Expectations. Standards. These two things make up what people look for and what they expect to be there. Especially in relationships from friendships to romantic partners, people have standards and expectations to what they want. With friendships they might want someone to always be there, knowing that they can depend on them. The standards for romantic partners are set to what the person is looking for, what they want in a significant other. People set standards and expectations so they don’t just settle for anything, so they try to expect that they deserve more. Standards are set so people can excel those standards so they are above the bar. Standards are the bare minimum of what a person might be looking for, they want to at least meet those standards to better themselves or expect more.
During the time I was in a relationship with my ex boyfriend all I wanted to be was perfect. I wanted to be the perfect girlfriend not because he was my first boyfriend but because he had plenty of ex girlfriends. He use to compare me to each of his girlfriends and how I was different from them. I hated it. I hated being compared to them; I didn’t like being told that I was just like them. I thought that was the worst insult he could tell me because the relationships he had with those girls didn’t work out, and I wanted ours to be different. I tried my hardest to not reach the expectations he had for me. His past relationships his girlfriends didn’t treat him right, they slapped him around, yelled at him, and fought with him constantly about how he didn’t spoil them. I know that I would never want to be like that with any of my boyfriends, but when he found out that I was nice, caring, compassionate, nonviolent, and loving he didn’t really know what to expect anymore. But once I set those expectations he didn’t want anything less from me, and when I did get mad or frustrated at him, he got upset and compared me once again to his ex girlfriends.
To be honest, I didn’t want to fail him. I didn’t want to be just another one of his girlfriends. I know when I was compared to them I felt sad, unhappy, and disappointed at myself for not being the perfect girlfriend I set out to be. After he broke up with me, I didn’t know what to think. I knew I set out to be the perfect girlfriend, but I felt that I let him down, that I wasn’t good enough for him anymore. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t me, but part of me felt that I led him down, that I was exactly like his ex girlfriends, that there was something wrong with me. Before the breakup I thought everything was going good. That I was being the girlfriend that I was suppose to be, the perfect one for him. I thought I made him happy and exceeded his standards and expectations for myself. I felt that I was more than what he wanted, but after the breakup I felt less, I felt defeated. I felt that there wasn’t a point of me trying, I felt that as much as I tried to aim for this perfect image, I didn’t reach it, I failed. I guess I still don’t think I am good enough.
1: Don’t take it personally if people worry about you – because we will worry. 2: Don’t dwell on the past so much that you forget to live in the present. 3: Age matters less than insight, wisdom, or courage. 4: Push yourself. 5: Don’t be quick to judge others, and don’t get caught up in the little things. 6: Have fun, but be careful. 7: Everybody hurts sometimes. 8: Greet the world with an open mind and an open heart. 9: Always remember the wonderful things. 10: You are your own person.
Chapter the Last, Part the Second: Picking Up Pieces (Somebody That I Used to Know)
At 18 and a half years old, I’ve spent half a year as a legal adult. I’m a senior in high school, had my first job, and got my driver’s license. I can vote, buy lottery tickets, and even die for my country. But as I sit here writing out my age, it’s hard to believe because I most definitely do not act my age.
Judge for yourself. This Tuesday, Orchesis went to Dana Middle School to perform part of our show. We had time before the show started to warm up, stretch, and talk. Since this usually translates to messing around, I grabbed my friend’s dupatta, or long scarf that we use for Bollywood, and tied us together. My friend (who will go unnamed because I’m not sure if she wants people to know this) and I went galloping around the stage, tied tightly together, pretending we were horses. After two circles around the stage, we finally collapsed on the ground, gasping with laughter, and unable to move apart because of the dupatta. Even Orchesis members, who have already seen our weird, less than normal sides, were looking at us strangely. But in those moments, I felt like a kid again.
I treasure times like these, but many people only get to see my serious side, and only my close friends know how childish I can be. I hide it because childishness isn’t valued as an adult, just like innocence is okay for kids, but looked down upon if you don’t grow out of it as an adult. I love the youthful, optimistic view many kids have of the world. It’s full of discoveries to be made, opportunities to take, and most of all, fun to have. But outwardly, I’ve conformed to society’s general perceptions of child-like qualities ever since around 6th grade, and toned my personality down around my peers or other adults. Sometimes I laugh quietly, when I all I want to do is double over in side-splitting laughter, the kind you can’t stop if you wanted to, at an immature joke.
The adult world, for the most part, requires maturity when interacting with others. I think it can be a bleak world, because you’re expected to grow out of youthful fantasies of a joyful world. It’s time to buckle down and work, to take a job to support your family. I don’t buy that. I don’t want to block out a part of my personality because society doesn’t accept it as “adult”.
So instead of eliminating a significant part of my personality, I just want to modify it, to tweak it to take my place in the adult world. I want to come back to visit Arcadia High as a vivacious young woman. Someone who knows how to have fun like a child, and mature when the situation calls for. But most of all, I want to still love life like a child does, with no holds barred. It’s not going to be perfected after a year of college, maybe even three, but in four years time, when I’m a senior in college, about to graduate, I want to look back at my life so far, and smile to see how far I’ve come. I’ll have shed the negative parts of being child-like, such as complaining and avoiding work, and stepped up as vibrant, life-loving young adult ready to take on the world with a smile.