Of expectations and reality

When we grew up, the media and our parents taught us, we can do whatever we want. Heck, we are most likely the first generation to actually grow up in a world where we can become anything we want. Yet, I meet more and more people who feel stuck. 

Where did your dreams go? Did you follow through on your aspirations? How did you do in regard to your own expectations? 

I feel like I am not alone when I say that I feel like I lost momentum. There are so many ways to go. So many choices. And it is all too much. I am scared. Am I doing the right thing? Is this really the way I want to go? What if I am not happy in the end? My world solely revolves around these questions. And I keep thinking: where did it all go wrong? 

Was it when I gave up my dream to study a degree that potentially makes more money? Was it when I moved to a different country and left everything behind? Was it when I decided to watch The Office a second time instead of trying that new show? Or is it simply natural? 

Heck, even right now I don’t know where to go with this text. I am simply writing down my thoughts as they race through my head. 

I think, growing up, I have developed too many expectations – especially of myself. I started this adventure with ambitions. But what many of us weren’t told: living is really hard work. Being shut down, being told that we are wrong, not having the money to follow our dreams and being compared with others at every turn. 

Life simply grinds you down more and more until you settle for something that would have been a nightmare to you 10 years ago. And your dreams grow smaller and smaller. 

Maybe my expectations of myself are too high. Yet, everything screams: “You are the generation that has to make a change”, “You have to be happy”, “You have to achieve this and that”, “You have to have a purpose”, “You have to move something”. It’s an overload. An overload of expectations in a supposedly free society that I feel forced to compare myself to. Over and over again. And in the end, you are alone. Alone with a multitude of choices to make and ways to go – no reload button.

How do you deal with the fear of failing? How do you deal with the thoughts hunting you down of what could have been? 

I guess at the end of the day I am simply asking myself: am I satisfied with myself? Could I meet my 14 year old self and be proud of who I am?

Maybe I have to stop living in this “what if” world.

Maybe my expectations of myself are too high. 

Maybe I am simply not doing enough. 

Maybe it is just the balance between theory and reality.

In theory, we always want so much. But in practice, we barely do anything to deserve it.

Unfortunately, I cannot end this useless reflection with anything worthwhile for you. I don’t have the answers. But if you are looking for them, maybe I can give you some comfort by telling you: you are not alone.

2 responses to “Of expectations and reality”

  1. Life is about taking risks. It’s about failing and succeeding. Without failing there would be no appreciation of success. You gotta do what feels right for u at this moment and time and think later. That’s the only way to live without regrets and worries of what could have been. You’ll always win if u take a risk. If you fail – it will be the best lesson you can get and if u win well then u’ve done it 🙂
    As far as expectations and living up to ur full potential goes, happiness means different things to different people. There is nothing wrong to just want to do well for urself instead of trying to move mountains to prove something that u think society wants u to prove. Some people are happy living simple lives and thats where their strenght comes from because they can step back from all this pressure society puts on them and say “u know what, i’m happy what what i am and what i’ve got” 🙂


    1. Thanks for the kind words and different perspective 🙂


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