighting with people's expectations my whole life. I spent most of my childhood hearing my Father ask me why I wasn't more like my older sister. Don't get me wrong, I love Aimee, but I'm not Aimee. Truthfully, Aimee and I are about as alike as night as day.
I think that I rebelled against that. Aimee was a good student, so determining that I could never live up to that, I didn't bother to do my homework. Aimee had nice, long thick hair and I've usually preferred mine shorter. Aimee wears calm sedate clothing and my clothing choices have been described as "spastic." Not that I harbour any resentment towards her, I just was not her and didn't want to be her so I lived my life the way I wanted to and tried my best to ignore disapproving stares. That's not to say that I was unaffected by them.
Later on in college, I found myself a little bit more and came into my own academically, which I found, much to my surprise, that I enjoyed. For the first time, I began to feel the weight of people's positive expectations. People trying to push me to my limits, telling me that they were going to be watching my career and questioning me as to different directions that I could go. They meant the best for me and helped me to grow but I still felt the weight of not knowing if I would ever succeed in living up to the expectations that people placed on me. The weight was different but I still felt the pressure of those expectations. I hated meeting with my advisor because he always made comments about expecting great things from me.

I felt the weight of all those expectations dearly. Of all the exectations that I would never live up to and all the expectations that I didn't know if I could live up to them.
So once again, I rebelled, I've hid from academics since I graduated. I ran from the pressure of other's unmet expectations and their subsequent disappointment in me.

But now, a little older, a little more experienced. For the fisrt time in my life the person I'm worried about letting down is me. It's a strange feeling but a nice one too. I shouldn't have to live under the shadow of other people's expectations but I should be allowed to forge my own path in the way I see fit. The expectations weren't all bad, but they also weren't mine. Now, for the first time in my life, I'm doing things because the person I don't want to disappoint is me. It's not about family, teacher or friends. It's not even about Phillip. It's about what I want and what I choose. Don't care about their expectations anymore, and the one I don't want is disappoint is me.

The feeling is both better and worse but at least now I know it's mine.

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