do you ever feel like everything is so not how you expected it to be? how the weight of all your unrealized, unrealistic, unfulfilled expectations is kind of ridiculous?
I didn’t expect to return to this little corner on the day that my first brother would have been 25. I didn’t expect that I would unconsciously (and sometimes very consciously) feel the lack of him every day for 25 years. I didn’t expect that time would pass so brazenly and undaunted in the absence of him.
I didn’t expect that my dream job would be…not that. that I would walk away from it for the uncertainty of being my own boss and paying insane sums of self-employment tax and buying my own health insurance. that writing about country music would become (part of) my livelihood. no. I did not expect that.
I didn’t expect to still be single at twenty-seven. (I realize this is still young and I still have plenty of time. but you know. not where I thought I’d be.) I didn’t expect to love being single at twenty-seven. and I didn’t expect that the reason I would love it is largely because of roommates who cook huge sunday dinners and drink bourbon and watch bridesmaids with me.
there are so many things I didn’t expect. to be real, I didn’t expect really any of it. and I hate it. because I am a planner. I am a comfort-zoner. I am a ducks-all-in-a-rower. I hate it. and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I wouldn’t trade the dashed hopes and broken hearts and hard lessons learned. not just because all those unmet expectations have brought me here and because they are what continue to push me to grow in ways I never imagined but am a million times thankful for. (which is true.) not just because those unmet expectations have taught me to hold everything with an open hand and be thankful for unexpected blessings and not take life too seriously. (all true too.)
but mostly because, without them – without all the losses and gains and suffering and laughing and wondering and wandering – I would have had no reason to get to know the one who is never surprised by unmet expectations. the one who sets all the expectations. and then exceeds them. the one who knows every hair on my head and thought in my brain and beat of my heart better than I do.
wow. it’s really cool that I know that one. and I didn’t expect that either.