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“Sometimes, we create our own heartbreaks through expectations.” Happy Last Monday in October! Are you getting ready for Halloween?!?! Let me preface it by saying, do you even like Halloween? It’s funny getting people’s perspectives on the “Holiday” itself. You have those who absolutely LOVE IT, and then those who down right loathe it.

I grew up in a household where Halloween was one big party! This was due to the fact that October 31st is my parent’s Anniversary. I have a lot of fond memories of Halloween as a kid. The one thing about the Holiday that I do not care for – the tacky decorations. I love a pretty pumpkin, and some tasteful “ghoulish” platters, but, the rest, yeah, not my bag.

Last year, I was in Santa Monica on the 31st. Let me just say, it was like NOTHING I had seen before! The street near where I stayed – “Montana Avenue” – is home to fabulous shops and restaurants. On Halloween, these establishments open their doors to Trick-Or-Treaters as a way to not only promote camaraderie within the community but safety as well. If I can dig up my video, I will have to post – it was UNREAL! The throngs of people, the costumes, the party, etc. was unforgettable! When the cashier told me at Whole Foods that morning it is pretty epic, well, she was ON POINT!

NOW, it is time to switch gears. Sorry not sorry for the randomness.

I don’t know why but I have felt a pull all day – literally, this post feels like it has taken me all day – to write about “managing expectations.” I laugh because I feel this is the title for so many chapters in “self-help” books, or even news articles that you find online or in magazines. The basis of this has been spurred over the past 24 hours, although it is something that I am consistently working through in my daily process. In fact, my therapist and I talked about this in great lengths yesterday.

This may or may not come as a surprise BUT I hold myself to some pretty high standards, and my expectations at times are (probably) pretty unrealistic. By this, I not only mean expectations of myself but that of other people too. Yes, I know, it is crazy, but this was the conversation I continue to have in my therapy sessions, and something that my therapist keeps driving home.

“Janine, while you feel there are certain ‘rules,’ they do not exist. You cannot expect someone to do what you want them to do because you feel it is right, or if it is because it is how you, in turn, would act.” 

And while I totally get this, and have heard it over and over, I still find myself in this place of feeling hurt & disappointed every time certain things don’t happen the way I feel they should, when things get left unsaid, or when it just feels that as I hard as I try to express my feelings, they get squashed or glossed over. I think this is why I stay guarded and buttoned up. There is only so much rejection you can take before it’s easier just to “go with the flow” and play by someone else’s rules. It is, definitely, not healthy and I have done it for way too long. And, where has it gotten me?

This is the process that I am working through; this is the process of ME, needing to peel off some of the layers I have been wearing for so long, and to say “hey, this is what I want and this is what I need.” Really, what is the worst that could happen? As I was reminded, it doesn’t make me a bitch, or needy, or self-centered. It’s me, being human, and wanting to be happy; not sad, resentful, or feeling like I cannot be myself.

Because life is too short to feel this way, right?!

Here’s to a great week…and thank you for listening! 🙂