I was a little stuck when it came to what exactly I wanted to convey in this week’s post. I have been feeling, learning, and working through a lot of different things in the past few weeks. But something that came from each of things, feelings, thoughts, and emotions is the idea of letting go. So what better title this week than just that, letting go of expectations.
I am someone who wants a plan, more specifically I want to be the one to make the plan and be in charge, like I assume many of you are. So, the thought of letting go of the expectation of the world around me is not something that crosses my mind often. But, I am learning to say “yes” to more life experiences in which I would usually say “no” to, which has begun to affect me in ways I never thought these experiences would.
For example, this past weekend, I travelled to Portugal knowing absolutely nothing about the country or city I was going to besides that it was on my boarding pass. I had no biases or expectations of what we were going to do or see, so I was only able to be amazed by everything I encountered. And, spoiler alert, that’s exactly what happened. I fell in love with the city of Porto as soon as I woke up to the sounds of cars, people speaking a new language, and the bright light shining through the floor length window doors of our AirBnB. I was amazed by the tile work on every building, the beautiful churches we stepped inside, and the calm vibe the city exuded. I had absolutely no clue what I was going to experience this weekend, and surprisingly, for probably the first time I actually loved that.
Every single turn we took just made the trip better and better. We explored gardens, climbed to the top of bell towers, and sat along the river with the sun beaming down on us while listening to street performers sing like Jack Johnson. Something that really became ingrained in me after this weekend is that if you have no preconceived notions about what is coming, you will never be disappointed. I think it is often easy to be disappointed when we have this idea of things that we hope are going to happen, but when they don’t turn out that way, it puts a sour taste in our mouths.
I think we try so hard to work out the scenarios that we create in our head of the possible ones that we may stumble upon in real life, that when the real thing happens we don’t know how to authentically react. We are in an age of overthinking, more than that we are the age of overthinking. The growth of technology and social media has made it so easy for us to see what everyone is doing at all points of the day, which in turn creates unrealistic expectations of ourselves. If we live in this constant moment of expecting so much from ourselves, those around us, and the things we do, we should ask ourselves ‘are we really doing things because we want to or because we think we should?’ In actuality, are we just trying to fulfill the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves or are we doing things before we genuinely want to experience them?
I’m not exactly sure if I have one clear cut answer for every single scenario for my own life, but I know that I am starting to realize the more I say “yes” and stop thinking so much about the possible outcomes, I am really beginning to enjoy the moment more.
So, to the girl who lets go of expectations, it feels so freeing doesn’t it? I don’t think I have felt genuine joy, happiness, and laughed as much as I have the past few months. I think acknowledging that you can’t have everything your way is the first step to a happier life. Maybe that’s just me, but I would suggest at least trying it. There is no need to plan everything out to the second, because as we all know, life happens and then what? We get even more flustered because it isn’t going according to our perfectly timed plan. So, get over it, let go of those expectations and just see how much life there is to enjoy.