Sometimes, you get yourself into a rut. Happens to everyone. Whether you’re producing comic strips or the cure to cancer, you’re going to have days when you’re on fire, and there will be days when you’d like to set yourself on fire. Lately, for me, I’ve been definitely leaning more towards self-immolation rather than self-congratulatory.
But that’s okay.
Usually after a life changing event, especially in regards to the loss of a loved one, you can be faced with some pretty challenging questions staring you in the face. Questions liked;
“What am I doing with my life?”
“Am I happy?”
“Am I living up to my potential?”
All of these questions may seem selfish, but when backed up against the death of a family member, especially a parent, then you’re only getting half the question.
“What am I doing with my life?” – in comparison to how they were doing.
“Am I happy?” – the way they seemed to be happy.
“Am I living up to my potential?” – would they expect more of me?
After my uncle’s funeral, I took a bit of a break from a lot of things. Sat back and had a good think about stuff. Walked the dog a little more often. Put the hustle aside for a second, and spent some time with my girlfriend. Read books. Played some video games.
Here’s what I’m getting at. Everyone expects something out of you, even if it’s small or seems like common sense. Most most people expect from you, though, is usually pretty understandable, and what they expect if for most other to respect their boundaries. But some people want you to behave a certain way, or dress a certain way, or even live a certain way. And this isn’t a bad thing either, I mean, I’m in a library and it’s quiet. That’s because people here expect you to be quiet.
Disappointment comes from an expectation gone awry. You went for burgers and expected a good meal. It was terrible, so you were disappointed. You went on a date, expecting this young man to be a charmer. He smelled badly and wasn’t interesting, so you were disappointed. You write a song on your guitar, and you decide to play it at a party. You get booed, so you were disappointed.
In every case, you’re banking on other people to perform to your level of satisfaction. No problem there, but what I’ve noticed is the most anxious people also seem to have the highest levels of expectation. I could be convinced there is an entire mental disorder that stems from a group of people who have their expectation of reality quite outside the boundaries of reality.
This brings me back to the questions I asked earlier; What am I doing with my life, am I living up to my potential? Most of my fears, worries and anxiety stemmed from the perception, in my own mind, that I wasn’t living up to the expectations of others. Here I was, getting worked up over expectations from other people, who truthfully never expected anything from me in the first place. My parents weren’t concerned that I wasn’t an engineer, or a doctor, or married. They just wanted me to be happy.
Here’s what I want you to understand. If someone truly loves you, they’re not going to be concerned whether you’re a star athlete, a successful business owner, or a best-selling novelist. They’ll certainly be proud of you if you are, but their love won’t be based on your achievements. Once you realize that, once that weight is off your shoulders, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to live up to your own expectations.
At the very end of the day, your expectation of yourself is the only one that matters.
Let me get to the point of the title of my blog. Quality Over Quantity. On the crazy plains of the internet, in the digital realm, quantity wins over quality every time. I’ve toyed around with the idea of monetizing this site, and I’ve backed away from the idea because that path seems fraught with compromise on the quality to push quantity. Even today, I’m not always happy with the work I produce. For a while, I was a lot more concerned about keeping a schedule than putting out quality posts.
It’s been a year since I started renting the domain name, and it’s been about four years of me typing on the internet in the first place. This webzone is going to continue, but I’m going to be a lot less concerned about a schedule than I was before. Life is too short to worry about making up a fake deadline for a website I write my brain thoughts on.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. Eventually, I plan on making a website that’s a bit more encompassing. Right now it’s just my scribbling.
p.s.s. See? You’re expecting a joke and now you’re disappointed. I’m like the Zen Master of flipping people’s expectations on their heads.