I am not bi-polar or clinically depressed. I don’t suffer from panic attacks or excessive fears. But there are days like yesterday where I feel like the world is pressing down on me, crushing me into the ground. My day didn’t start out bad; I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I am an Artist Way practitioner so my day starts with my morning pages and if time allows before I start work, a few minutes of quiet meditation on my front porch. The shit doesn’t hit the fan until my work day starts. I am a business analyst working on a high-pressure project that is not going as smoothly as expected. Without getting technical, let’s just say that there is a lot of stress involved at this stage and as a perfectionist and control-freak, I feel it all too well. Yesterday was not much different than the day before. I just felt it was. I felt like everyone was looking to me for answers, expecting me to make it all work out. I don’t think I am exaggerating or being egotistical. Or maybe my ego is simply inflating the feelings, making it much more than it really is. But honestly, I do believe they look to me to make it work. They have more faith in me than I have in myself and some days I just want to say, “Hey, I’m only human. I’m glad you have faith in me but let’s be real. I may not live up to your expectations.”
And it does come down to expectations – those we have for ourselves and those others have of us. It’s not easy to tell the difference some times, and once the avalanche starts, it is hard to stop. I sometimes wonder if people can tell in my voice that the I am at the brink. I hope so. I feel like the little kid who eats soap, hoping that when he goes blind his family will be sorry they treated him so bad. If only they could see for themselves the pressure I feel to perform, the fear I have of failure. Do they know that sometimes I just want to scream out ‘MAKE YOUR OWN FUCKING DECISION!’. But I don’t. I quietly go about whatever I need to do, churning on the inside, waiting for the end of the day so I can vegetate on the couch, watching three-hours of Lost episodes. It’s amazing how much easier the story is to follow when you make a marathon out of it. And then to sleep it off, like a bad drunk.
Today, things are not so bad. The sky is a little bluer, my attitude a little lighter. It will be okay I tell myself. It’s all good.
Yet I look out my window and storm clouds are brewing and have to remind myself it is just the weather.


3 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Well written. Your point comes across strong. Having known your stress in other fields, I felt it here in your words.


  2. Oh my Susan, I can relate to this post! It is unreal how much pressure can be put on a person to perform. I remember times when didn’t want to disappoint anyone and couldn’t or wouldn’t accept less of myself. All I can say is take a deep breath and say a prayer that all will work out in the end. Take care of you!

  3. Thank you. I wrote that several months ago and while the conditions have not changed, my outlook has. There are things around me that I cannot change, no matter how much I wish they would. All I can do is change my viewpoint or change my circumstances. At the present, I am trying very hard to change my viewpoint and not let stress get the better of me. I may choose to change my circumstances sometime in the future but I don’t want to make decisions based on the wrong criteria.

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