Stevie Wonder once said, "You can't base your life on other people's expectations." For him, this is irrefutably true. If he lived the way everyone else had expected him to, then we wouldn’t have had the 40 years of great music from him that we’ve had. Yes, 40 years.
If people truly did base their lives on other people’s expectations, then Edison would probably have never discovered half of what he did, the Wright brothers probably would never have flown, and Einstein himself would probably have been committed or coddled (he being dyslexic, but still a misunderstood genius)
If I’d based my life on other people’s expectations of me, then I would have learned programming languages like Pascal and Fortran in college (when they were already dying) and would have a useless degree. Or I would have failed out of my statistics class that was run by a tried and true blue chauvinist. Or I’d probably still be living at home with my parents. I wouldn’t be dating anyone either in that case – I have extremely overprotective parents. Or I wouldn’t have married my DH (because mom didn’t like him and was convinced that he’d leave me). Or I would just sit quietly and agree with everything my former bosses in other companies have said, and furthered my reputation as a doormat yes-woman instead of someone who is known to institute (and instigate) change… and stand by her argument until it’s beaten into the ground (and can still prove it to be the right course of action or graciously admit defeat if it’s wrong)
I’m sure you could think of things where people expected things of you, and you didn’t live up to them… or rejected them and took your own course of action.
There’s a flip side to that statement – you can’t expect everyone else to live up to your expectations. That would be my daughter B’s issue. She was a princess in another life. Seriously. As each day goes by, I’m more and more convinced of reincarnation. She expects everyone around her to do her bidding, and if she doesn’t get her way, she throws a royal fit. Most of the time it’s her strong willed older sister, A, who doesn’t bend to B’s will.
I think part of it is the fact that she’s got these gorgeous big light sky blue eyes and long dark eyelashes with almost porcelain skin. She’s an exceptionally cute little kid (I’m not being biased - everyone else tells me so, therefore it must be true). And enough people have told her that in her lifetime, as she played shy hiding behind mommy and daddy’s legs, or tucking her head into our shoulders, that I think the praise warped her common sense.
I mean, come on, just because people have said to B that she’ll wrap people around her fingers with those blinking blue eyes and they’ll do anything for her smile doesn’t mean that she’s entitled to indentured servants, does it?
I have big brown eyes with long lashes, and a pretty darn good smile too (where do you think B got hers…
) – can I have servants too? *grin*
The other day DH and I were calling B a spoiled princess while she was in the room. She looked up from the puzzle she was doing - which had displaced my model project on the coffee table because she *had*
to do the puzzle right then – and in all honesty, the coffee table *is*
the best place for such things. We had caught her attention, and she corrected us. She’s not a princess, she countered angrily… she’s the Queen of England, and then laughed haughtily at us.
Ah, the Queen… well, B, did you know that there were a few queens that were beheaded? She cocked her head to the side, blue eyes wide, and asked what that meant. A promptly jumped in with a gory explanation involving axes, lots of blood, and guts spilling everywhere, and B grabbed her throat, made a strangling sound, and fell over with her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth.
Ah, the drama queen. So, instead of royalty, now she’s a diva… which, essentially, is the same thing. It’s just a different kind of royalty…
… so I sit and wait, innocently batting my long-lashed big brown eyes, waiting for my indentured servants and my closeup from Mr. DeMille.