Expectations: (Merriam Webster) The act or state of expecting.
(Urban Dictionary) A guaranteed way for you to make sure that people will consistently disappoint you.
Song of The Week: “Love Changes” Mother’s Finest
When parents don’t give their children the proper tools and guidance they tend to grow up with the expectation that certain things in life should just be handed to them, or that things can just get fixed with a phone call. And people who grow up with this mentality are ill-equipped to adjust to the reality of society. These children then tend to grow up into privileged jerks who talk loudly on their cell phones in public, have no regard for personal space, disrespect the law and authority. You know, the typical Wrigleyville crowd (or Colonizer if you’ve seen Black Panther).
Growing up my mother wanted to make sure that I had well-rounded experiences, especially given my circumstances. I lived in a mostly white community and was usually the only Black kid in most of what I did. I didn’t always grow up “blessed” but when I was about seven-years-old my mother re-married and we moved into an upper-middle class neighborhood with extremely nice houses. This was definitely a change from where we used to live. My father, being the type of parent he was, bought any and everything that I wanted and spared no expense. Name brand everything and made sure to let me know the cost. I didn’t have a clue of how money worked at 13. I just knew if I wanted a new Tommy Hilfiger coat, all I had to do was ask my father for it and he would take me to the store and get it. My mother saw that this was an issue…. By 14 I had a job permit and was working.
Being a well-rounded and independent person was very important to both of my parents. I was encouraged to do things for myself as well as ask a lot of questions and figure out the answer to those questions. No one, my parents or my grandparents, (both of whom were educators) ever handed me the answers to anything. Everyone always “encouraged” aka made me figure things out myself. And when my parents or my grandparents did something for me that I didn’t like, that was usually my first lesson in learning how to do something myself. For example, my mother used to take her time combing and styling my hair perfectly every Sunday night. She would part my hair into different designs and then use colored barrettes and clips to coordinate my hair with my outfits. However, my mother used to work and travel quite a bit and I would have to spend the nights at my grandparents’ house. When this happened, my grandma was in charge of doing my hair. When it was time for my grandma to do my hair, she could not part my hair into the fancy designs the same way my mother used to. My hair never turned out the same and I always got frustrated and upset. Because of this I was about seven-years-old when I learned how to start combing my own hair and I definitely went through a lot of trial and error. I couldn’t expect anyone else to do it for me since my mother was gone and my grandma couldn’t figure it out. I was an only child and I had to figure out how to do it myself.
Because I grew up this way and was somewhat born into my resourcefulness, I gained the tools to navigate my way through certain situations life (and my mother) tossed at me. After a certain age I knew I could (a should) no longer expect the adults in my life to just come in and do things for me. I had to be able to stand on my own two feet and figure things out for myself. I also knew there would be consequences to my actions when my parents could no longer step in and help out. I had to own up to my stuff.
Sometimes we tend to become complacent and expect for someone to step in and save us. We think because we made an appointment somewhere and we show up late that we can just “sweep problems away” by EXPECTING people to forgive you, or bribing people, or even acting like things didn’t happen. Life doesn’t work that way. People don’t work that way. But when you have grown up thinking that that’s how you can handle everything, because that’s how the adults taught you how to handle things, you are in for a rude awakening.
Life is a constant game of adaptation, understanding, and observation. Understand that you won’t understand everything. Pay attention just enough to be able to adapt to life’s ever changing and people’s ever-changing nature. If you can master this, you will be able to get back up from the devastation of being disappointed by whatever expectations you set for yourself and the expectations that life and society set on you.
I don’t expect anything from anyone anymore. I just let people be and take what I get. It makes life a hell of a lot more interesting, hence all the stories I am able to write on this blog…….