It's Not Them, It's Actually YOU for Once: Why Other People are not Disappointing, You are Just Delusional

My life is a novella.

It is undoubtedly obvious when interacting with other human beings is the most dramatic and disappointing part of my days.

They are passive aggressive

They call me only when they need something

They show up hours late

They remain closed up and guarded when we so badly want to mend things

So, what do we do? Naturally, drop to the floor and cry like any good novella actress would do and create drama about the behavior of others because they have done us wrong, or so we think.

But the truth is, my life is a novella because I have expectations. I have created wishes and unspoken notions about who people should be, act, and especially how they should treat me. It is the equivalent of ordering a donut and receiving a sad, leafy ass salad.

Many people in my life showed up as these salads in the beginning, I quickly found that no dramatic complaint made it any better. Flaky people continued to be flaky, stubborn people were stubborn, and rude ones remained… SURPRISE… rude.

It is always easy to hold on to the possibility that people can elevate their behavior to be better. But those romantic expectations are nothing more than a reflection of the disconnect between myself and my reality, from what is. My reality did not have donuts. It had salads waiting for me to, just for once, not feel upset when they showed up in front of me as exactly as what they are, flawed yet valid and truthful in their arrival.

People will never be what we have envisioned. Rather, nurturing a relationship where the other is free to show up and not be judged is powerful because it provides freedom and trust between both parties. Freeing people from our hopes of them to be different. Freeing us from our own frustration and disillusionment. Freeing everyone from the novella.

 

#RelationshipGoals: Buy me Nikes or we are done

Social media is my playground for every goal I have to date. I see it now… Fresh new Nikes wrapped nicely and waiting for me just because or pushing the grocery cart when I’m hanging off the edge because I want to feel the wind in my nappy hair when I go down the ice cream isle. Now that’s #relationshipgoals.

Trust me I can whip out my phone and show you the three separate color-coded Pinterest boards I have for every topic...relationship goals, friendship goals, and even parent goals. My dad says that it isn’t real life but he is just one sly comment away from being exchanged for the awesome parents I have pinned in my collection.

But he is right and I’ve come to see that my collections don’t always fit me. It doesn’t work when I’m fighting with my significant other because I’m being sensitive and stubborn. My goals are thrown to the side when all my friends are at work and I eat my lunch alone. Let me tell you that they sure as hell don’t translate when my mom tells me what to do when I’m grumpy and tired at 8 a.m.

Every time I think that we can all poop rainbows and butterflies and be exactly like my #goals, I get a swift punch of the truth. I realize that these type of goals I aren’t my reality. Every relationship I have with people in my life is unique. Let’s just say that they all have their own culture. No two are exactly alike and some are more accepted than others. However, the times I feel the most unhappy in any relationship is when I have expectations that do not fit the culture we have created together. The person I am working to create a healthy bond with doesn’t always look or act like my hopes and dreams. In reality, the more I think I will have Nikes at my doorstep, the more disappointed I become.

Beyond social media and pinterest boards, life has never been a one-size-fits-all thing. It has taken a lot of tears and fistfulls of curls to figure out that what is right for me is up to… me *cue aha moment*. Sometimes, what happens in my relationships goes above what works for others. Sometimes, when I stop looking beyond for the answers, I find that the norms and dominating opinions don’t always apply. Only between us is where I find everything beautiful about connecting, openly communicating, and caring for another person. That beauty doesn’t fit in mega pixels, it doesn’t always feel like ice cream and wind in my hair, but I know for sure that it’s real as hell.