Reflections

Defying expectations…

 

Ok…  So here’s the thing.  We all have expectations, even though most of us seem to understand that expectation breeds disappointment; it really can’t be any other way.  When we “construct” our reality, it is always as “perfect” as we can imagine it to be.  As we replay the possibilities over and over again, we adjust, adapt, account for those portions that do not “work” as we intend…

But, if we are to realize those intentions, then they must be released, given up, in fact, in order to manifest in this world.  That means our expectations go with them…

And because our “realities” necessitate others (in order to claim them as “our”), we have to rely on others to interpret our intentions.  As a new WordPress friend of mine has so eloquently expressed (I’m so sorry, brazenescape, but I do not know how to post links in here…lol), no one, outside our selves can fully grasp our thoughts or intentions.  Therefore, expectation will create disappointment…

A personal example, based on this blog.  I write all sorts of odd things: poetry, short stories, random musings, bizarre thoughts…  Well, if you’ve read any of it, you know what I mean.  I am “all over the place.” (Which might be a message in itself…  hmm…  sorry, temporarily distracted. lol!)  Anyway, as I post each entry, I do so with some vague hope or expectation of how it will be “received.”

Yet you, the readers of said blog, continue to defy my expectations…

The things I post that I absolutely love, those pieces I think reflect the “best” of my work today, draw very little response.  While those pieces I toss off, and instantly regret once I press the publish button, continue to draw responses, long after they are posted.

**NOTE: Please do not take what follows as a request to go back and comment on previous posts; that is definitely NOT my intent here.  I am not seeking “validation,” so much as a deeper understanding of “expectation.”  Although, your comments, at any time, are quite welcomed and encouraged! 🙂 **

So… take the short stories I recently posted.  I personally love them!  Though they were written over 20 years ago, they still bring me to tears every time I read them.  And, while part one of each story drew a warm, supportive response, the conclusions brought little response at all…

Is it because no one actually liked them?  Are they only relevant to me?  The WordPress eye icon, representing “views, ” I presume, cannot tell me if readers actually finished reading them; it only informs me that someone saw them.  So, am I to assume that no one could even finish them?

Whereas a post like “Ping Pong…,” which I regretted instantly, drew the exact opposite response, including comments from readers who rarely comment here at all…  Hmm…

I write for myself, and I share that writing with others.  I do not write for others; I am not here seeking followers, or publication, or admiration; I am merely seeking community here.  So I am unlikely to change my style based on these results.  Still, I am curious…

Do I have some sort of “value dislexia,” in the sense that what I place value upon is at odds with what the rest of the “world” (read bloggers in this case) value?  Am I seriously living in my own little world, which only bears a passing and fleeting resemblance to the world the rest of you live in?  Or am I to find some meaning in the pattern itself?  For what we value, at any given time, reflects what is most pertinent to us…

Perhaps those responses tell me something of great value about where my cherished Others are at…  Perhaps this writing gig isn’t about “me” after all…

There you go, Expectations!  I defy you today!

Come on, then…  I dare you!

Expectation, how do you respond to this?!

(And yes, I am calling you out!  I believe that is somewhere in the definition of “defiance” itself…  Or maybe I just made that part up…)

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37 thoughts on “Defying expectations…

  1. Hi L R… Thought provoking post. A difficult balancing act between objective and subjective and it worked.

    One of the great but also double-edged sword facets of Humanity, is that whereas as groups we tend to say ‘Yeh’ or ‘Nah’ depending on the circumstances; when we are left to ourselves, we are our own captains. In days of yore this meant a lot of grumbling to oneself or letters to newspapers; these days because we have the ‘Net’ we have (for better of for worse) the ability to be our own voice without ‘fear’ of being physical jeered (or worse) at. This gives folk a lot of freedom and thus there are a large number of variables out there.

    Yep, variables…
    So you put thoughts out into the ‘Net-i-verse’ and they journey to other folk and the thing is that you never know they are going to receive that depending on their mood at the time and someone versed in maths could probably work on a formulae for that….ANNNDDD add to that you never know how you are going to view the words you sent out when you have a feedback.

    Feedback of course is tricky, because you do not know exactly how the recipient truly received that. Did they think ‘hmm-interesting’ and move on or ‘S’nice’ hit ‘like’ and move on OR ‘OH WOW!’ hit ‘like’ but (at the time) are stuck for words to reply. Or does it catch them to the extent they have simply must reply…..ANNDDDD, you never know when the person in question who did not respond will respond or vice-versa.

    Now that is a whole lot of confusion is it not? And that is because we as humans are not a quantifiable as individuals, we are contradictions and not always the same contradictions either (dependant on our mood, etc). Feedback is nice, but not always necessary.
    The important thing is for you to put out into the ‘Net-I-verse’ whatever you feel the urge to put out there (Yeh I know the worshippers at Hate’s banquet are there too, we’re stuck with them, sad little inadequates…oooops off topic-calm down lad). It will resonate outwards and onwards, not just now but into the future. Neither of us know when someone will look at our present as their past and say ‘Ahh..this is interesting’

    So you keep on, keeping on, without wondering how it will be received today, or by whom. The land of WordPress is a rewarding land for this sort of task, and you will be saying in effect ‘I am here. I have a voice. I am.’

    Good luck
    Godspeed
    Best wishes
    Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Indeed, surprises have proven more reliable than expectations 🙂 In regard to writing, and possibly a slight tangent, a friend sent me a link earlier about ‘memoirs’, which I immediately misread read as ‘blogs’, and a sage thought within the page was that a memoir has two voices, two versions of the person that we are, that which is intentional, perhaps well crafted, and that which is unintentional, the most honest version of us. To expand on it, a single piece does not reflect us, each new piece added begins to complete the portrait. The truth of us exists in between the words, no matter how honest the words have been. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing, because each time, I learn more of who you are. Thank you for sharing yourself, so beautifully. As for the likes, or feedback, or sometimes– the lack thereof, leave that to the marketers to figure out. You’re a writer 🙂 Please keep doing that. You’re appreciated.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Eric, this is a wonderful surprise! I love the thought that “the truth of us exists in between the words”… It’s downright poetic and profound; as I read those words there is a part of me jumping up and down in excitement, screaming, “Yes! Yes! That’s it!” (Unfortunately it is only in my imagination, as jumping up and down is no longer possible for me. Lol! But you get the idea… :))

      And this following quote from you turns out to be even more profound in this case, prophetic even, as I will soon explain: “…a memoir has two voices, two versions of the person that we are, that which is intentional, perhaps well crafted, and that which is unintentional, the most honest version of us.”

      Thank you for these words, and this encouragement. I am truly grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, much to discuss here. I guess the first thing that jumped out to me was the statement “…no one, outside our selves can fully grasp our thoughts or intentions”. I would say, for myself at least, that I cannot fully grasp my thoughts nor my intentions.” To keep it short, which is not my strong suit, it comes down to the subconscious, where our conscious mind and language cannot tread. To use a personal example, I struggle dealing with a particular writing piece, wondering why the words just won’t come together, only later to realize that I was tapping into, or my “I” was being tapped into, by some trauma from long ago. Was my subconscious attempting to drive me and my intention, and, thus, expectation, about what to be written about, unbeknownst to me? I look at a prompt word and my mind zips to a phrase – why that one? I didn’t intend for it to pop up, it just did. And so on.

    Another facet of what you are bringing up is inherent in the above paragraph — time, as in the time it takes to write the comment. Something that is always on my mind is a kind of guilt because I so often will just like a post and move on although I could write quite a bit. Yet I can never keep up with my feed as it is, and I have to balance the amount of time I spend on one post versus reading a number of posts.

    The comment portion of WordPress blogs is what makes this a community and not just a platform for people to post on. So I try to take the time to give thoughtful comments, but it would just not be humanly possible to do so on every post I read.

    In a way I bring that expectation to my own posts. I make the assumption that people are liking it without a comment not because they don’t have anything to say but that the demands of not only other WP posts, but the demands of their life outside of this community limits their time.

    When I began blogging here this time around I did so just to “put my stuff out there.” If one or two people came by and liked it, that not only cool, but a major therapeutic leap for me, to put my stuff out there to be seen by the world – that whole panic attack self-loathing thing. So I try each day (even as I look at my stats) to remind myself of that, to hold true to that original intention and is corresponding expectation.

    Liked by 4 people

    • What can I say here, but that you have succeeded in “blowing my mind” once more! (I’m sorry that sounds so frivolous, for it is not intended to be, but that phrase, as you say, is pushing all other words away, so I will go with it.!)…

      You tell me that you cannot fully grasp your own thoughts and intentions, and then you go on to show me that clearly I had not grasped my own. I was “tricked” by my self to publish this post before it should have been done, because what I wound up saying appears to be the exact opposite of what I intended to say! Why? Because I was running late to get to work (that time thing you also mention), and I wanted to finish, and it seemed so clear in my head at the time, that I didn’t think I needed to review it too deeply. I figured if I missed a typo or something, people would forgive that… But it never occurred to me, until I read your reply, that what I actually said might not be what I meant…

      Let me explain…

      When I first read your comment, I couldn’t understand why it seemed to be explaining why one cannot always comment; I thought to myself, but he DID take the time to comment, so what am I missing here? So I went back to re-read my post, and that’s when I saw it through new eyes… (I am literally cringing in embarrassment right now…lol!) That last part, where I shout out my “challenge,” could easily be interpreted as a challenge to my readers to step in and comment once in a while. That is not what I “intended” at all… Sigh…

      What I was attempting to do in those last few moments, while running late for work today, was to defy the expectations I myself put out there. I was using it as a proper noun, naming my fear of rejection and irrelevancy, forcing myself to own my own inadequacies, all in an effort to grow beyond them. My history is such that I have always been on the “outside looking in,” hanging around on the “fringes” of society; my disparate “value” system has ever been a mystery and source of embarrassment for me. I was using the feedback system of the blogging world (an example I figured we could all relate to) to highlight my feelings of being “different.” And then I attempted to defy them, by challenging myself to release this post, and the vulnerability associated with it, without worrying about how it might be perceived…

      Clearly I failed to communicate that… Sigh…

      On a more positive note, at least I now have an answer to the question of how my defied expectations will react; such public humiliation should bring me back into line…lol!

      My sincerest thanks for taking the time to respond to this particular post, and with such thoughtful insights. My admiration for you, your writing, and your wisdom is genuine!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great thoughts in this article as well as the comments! I’ve suffered from this same perplexity of finding something I feel is amazing and can’t wait to share getting less response than work I feel halfway about. I have no answer for it but to misquote Martha Graham, who said my job isn’t to decide if what I make is any good, my job is to make it…Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think you misquoted Martha Graham, but paraphrased her quite appropriately. I had to go look up the quote so I thought I might just paste it in here: “It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I think this is a wonderful post! I know what you mean by not receiving the response we expect for our favourite articles. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. It makes you wonder if it is worth writing. But my friend as you have said we need to defy expectations….it is a beautiful thought! I love it and will live it despite the misinterpretation you speak of in the other post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blessings to you, Amra, in your continued efforts to enlighten people; certainly you have opened my eyes and caused me to think deeply on several occasions. I value that highly!

      And my sincere thanks for your continued support… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good post. I imagine all of us share in the disillusion of shattered expectations with our posts. I have posted things that I thought would set the internet on fire only to be disappointed. Then, there have been poems, I posted solely becasue I had nothing else to post, and the response left me speechless.

    The one rule that I have tried to use is to keep my posts short and sweet. I always watch the word count. I believe only twice I have surpassed 300+ words. Our followers have limited reading time & many blogs to follow. Every moment I spend on your blog is a moment I am not gettng to someone else’s post. With that in mind, I think brevity is the key. A long story will get a courtesy browse and a like, and most likely, nothing constructive.

    Enjoyed reading this and the ensuing conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

      • According to your self-imposed standards, my posts are very long. Lol!

        But that’s ok, because we are very different writers, with different goals and needs. We can inspire and advise each other, but we must each answer to our own Muse.

        Keep being you, my friendly Chimp, and I will continue being me… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shaking my chimp head. Tsk tsk. No seriously, that’s not what I meant. You took my message all wrong. I force myself to that rule, I don’t expect it from others. I am talking about posts that go on for pages and pages. Perhaps you haven’t seen them. There are posts that if translated into pages count fall in the category of 7-10 and more. That’s what I am talking about – Carpal tunnel syndrome posts. Your posts are to the point. I zip through them So, don’t misread monkey man. You should know me by now, this fan of Billy Joel’s “Don’t Go Changing” I expect you to be you, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understood you perfectly, my dear Chimp, and I took no offense. I don’t intend to change my style, nor would I wish you to; we are on the same page here…

        And I always look forward to seeing you, my friend! 🙂

        Like

  7. Hmmmm…… I share many of the same feelings that you have, Lisa. It’s tough to write something that means a great deal and hear nothing but crickets. I really think part of it is just the WordPress platform. There have been times that I’ve written something that did NOT garner much attention on WordPress, but when I posted it on Facebook, it received a lot of feedback. The reverse has been true too. So, I’m learning to just keep writing what I love and sending it out. I hope that you will do the same. Your writing is beautiful. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Taara! I fully intend to keep writing. The only thing I wanted to abandon was my expectations, which would allow me to be more open and responsive in present time. Problem is, defiance is not currently in my skill set, though I fear it is a skill I will need to develop, if I am to maneuver effectively in the days I see ahead…

      But this is how I learn. I make mistakes employing any new skill set, and I pick myself up and move on. Best to do that learning here, where people are kind-hearted and community-minded…

      Lesson 1 in defiance: communicate clearly what you are defying, and what you are trying to accomplish by doing so; otherwise, you’re just a pound of bluster without an ounce of direction. And that’s a whole lot of wasted energy… 🙂

      Thanks for sharing this adventure with me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I appreciate that social platforms make it possible for people who wouldn’t otherwise meet to communicate, but they could be improved indeed. WordPress or not, if you send something and don’t even get an acknowledgement, it can be upsetting. But some do read quietly. In your blog, I can read all your posts in the front page. You wouldn’t even know I had done that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, though that would be a lot of reading now… lol! But, yes, I agree, there is always room for improvement…

      Take the email vs. Reader issue, for example. I signed up for email notification of some of my favorite blogs, then stopped receiving any. I assumed they were not posting. A random and rare check of my reader recently showed me that was not the case; somehow my subscription settings had been changed. So I have missed a lot…

      Your blog is a gem, Spyros! I have not had time to read everything, but everything I have read has struck a solid chord with me. I am truly surprised there hasn’t been more activity there, and I can only assume (yeah, I know what that makes me) that people haven’t “found” you yet…

      Hmm… curiouser and curiouser life gets… 🙂

      Very glad to have you here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, sometimes I get e-mail notifications from blogs, and other times not. I assume, like in facebook, if you follow many blogs, they become picky which ones they notify you with, so you wont get flooded. I know I haven’t been receiving notifications from yours.

        Thank you for your nice word about my blog. 🙂

        I haven’t been reading much the past years, but for the first time I started to write. I’m not that good with language. I’m a Greek in Greece, in case you don’t know. And I address few people indeed. I’m not aligned with popular theism and atheism. And I try to not be influenced from people much.

        I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog too from now on 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I found you, and honored that you are willing to interact with me… 🙂 I swear sometimes I read your words and it feels like I’m looking in a mirror and talking to myself. Only your words come out a bit more focused and direct than mine… lol!

        And, personally, I think you are very good with language! Just sayin’… 🙂

        Like

      • I’ve had my influences too, and it felt like that –like I had always known what I was reading, but I had covered it with other ideas and ignorance from outside sources. I wasn’t expecting to be up to causing anything to another. It’s great to read so, and I am honored too 🙂

        Like

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