So, we’re going to go shopping. While we’re shopping, we stop at DSW (a shoe store for the male populous reading this). I grab a really awesome pair of shoes that I love (these are my bridesmaid shoes for my sister’s wedding, but aren’t they cute?!) and try them on. You think they look awesome on me, but I think they’re a little small (for the record, Dad, if you’re reading this, they fit perfectly and are surprisingly comfortable). There’s a good sized group here convinced that these shoes will be awesome and that I should get them anyway. Some people even say, “These are the perfect shoes for you.” Perfect. Well. Since you said perfect (a word I don’t use too lightly), I should get them. and based on the high praise from people I care about, I do.
Then, I wear them to a dinner party. and they hurt. not like, “oh man, these shoes suck,” but rather, “I’m never listening to you people again, you give the worst advice!” Then, there’s the throbbing after 8 hrs of being in use and the horrible pain and I just take them off and put my TOMS on for the rest of the night.
The shoes are cute. They seemed pretty comfortable, they were only slightly too small. but I had them on for far too long!
Does anybody know what I’m talking about? This happens so much to me, not just with shoes, but with anything. People I love and respect give me great advice based on their own experience in a certain area and expect me to love it like they did. Unfortunately, we are all entirely different people and sometimes, those expectations fail us. What works for you does not always work for me.
Two of the biggest areas where expectations have been failing me lately are college and work. I mean, I thought college was going to be awesome. I went away to FAU and I hated it. I came back to BCC and I hated it more. I’m not going to get into the work area, but let’s just assume that in the 2 years, if I wasn’t at home or with my friends, I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. That bad. But, just because these things haven’t worked out for me, that does not mean they won’t work out for you.
This message is for high schoolers. I want you to try everything. Try to come into everything with little to no expectations. Just try. Try your best. Try new things. The time you have left to try new things without them costing you anything but time is fleeting. Two things I don’t want to affect you are other’s expectations for you and your expectations for yourself. Set the bar high, but don’t stress out if you don’t make it. Most people don’t even bother trying.
For the adults reading this, no I am not going to give up having a job (truthfully, I like the friends I make and the tasks I do), but I am going to keep trying new stuff. You can’t wear your old shoes on your brand new feet, right? So, I hope to have a bunch of different types of jobs before I graduate college to hopefully get a “real” job. I am also not quitting school, but quitting my expectations of school. I thought I was going to like college because I LOOOVED high school, but they are totally different animals and I am okay with that. I love the friends I made at FAU that I still talk to and I love meeting new people from different places. I just need to find the right balance between school, work, my social life, and concert planning. That’s what life is anyway, right? It’s just one big balancing act.
Part of what has inspired me to give up some of my expectations was from my friend Shannon. A few weeks ago, she had made some of her friends aware that she was starting an organization with her friend, Ashley (not me), called Lionhart. In Shannon’s words:
“The word “lionheart” describes someone who is brave, fearless. We believe it takes courage to find and know your true worth, especially after people or experiences have taught you that you possess none. Furthermore, it requires a lionheart to show others their value, thus spreading the courage.
We’ve taken the name a step further by changing the spelling of “heart” to “hart”—another name for a deer. The deer represents grace and gentleness, which we believe are traits of a woman who is confident in her worth and what she has to offer the world. When bravery and fearlessness, grace and gentleness combine, it’s an unstoppable combination for overflowing in love.”
Lionhart will be launching July 1st and I encourage you to check them out on facebook (www.facebook.com/lionhartorg) and twitter (www.twitter.com/lionhartorg). One cool thing that they’re doing now is the “What’s Your Worth?” gallery. When Shannon told us about it, I didn’t think I would do it, but I began to think about it more and more and found this would be the perfect time to share what I’ve learned about my identity in Christ. Basically, you take a picture of yourself holding a sign that says what you’re worth. Here it is:
Before I was planning a benefit concert, I knew there was certain expectations of me. Since elementary school, I knew I was expected to go to college and always make the A/B Honor Roll (which I did, eventually leading me to make the Dean’s List at Brevard Community College during my senior year of high school). I was expected to try my best when I was on swim team (something that eventually earned me a couple of first place titles that are in a box in my room somewhere), and in baton twirling (which also earned me a few first place medals), and when playing my violin (which ended in my ability to participate in the pit orchestra for 2 plays at West Shore Jr./Sr. high school).
Then, life happens. I find out that I don’t really like college, but I still like school. It’s not so easy to get a job in college towns, like I had hoped. and believe it or not, I eventually get sick of being paid in thank yous. and there is no where private to practice an instrument if you’re not in the college music program. So, instead of changing my expectations, I make plans. They are much more solid and can be flexible. Best of all, if you write them down, they’re more likely to become a reality.
By May 2015 (the time I should be graduating with my bachelor’s), my goal is to be graduating with a master’s degree (not thinking about majors, yet).
By November 10, 2012; I will have successfully planned my first benefit concert.
By December 2012, my goal is to have finished my AA.
I am absolutely worth more than what is expected of me. God already proved my worth when He sent His only son to die in my place on a cross. I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone because I serve an audience of one.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
“Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
your sister in Christ