Great Expectations

June 12, 2008
By Allie Gazmarian, Lewisville, NC

“Great Expectations”
There are things in life that can be expected. For some of us this includes visiting that aunt whom you know will pinch your cheeks till they turn a scarlet red and than talk to you as if you were an infant. Or a trip to see the grandparents who will heap portions of foreign food upon your plate which could feed a hundred of your closest friends, and their families. Perhaps an upcoming birthday, surgery, or vacation is marked on your calendar in some florescent hue. In everyday conversation, the word “expected” is tossed around and commonly linked with either a tragedy or celebration. Upon hearing of a recent death, one may ask, “Was it expected?” In contrast, miles away a young bride gathers her closest family and friends to share what she is expecting; a child. Therefore, it is hard to define expectations as good or bad because it is simply human tendency compile assumptions.
My father, who is full of questions, would often ask me following a new experience, “was it what you expected?” More often than not, I would say no. Perhaps the movie was not as gory as I anticipated or my meal at the new Japanese restaurant was ruined because their soy sauce had a weak salt content. It is not a surprise that we often base our expectations upon other’s experiences. My father is notorious for doing extensive research before spending a dime on anything. If my sister and I see previews for a movie that looks good, my father will not show one hint of excitement until after he has carefully reads the online reviews and rankings. Similarly, purchasing any appliance or electronic device requires hours of investigation as he inquires about the quality and service about whatever contraption we desire.
Ironically, we are often told that the best things in life are the unexpected. Maybe your long time boyfriend finally works up the nerve to pop the question. Or possibly, your friends and family plan and execute a fabulous surprise birthday for you. Slightly more tragic, perhaps the abrupt death of the goldfish you won at the fair was found floating in its bowl when you returned home. Regardless of the circumstance, the moments and events that stir up our everyday routine are the ones that we remember when we reflect back on our days. Even though these impromptu occurrences cause initial frustration and anxiety, they often work together to provide spontaneity to life.
However, even when the unfamiliar occurs, we often find ourselves forced into a period of transition that is sometimes hard to cope with. The first break up that one must endure is a synonym to life as you know it completely ending, or so it seems at the time. Following the initial shock, many resort to hours in bed or on the couch accompanied with cartons of ice cream and blaring music with lyrics expressing the horrors of unrequited love. As we are forced to emerge from hibernation after a few days, we come to the realization that life will continue rather we like it or not. Therefore, we are called to adjust faster than we may like and continue on in our fears of the unpredicted.
Many hate the spontaneity that the unexpected events in life often bring with them. I was one of those kids who read the end of the books before the beginning and than lost interest half way through. I hate surprises and being unaware of what is too come. My mother avoids the unfamiliar altogether as she watches Lifetime movies every night that exhibit the same story line with obvious endings. However, aside from my deep hatred of clichés, I often find myself the happiest when I embrace the unknown. When I live my life focusing on what is important now and putting off thoughts of what could be or what is to come, I am content. Perhaps, we should expect that through keeping perspective about the present, we will learn to embrace the unexpected and its indispensable role within our lives.

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This article has 3 comments.

Alicia said...
on Aug. 12 2008 at 4:39 pm
i like how she incorprates her memories and personal life with a broader picture

Julie said...
on Aug. 11 2008 at 2:26 pm
What an incrediable writer!

suze124 said...
on Aug. 11 2008 at 2:18 pm
inspiring...i like your humor within context of the article

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