I am a strong believer in the value of striving to become better. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that I don't like who I am now. But, everybody has faults, and I don't believe it to be a bad thing to want to make those faults... lesser.
Sometimes, though, I find that it's very hard to change in the face of other people's expectations of me. Those that know us, they do create expectations of our behavior. I think it's important to to understand and own that, much of the time, they create expectations based on our previous behavior. We acted a certain way last week, or last year, or last decade... We made choices, good or bad, and those all combine to create people's expectation of us... they're natural consequences, folks. They aren't applied with cruelty, but they ARE consequences to the choices we've made in the past.
But, sometimes when we're making efforts to change those behaviors, the expectations become a wall that we butt up against time and time again. Expectations can be a powerful tool to keep us STUCK. It's a bit like marching down the road toward a goal, when just as you are about to reach it, a police officer steps into your path, blows his whistle, and tells you to stop and go back.
"What?" you say. "But where I need to go is RIGHT THERE," pointing to a spot just beyond the officer.
"I'm sorry," he says, "but that won't be possible. Last year, you were here and we had to have the whole SWAT team out to clean up your mess."
"But, you don't understand," you implore. "I'm different now. I've been changing. You are absolutely right that last year was awful, but things are different now. Can't you see that?"
But, he is immovable. "Sorry. Go back."
So, you do... Sometimes the frustration is too much, and you DO go back. Why try if they're just going to foil you at every turn? Sometimes, you backpedal and try a different path to get to where you want to be, but they just show up again. Again and again and again, shutting down every attempt. And you want to scream "Can't you let me do this? I know I made this pit, but I'm trying to climb out of it, so stop throwing dirt on me!"
Photo Credit: Kenneth Ristau