My homeboy Samuel Johnson once said that he who expects much will often be disappointed. I believe that, the same way I believe black goes with everything and pink should only be worn by those under 35. My problem is, sometimes I tend to forget that bit about expectations and raise the bar every now and then. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and it got me thinking about expectations and hope. I realized that there is a fine line between the two and many confuse one for the other. I myself have fallen victim to this slippery slope.
First let us define the two.
We all live with certain expectations. We expect the professor to show up at the time alloted. We expect to eat dinner in the evening. We expect Manny Villar to come up with another commercial. There are certainties in expectations.
In hope, we get by with faith. There is no assurance that what we’re hoping for would pull through. There is an immensely frightening possibility for it not to happen. I have discussed the courage of those who hope, but the trouble is, in hope, sometimes we expect. The sad part is, sometimes our expectations blow out of proportion and we are absolutely sure that it will happen. And when it doesn’t, we get hurt. By expecting too much, when we should have been hoping, we make ourselves vulnerable to pain.
I remember this boy I used to date. This happened two years ago and we were very much in love. He dedicated a Beethoven poem to me and he used to make this really stupid but cute sound to make me smile. Like most relationships, it failed. I remember the last thing he told me was that wasn’t our time. Because I loved him, because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I held on to that. But, instead of hoping, I expected. I expected that when he resolved his issues with his sexuality (he was confused around the time we dated), he would get back with me and we would live happily ever after.
It took quite a while for me to move on. I blindly held on to his last words, believing that he would sweep me off my feet again. I stalked his social networking profiles, texted him randomly, went to certain places hoping I would see him there. I was pathetic. A good friend slapped some sense into me when she said that I shouldn’t expect. While she didn’t tell me to hope, it was pretty much the same thing. She told me to get on with my life. That way, if he doesn’t come back, it won’t hurt terribly. And when he does, it would be a pleasant surprise. I still remember those words, and I had the pleasure of telling her the same thing when she was in a similar position. That guy didn’t come back, but I’m glad to say that my days of pining away for him has ended.
Hope and expectation are very tricky things and must be handled with care. I know our emotions can get the best of us but I think we should do less of expecting and more of hoping. There is something sweeter when the thing we hope for suddenly comes true. There is that triumphant feeling of awe and surprise that makes the situation even more beautiful.
Also,when it doesn’t happen, it won’t hurt as much. Sigh, I should have realized this a week ago.