Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Expect Less. Smile More.

A Rant By: E.FG

Many many years ago in a basement far far away, there stood a wall. 
A wall that needed to be painted.

My mother was so close to the sweet victory that is finishing home renovations. Painting was one of the last hurdles. Luckily someone had offered to do the job. She had the conversation with the person and they agreed that the walls would be painted as a favour. No charge. She was grateful. She got to skip the whole 'looking for a painter' process. 

Fast forward a few weeks and press play when you see the disgruntled italian women, annoyed that her walls were still bare and lacking colour. 

Home renovations are already a pain in the ass but renovations on hold are hemorrhoids.  I told my mother to call the volunteer and remind them! It had to get done and they signed up to help....soooooo? What’s the problem? They set the expectation that they were going to do this for her. 

She was totally cool about it. The crease between her eyebrows tightened a little when she spoke but that was about it. That’s all the energy she allowed herself to waste. She had zero expectations of that person from the get-go.

SCENARIO A: It gets done. Cool.

SCENARIO B: It doesn’t get done and we hire someone else. Cool. 

The person ended up coming through in the end and all was well in the world of home decor but the situation wracked my brain for a few days. I remember thinking to myself:

“What is this overwhelming feeling of knowledge? I... think... I just learnt something.” 

From my mother no less. 

Shit gets done. Cool.
It doesn't. Cool.
Life goes on.

Like most cavemen, epiphanies are far and few between. I’d be banging on the wheel for a little while longer till I realized it needed to be pushed. Catch my drift? You can’t be a true Pokemon master until you “catch em all.” Same goes for being smart. You can’t get smart if you don’t get stupid first. We need to take steps in order to take steps.

I don’t believe that people are born smart. I think the lessons in life begin the minute you -pardon the expression- pop out. There’s no grace period. You’re one of us now little infant child. You’re not excused. Get to learning ASAP. Bullshit has no age requirement. He’ll grab you by the bib as a baby and beat you with your own cane as a senior. The sooner you tap into the feeling of “maybe I should start paying attention” (also known as being smart) the better prepared you’ll be when bullshit attacks. 

Hate To Admit This  

I was an over extender to people for a pretty big chunk of my life. I was always willing to go above and beyond for anyone. I was taking bullets for people I barely knew. It was beyond nice. It was pathetic. I had been called “a puppy” many times. One person went as far as letting me know the breed they felt was appropriate.

I wanted to be a good person. I totally understood where I was coming from but the problem didn’t lie in the life choice, it was in the lifestyle. I couldn’t distinguish between helping and being taken advantage of because I had these Hug The World glasses on. I began to notice a pattern. Every time I would attempt a form of helping someone, I would get hurt in the end. In some cases, I even "ugly cried" because the disappointment was so painful. 

You touch the hot stove once. 

Maybe twice. 

But if you start putting your hands all over the dam thing like its a fucking golden retriever, then your an idiot. 

I was an idiot. 
Burnt beyond the point of Polysporin. 

Some people actually need the help and appreciate good deeds. Others will sniff out kindness and make it their prison bitch. With the size of my heart, I was dropping the soap one too many times. 

Being disappointed by someone can be heart breaking. I get it. 
But I think I’ve broken my own heart more then anyone ever has by expecting things from people and then being let down and let down again... that they let me down. That’s a double let down! If I didn’t expect anything from the start, then I’d only have to deal with one let down. Once I’ve tacked on a short lived expectation, bullshit will have doubled in size and probably made its way up to the fan... because of me.

Human beings are miraculous creatures. They are fun to observe and they bring many wonderful things to the table but they are utterly and completely unpredictable. I never know whats lurking when I step out my front door. Sometimes I have really great interactions. 

EXAMPLE: the lady that stopped me on the street to tell me that God loves me and to have a nice day 

and sometimes not so much 

EXAMPLE: the bus driver who gets paid to drive people around but hates people and driving. 

We're entitled to our unpredictability. We have the freedom to feel how ever we want about any situation and no one can stop us. 

In the end everyone will do what they want to anyways. If they want to help you, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. Even when we all have to do things we don’t want to, the initial feeling of “I don’t want to do this” is still there. It’s just unspoken. In majority of situations mankind will always do what’s best for mankind. What’s unpredictable to one could be the obvious choice for another. We are never going to know someones next move. 
Beautiful huh.

Whether it’s buried deep inside the depths of your soul or it’s the only thing you talk about...your feelings are yours. If I expect otherwise, I’m then spitting in the face of my own right to feel. 

It always plays out the same in the end. 
It works out or it doesn’t. 
You are always a deer in headlights in every situation.

I exhausted myself to the point  of no return by always waiting for people to make me as happy as I was trying to make them. Now I wait in the headlights and say 

I smile more these days. 

You want to be the person we have to pry everything out of cause of that electric eel infested moat you built around your voice, be that person. You want to be the person that should consider purchasing real estate in their mouth so the commute for your foot isn’t as that person. At least it’s you and nothing less.

The many wonderful things that I have experienced in my life were always at the expense of an eyebrow raise. You could make a drinking game out of the amount of times I’ve baffled people but you’d die of alcohol poisoning. 

The opening scenes of My Life was where I began realizing, thanks to Sesame Street, "one of these things is in fact not like the other." 

I knew I was different by the things I wanted to do vs. what the other people my age were doing. When I was thirteen-ish all I wanted to do was play dress up, put on shows and act along to the movies I knew off by heart. I always rocked it. My specialty was Disney movies. The music was always catchy and the starring roles were chicks. I grew up with just my mom and my big sister who were also chicks that wore girly things, so I always had a great costume selection. 

The effort I put into these basement productions made for an outstanding show but the wrap party always ended with my sister chasing me around cause I stole her clothes or stretched out her clothes or ripped her clothes. 

Cause she liked clothes.  
And I was not not a tornado. 

Me being the husky little thirteen year old hippy I was, made strong attempts to out run her while yelling: 

“why can’t we just share!” 

She’d catch meShe was fast. I would have shared with her! That’s a lie. Look, I just needed stuff to be as close to authentic as possible, when I was pretending  to be under the sea, making life altering trades with Octopi.

The point is: that’s the kinda shit I was into. 
The other kids my age were blasting hip hop while doing "it" on washing machines. Not my style bro. 

People expected me to cut the crap. It was vocalized that I was thought to be a weirdo and that if I wanted to be __________, (← Insert whatever it is that they thought was cool, cause to this day I have no clue what that was) I’d have to begin to morph into the mega teen that would make me accepted. 

I wasn’t ready for any of what was “expected.” I don’t think the other kids were either. I had made the career choice of being a power ranger when I grew up. I had to begin focusing on that. Excuse me for having no time to not be a kid. I was very busy.

My first attempt at being The Expected went horribly wrong. I ended up hurting a little girl enough that when I bumped into her many years later as an adult, she let me know how mean I was/we were to her. 

You can imagine how that conversation went. If you guessed: 

A. awkward as fuck

you are correct!

She was the girl that got it the worst. She was plucked out of the crowd at a very young age for no reason by the queen bee herself and sentenced to over five years of elementary school torment. Considering that the initial reasoning behind the empty rumour was that she was "a slut", it was amazing she got out of there alive and showed up everyday. 

I wanted to talk to this girl. I even secretly went to hang out at her place. I barely knew what a slut was or how you became one...but I was told not to speak to her. I had already been caught once or twice. One more slip up and I was on the fast track to being the next target. 

I was into musicals, I pee’d my pants and hair straighteners were not invented yet. I was already too easy. Plus I had a glimpse of what life was like at the bottom of the food chain. If the queen bee flipped that switch from me being cool to me being dinner, I’d be screwed. 

So I did The Expected. 

I assisted in the murder of this poor girls childhood name and for that I am sorry. I did the expected and in return, expected that my status as “cool” would remain in its current position, as well as benefits. It wasn’t until the queen bee claimed to be having a birthday party in my honor, then ended the party with asking the boy I liked to do her a favour and dance with me all the while preparing the cake that she would soon push my face into for all to see. I was scouted for the cool kid team to play the loser position

If only I had said "FUCK YOU" to other peoples expectations of me and what I expected of them sooner. 

*sigh* The coulda woulda shouldas of life.  

"Fuck you and whatever it is that you feel I need to be so you feel better about yourself! She’s not a slut. You’ve got things twisted. 
And I’m bored of your shitty attitude. How’s that for positions?”  

Then I’d drop the mic, grab my non existent penis, throw my hood on and walk off stage.

Knowing deep down inside that that was what I actually wanted to do/say, was the first flicker of the lightbulb that would eventually shine “Expect less. Smile more.”

The first time my mother reads this will be the first time she'll know of the lesson she planted that day, that eventually blossom’d to be one of things that made my life a little easier. Speaking of pleasant surprises, she’s probably going fall off her chair when she realizes that I’m admitting she somehow made my life "easier". I’m pretty sure she was under the impression that I thought she was the reason my life blew chunks. 

People are unpredictable.
If your going to expect anything expect that.

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