Thursday, October 16, 2014

Navigating the Waters of Uncertainty: Part 2

We're often lured by the promises of the future. Like a siren's song, these attractive ideas draw us in, molded to perfection by our imagination.

Can you think of a hope you had for the future that didn't happen as you imagined? Maybe the reality looked more rusty used than shiny new, or maybe it didn't happen at all.

I've been let down by my expectations countless times. Ideas are appealing because they can be anything we want them to be; they exist only inside our heads. It's not until we or the inevitable hand of time turn them into reality that they begin to take a different shape.

The good news, though, is that you have the power to shape your own reality.

I say this because last time I promised I would tell you how I got from an iffy place to a grounded place. And it all comes down to perception.

Just looking back on the past year, I've had many expectations for my life. I mentioned some of them in my last post: get married and get a job, have a great summer internship, go home and transform myself into an artistic paragon.

Some of these hopes didn't happen at all, and some happened somewhat disappointingly.

I've been home almost two months, and I've barely scratched the surface of my purging project. I don't do all of the activities I promised myself I would do. At least not on a daily basis. And depression still sneaks up on me in ways it hasn't in a long time.

But that doesn't mean I'm at a loss. Sometimes our expectations don't match our reality because our expectations are unrealistic. Sometimes what we think we want isn't in line with who we are.

And so we adapt. We adjust. I'm trying activities I never imagined I'd try, like teaching. I'm appreciating the time I have with my parents instead of looking at my time at home as though I failed as a college graduate.

All this to say, don't be afraid to explore new territory. If your expectations let you down, bring yourself back up. If you can't control it, change your perception. And if you can, change your circumstances.

Uncertainty is a deep ocean with whirlpools and the lure of the siren's call, but strap yourself to the mast and power through it. Soon you'll be saying, land ho!

- Elena

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