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Sunday, 4 March 2018

On Expectations.

Apologies if this is....ramblier than usual. I'm not doing great.

I realised an interesting thing the other day, in talking to myself. So thought I'd share that on here.

Generally speaking, whenever you see me, I'm not actually doing as well as you'll think/as I appear. If you think that I'm doing about an 8 out of 10, it's probably a 6. A 5 will be more like a 3. Just take away two and you'll be about right.

And that's because of a couple of things. Firstly, I tend to just perk up around people in general, because I enjoy being around people. Unless I don't have the energy to. That's when I'm really not doing well. (Today is one of those days.) But typically, even if I'm not doing that great in general, if I'm catching up with people - I'll feel a lot better. Because I really enjoy that time. So people generally think I'm doing quite well, when I might be struggling when I get home, or when I'm alone.

But the other reason links back more to when I was growing up.

From when I was quite young, I was the smart kid. I was reading and writing really early (reading before I went to school - thanks mum!), and I just picked up things really quickly. That continued throughout primary school, where I skipped a year (year 2, because I did all of it in year 1), and went into Opportunity Class; and then went to a private high school with a scholarship, where I did most of the sciences, plus history. And I was pretty good at maths as well (they wanted me to do Extension 1, and then 2 - I ended up just doing Advanced).

It was towards the latter end of high school that I started being the creative kid as well. I started writing music, and I had been writing stories for a while. I got more involved with drama, and acting - and that all really took off after school, with me doing a Bachelor of Music at uni, being involved with plays and musicals at Campbelltown Theatre, writing a book, making a language, writing so many songs (running count is over 250, probably closer to 270 or even 300).

Then I started doing things with Bible college, and preaching here and there, from which I drew on a background that I'd already had in public speaking. And I got fairly good at that as well, and started doing that a bit here and there.

The expectations of me have always been high. Super high. I can't remember a time when people weren't going, "Oh, I can't imagine what you're going to do with your life, it's going to be amazing!" Where people weren't pretty much expecting me to be the smartest person in the room, to know the answer before everyone else, to always be able to figure out the problem. That's a lot of expectation to live up to. And while I'm not saying that I'm terrible at everything - because I'm not, and I've been given many gifts - I often feel like I haven't lived up to people's expectations. Like I fall short just a little bit, in pretty much everything. Which is still somehow better than most people, but also somehow not as good as I could be.....

I'm human, folks. Might not seem like it sometimes, but I am. I make mistakes. Many of them. I can't do everything (though that may seem true at times). But I don't like to fall short of those expectations. I don't want to disappoint people - and I don't want to feel like everyone else (as much as I am). And so I tend to act like I'm doing a bit better than I am. Like I have more of an idea of what I'm doing than I do. Like I'm more sure of myself than I ever really have been.

Every now and then, someone manages to catch me on it, though not very often. Most of the time - people see what they want to see, what they expect to see. They don't really realise what I go through, or what I'm struggling with, pretty much every day. (Aside from you, of course, dear readers! For which I am very thankful.)

Most days, as my more regular readers will probably know, I struggle with loneliness, with emptiness, with self-confidence, with tiredness, with motivation, with feeling depressed, with temptation. Not all of them, each day; but most of them, most days. Probably a couple more into the bargain that I've forgotten.

I'm trying to understand it all better, so that I can move past it. Trying to feel more "okay" about being normal. Which feels weird. But there you go.

I think I connected relationships into all of this somehow as well when I was thinking about it before, but I really don't know how. Springboarding off things I struggle with? Maybe. Anyway. I talk about that often enough. That's enough to ramble about for now.

God is helping. He's good at that. But it's still quite hard. It's nice to know that people out there are supporting me, or even listening. So thank you. :)

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