Expectations vs. Reality

Have you ever had expectations of how things are "supposed" to go? Ever doubt yourself when you're encountering new or challenging situations? Suffer from lack of confidence? Yup, me too. The other day while I was exercising, I started thinking about all the different times in my life when I doubted myself or expected things to go a certain way. I whipped out my journal and wrote it all out.

Below are the beliefs/expectations I've had at some point in my life, followed by the truth or reality. I hope you can relate to some of these and be reminded of the important truth.

Expectation #1: They probably think I'm a jerk for not getting together with them all the time and/or for not texting them back promptly.

Reality: Who cares? Your time, your money, and your energy are your most valuable resources. How you choose to spend them is directly related to who you are and ultimately the life you want to live. Protect your resources accordingly and do what makes YOU happy.

Expectation #2: I really need to lose 20 pounds. I'm certain that would make everything better and make me happy.

Reality: First of all, yes, I am 20 pounds heavier than I was at my wedding day. But here's the kicker, I'm also the happiest I've ever been in my life. Why do we constantly allow that scale, that number to define us? Happiness comes from within and doesn't come from a number on a the scale or the size of your clothes. It comes from living a life that you're proud of and knowing that you're capable of anything. Happiness comes from loving yourself, making the best decisions for yourself, and doing what's right for YOU.

Expectation #3: I could never run a full marathon.

Reality: There's that self-doubt chiming in. Turns out I was completely capable of running a marathon. In fact, I've completed a total of four full marathons and that's thanks to making a plan, training my ass off, and crossing that finish line.

Expectation #4: I should be embarrassed about shopping for clothes at Goodwill. What will people think?

Reality: Clothes are clothes. Period. Who cares where you buy them? Be grateful you have money to buy something new (even if it's new to you) and wear it with confidence. Nobody cares where you bought it. They care about YOU.

Expectation #5: My story doesn’t matter.

Reality: False, false, so FALSE. “When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal someone else.” Our words matter and our stories matter. Share it bravely, share it loudly, share it proudly.

Expectation #6: I need them to apologize and admit they were wrong so that I can have closure and move on.

Reality: I crave that apology. I’m longing for them to admit they were wrong. But is there really such a thing as closure? It doesn’t erase what was said or done. Our brains are way too sophisticated to just delete things. For me, I need to remind myself that my feelings are valid. There's no timeline when it comes to healing or grief. At the end of the day, I need to find a way to cope, pray for them, and maybe someday find forgiveness.

Expectation #7: I’ll never have 6-pack abs.

Reality: This one still proves to be true. Ha ha! But let’s break this one down for a quick minute. In order to have 6-pack abs I would need to realistically train and eat like a professional athlete. In reality, I’m a 37-year old mother of two wild, wonderful boys who simply want to be healthy and stay healthy. That’s all. I want to be able to indulge now and then, sleep in when the boys sleep in, and not stress about missing a workout here and there. I don’t need 6-pack abs to love myself.

Expectation #8: Life will be boring without alcohol.

Reality: This couldn't be further from the truth. I have so much more fun now, have many new hobbies, have been gifted all of this extra magical time to do so much more than before. I’m clear-headed, get to experience everything at a higher vibration, and best of all, get to remember it all.

Expectation #9: I’m a bad mom if my kid does something wrong.

Reality: You are NOT a bad mom. In fact, you are quite simply the best mom for your kids. Kids make mistakes, we make mistakes. It’s how we react and whether or not we take advantage of the opportunity to teach the lesson when given the chance. No one is perfect and if they seem perfect, they’re just really stinking good at faking it.

Expectation #10: I can’t possibly call myself a runner. My “long run” was 2 miles this week.

Reality: If you run, you’re a runner. Period.

Expectation #11: My kids aren't going to learn anything during this pandemic.

Reality: They learned EVERYTHING. They learned to cook eggs, how to bake, they learned to ride their bikes. They became more creative. We read SO many books together. My youngest even learned to tie his shoes by himself. They truly, truly bonded as brothers. We feared they would fall behind, but I think some took a huge leap forward.

Expectation #12: This slice of birthday cake is going to make me fat.

Reality: Good grief Jessica. How many slices of delicious, mouthwatering cake I passed up because I feared it. It’s so ridiculous that we brainwash ourselves into thinking oh "I’ll be good and have a salad" or "I’m being so bad if I’m indulging in this dessert." This is complete BS and it’s not a battle for our souls. It’s just a freaking slice of cake. Life is short, eat the cake.

Expectation #13: I’ll probably only sell around 10 Decidedly Dry journals, that’d be a realistic goal.

Reality: I’ve sold over 250 journals and they’re spread out all across the country (some even in Canada!) Sometimes I think we need to believe in ourselves and give ourselves a little bit more credit.

Expectation #14: I’m not doing enough.

Reality: If you’re doing the best you can, that is enough. Read that again.

Expectation #15: I’m alone in this. There can’t possibly be any other mom that drinks like this.

Reality: We are not alone. There are so many women struggling, questioning their relationship with alcohol, tossing around the idea of quitting, wishing they had someone to talk to. This conversation is becoming a thing and there is support everywhere if you're open to looking for it.

Expectation #16: I’ll never be able to quit drinking.

Reality: That was 550 days ago. Here I am and I’m still standing.

There you have it my friends. So many expectations that I've experienced and the beautiful reality that I needed to desperately remind myself of. I'll end this post with one of my favorite quotes:

"You know who's going to give you everything? Yourself."

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