I watched David Cook on American Idol last night. My journal, this morning, is filled with my personal reactions to doing so. Not sure exactly what my expectations were in the moment, but I was once again, mesmerized, feeling a bit foolish, yet eager to see and have my senses satisfied. They were and they were not.
That’s the problem with expectations. They are so wide open, so hopeful with a cloud of possibilities that seemingly go on into an unknowable future. But, also laced with at least a fifty percent chance of failure, often more. Yet, we go on creating them, fantasizing over those possibilities and sometimes investing ourselves emotionally, and otherwise, into what is essentially a long shot at best.
When they, as they most often do, fail to materialize, we spiral downward into disappointment, sometimes depression. Think ourselves foolish or worse, for placing our emotional well-being in what is essentially nothing more than a dream, a rose-colored reality where all things wished and wanted suddenly come true.
Is that an accurate assessment? Yes. And, no. Hope is a necessity. Without it, we simply become lumps of energy forever stuck in a gray world that lacks all color. We move, but our movement lacks meaning because it doesn’t have a goal or a purpose. We trudge through our gray world, never looking up, unable to see whatever might be in front of us. What is always in front of us, are other possibilities.
That may be what is wrong with expectations. They are a narrow path, leading only to what we want, not necessarily to what we need. And because the want is so deep and strong, we fool ourselves into thinking it is a need, the only one. That one, that if it is fulfilled will make the rest of our sojourn not just palatable, but filled with contentment and enough excitement to last forever. That is a fantasy. Life doesn’t work that way on a moment to moment basis.
Life is a balancing act of ups and downs, joys and pains, laughter and sadness, and all the other opposites one can think of. It doesn’t run smoothly for more than a short time, no matter how much we may want it to do so. And because expectations are, for the most part, very narrow paths, when we get caught up in them, we fail to prepare for those other eventualities.
A lot of expectations center around other people. Other people doing what we want them to do. In the process, we forget that each individual has choices, a life of their own, people and things to be accounted for and to. As I wrote in my journal this morning, I realized that I simply wanted more time to watch David Cook. I want to sit down and talk to him, ask him questions about his journey, hear the small details of how that journey has changed and altered him.
I will never meet David Cook. If I did, I’d blow it and become completely tongue-tied and probably just stare at him with my mouth hanging open. Not a pretty image. He’d walk away, disgusted at this waste of his time, and probably thinking something quite derogatory about old women who have too much time on their hands. Would his assessment be accurate? Yes and no, perhaps.
Yes, I am an old woman and one that is fascinated by this man’s journey because it has impacted on my own. If you want to know how that came to be, you will have to go back to the beginnings of this blog. For right now, we are discussing expectations. And some of mine were fulfilled last evening. I wanted to know if I still experienced a connection with his person and his music. I did and do.
The song that he sang, Come Back To Me, has a big piece of my own story inside of it. I’d not heard it before and was surprised to find soft tears falling as he sang it. When members of the audience screamed out that they loved him, and he immediately responded with, “I love you, too!”, I laughed because that was a 100% David Cook response. So, yes, I am still connected to the man and his music. And no, he has no idea and never will. That’s the way it should be.
Which brings us to realistic expectations. One of the reasons I have them is because I keep a journal. It is always amazing to me, how easy it is to see the fantasy versuss the reality when one actually writes the words down in black and white. Those rose-colored images actually have clouds of pink mist floating around and through them. Makes it so much easier to see.
The reality may be far more mundane, but it is also easier to accept than getting lost in all that mist and coughing at its fumy presence. Which, by the way, is probably what I would do if I ever came face to face with David Cook, have a coughing fit, or faint, something I have never done in my life. Which, as far as I am concerned, simply means that David Cook is an extremely lucky man for being totally oblivious to my existence.
So, where does that leave me with all of my expectations. Surprisingly satisfied. Disappointed that he was only on for less than ten minutes, but happily aware that his journey continues with a platinum record under his arm. Happy to realize that my journey will also continue and that, on occasion, I may sit down in front of my TV and catch a glimpse of the only connection I have with him. That is reality as it should be, and I am more than happy to allow it to remain so.
Those rose-colored clouds leave a residue of dust behind that simply mean more dusting and cleaning to be done. I am so not into that.