|Ta Da. This stupid thing has caused untold confustication :(|
Great Expectations can lead to disappointments. One thing I'm NOT good at is sports. I tried a lot of them growing up with no success. My Little League baseball team never won a game, may not have scored, and the coach made fun of the way I ran. Our soccer team lost all of its games and I do remember we did score one goal in one game. I remember because I didn't even know it had happened until I asked what all the excitement was about. I tried basketball thinking my height would be an asset, but again, we never won a game and I sat on the bench most all the time. Not surprisingly, I was pretty much the last picked in gym class or the playground. It didn't really bother me, I'd just learned not to expect any different. I didn't expect my team to win, or score. I didn't expect to make any sort of contribution. Sports just wasn't my thing. I did still know what I COULD do, though, I was perfectly comfortable in the water. I was a fully certified SCUBA diver before I was old enough the drive.
The arts were another area I never developed any expectations of success. We had a downright evil art teacher in the latter part of elementary school that made sure I knew I had zero talent in that area. But it wasn't a disappointment because I had no expectations there. From the earliest days I was no good with the visual arts thing. My friends didn't want me using their coloring books because I scribbled. I couldn't stay in the lines with my crayon like the other kids, so I didn't even try. Playdough was for making snakes. Period. And I hate snakes. I was in the church children's choir but in the back and off to the side where I couldn't do any damage. I even joined the bell choir, but ended up being entrusted with only one bell and even then the director had to pause in her conducting and point at me when she wanted me to bong the thing; I was lost. I took up the trombone in 4th grade after the band guy came in and gave an assembly showing us all the different instruments we could learn. I had meant trumpet, but wrote trombone. Whatever, I didn't expect to be able to do it, so what difference did it make? I was in a small class with two of us, me and Doug Miller. Doug was a musical prodigy. I struggled for about four months trying to learn three notes and then gave up. I eventually took a photography class in high school and that's been my "artistic" outlet ever since. Recently I've started mucking about with Photoshop and fooling myself that THAT is "art."
I don't mean to be complaining here, I have been perfectly happy living within what I know I can do and do well. Controlling expectations leads to minimizing disappointment, right? I don't get jealous of the people who can hit a baseball at the picnic (I struck out at wiffleball at a work picnic once), or sing or dance or play golf once in a blue moon and still score less than 120. I enjoy them for what they are and remain happy with what I am, in my comfort zone. That is until this year.
|Munchkin Houses :)|
Now we come to the Charles Dickens Festival. After telling Jen I was happy to be involved with the theatre, but couldn't act, sing or dance, I find myself preparing to portray Uriah Heep, dance in front of an audience and help sing showtunes from Oliver! Once again, Jen drew me out of my happy place gently. She told me the character acting wasn't that much different than the murder mystery parties we'd done a few years back. She told me the dance was more walking around and clapping then really dancing. She just bluntly told me that I was going to join in the singing. A few years ago I'd have had no part in these things, especially trying to sing in front of people, but something's changed. I'm wondering if I don't set my bar too low. I'm wondering if I'm not just lazy. I'm wondering how much of a disservice I've done to myself allowing that laziness. It's been on my mind a lot this week.
I love having people in my life who accept me as I am. I try to be that to others, to remind them that they are great just as they are. But lately I've been challenged to be more than I was. It isn't always comfortable and I fight it sometimes. I have dismissed high standards people hold for themselves and others as "perfectionism," and that was wrong. Comfort zones are for lazy people and I'm going to try to break that habit. And I promise to try to help others do the same in the future. It's a big switch for me, but I have every idea that given time and maybe a few reminders I can maybe bring others the gift Great Expectations.