In my last post, I mentioned that at one point I was working for a resident theater company. I had directed several productions while there and they were very successful (even award winning). There was a script that had been around for several years. Each year it would be considered and for various reasons not included in the season. It was a play with a delightful premise and was quite amusing as well. I finally prevailed in committee and the play was added and I was to direct it. As a premier (premiere?) I was sure that there would be no problems with either the script, casting or production. Quoting from the last post:
“I spent a tremendous amount of time with the script – many meetings with designers and such, and would then plunge off into what I expected the production to be like and look like. (are you paying attention to the pronouns and expectations here?) Rehearsals went quite well, and I was quiet pleased with the result. There were a few nagging questions from various people associated with the theater, but I was convinced the final result would answer all doubters. The show had spectacle, humor, tenseness, drama and a happy ending. I had even added a number of abstract moments in the show (something that was only hinted at in the script) and expected that the audience would enjoy and follow along with them.”
I was sure that my expectations were going to be fulfilled the way I intended. There would be amazing reactions from all concerned. There were reactions, to be sure. However, they were not what I intended nor, in some cases, wanted. I ran headlong into the wall of expecting answers according to my expectations. While not a failure, it was not a success either.
I’ve written before about my non-relationship relationship with ZZ. This is probably the most personal of the false expectations trap. Not only did I have false expectations, but I had various people at various times point out that my expectations were false and that I was headed for serious problems. But along with the false expectation I had added yet another luggage tag:
2) Fantasy travel: A very weak color, which leads away from the bright color of reality.
I was so sure that everything was going to turn out as I expected and desired, I literally decorated my luggage of life with various tags – the one of fantasy travel being quite prominent. And for an incredible number of years, I clung tightly to that tag – believing that ZZ would change, that our entire lives would change. And it never happened. But, of course, I had invested to much into the false itinerary, I became overwhelmed by the idea of making it a reality and making the journey fit what I felt it should be. And long the journey, I lost myself. I fell into several major traps because my expectations were not grounded for flight school as they should have been.
Even at my … ahem … age, life can be quite full of activity. But none of these defines who I am, and what journey I’m taking. I can be going and doing various tasks all day and sometimes into the evening, but these are simply tasks – things to accomplish. None of these are really who I am.
I learned this painfully with ZZ. And, of course, still have to have an occasional refresher course as my journey continues. That’s why the quote that a fellow blogger Nodrin King left me is so powerful and true. I have to develop who I am. I have to take the journey of finding myself and becoming comfortable with myself. And as the quote puts it at the end – My relationships can be a by-product of how I view my identity and myself.
“Happiness is not something that someone else, like a lover, can give to us. We have to achieve it for ourselves. And the only way to do so is by developing our character and capacity as human beings; by fully maximizing our potential … What is important now is to work hard at developing yourselves into truly wonderful human beings. Ultimately, the relationships you form are a reflection of your own state of life.”
–more on all this later