Why you should stop expecting the unexpected

How to stop being disappointed all the time.

Jarid Altmark

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What remains to be false is that you can expect how someone feels, reacts, unless they’re a character in a TV show or the verbatim description in your astrology textbook. We expect so much from so many things, some that haven’t even earned our trust. We put faith into these expectations, but sadly when our expectations don’t match reality we tend to feel disappointment.

When you define your expectations, wants and desires based on external forces, you are giving up control. In other words who you follow on toxic scrolly advertising tools or who you call “bestie” are choices you make, but how they affect you is out of your control. Everything and everyone is out of your control, despite the illusion of customizability and curation we expect from our material objects. For example, you may pickup a beautiful orchid from Trader Joe’s. When you bring it home, it suddenly dies. Beyond it’s looks, it’s damaged roots were out of your control. Or for example, if a perfectly unsuspicious and delicious street gyro unexpectedly gives you food poisoning you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Our expectations blind us from reality and shield us from real control.

Our underlying expectations stop us from living presently, putting ourselves out there, and allow us to keep having our feelings hurt. When you are not present-minded or self-aware, you may be letting your emotions and expectations control you. Why do we continue to expect things to only be disappointed?

Expectations are really based in survival instincts. We can expect the worst in every situation and be overwhelmed by the anxiety of sorting through every possible outcome to any situation. We are not hunting for food anymore, but this doesn’t stop our brains from resorting to fight, flight or freeze each and every step of our days. Will it rain? Did I lock the door? Will there be parking when I get there? What will I eat later? Will they apologize for what they did? Expectations are a dance between self-actualization and safety, but there’s no point in rehearsing a choreographed routine because the music will be different every time.

So much of life is really just winging it, I feel like people underestimate how things start…

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Jarid Altmark

Artist, Writer, 4x Food Network Competitor, Professional Cake Artist and Practical Overthinker.