Monday, August 10, 2009

A Short Note on Great Expectations Leading to Greater Disappointment

I wasn't planning on writing today due to that d-word that steals fun and motivation out of the day and causes us to be huge grumps. (Not Daylight the Spring of course, because that's the one everyone hates). But I thought about it, and a couple things sparked a desire to just post a short thought today about my frustrating tendency to overemphasize disappointment. The first was unrelated, and that was that visits to my page jumped significantly this weekend, which brightened my day a lot. At least I know that someone, or many someones, out there seem to be interested in what I have to say, and that's really encouraging. If you're reading this now, thank you for finding me, however you did, and taking a second to read! Other than that I really just decided that taking my mood into my own hands and writing about it would probably, in the long run, make me feel better than my original plan of forgoing dinner for ice cream and curling up in bed with some episodes of How I Met Your Mother, although that still sounds tempting.

I'm a very easy person to let down. Yet somehow I'm still rather cynical about human nature, or empathy, or whatever, and never expect much from anyone. How does this work? I still haven't quite figured it out. Anyways without getting too deep into the soul-searching, this weekend I fell victim to the lures of Orbitz yet again when I found a $99 ticket to San Francisco the weekend of L.'s aunt's wedding, to which I had been invited at the beginning of the summer but at the time didn't think I could make it. L. and I hatched a last-minute flight scheme and, getting ahead of myself as I always do, I began planning my dress, categories for L. and I to think of on the plane together to quell my fears, and bouquet-catching strategies, when it turned out that I wouldn't be able to attend, after all. Such a (relatively, although I'm still crushed) small change in plans as this is enough to throw me into a despondent mood for hours or even a day or two, a marked change from my usual sunny disposition peppered with a few occasional bouts of anti-socialism. I like to think of myself as a logical person, and so when my emotions run outside those parameters I get frustrated. This, of course, brings to mind my quote of a few posts ago, about the inhumanity of controlling emotions. I think this masochistic habit of mine develops largely from two sources, one being my disappointment in my birth parents (which I will share more about some other time), another being a result of the repercussions of Big Relationship. Big Relationship occured during my formative years; at the beginning I was very much a teenager and by the end, very much an adult--and we were very different in our relative emotiveness. Big Relationship was very logical, rational about things and I was quite emotional in my view of things. Since the break up, I've become much more logical about the way I feel--to a point where, I'm afraid, I feel less now than I did when I still had some of that emotional bound open to me. In Big Relationship, I would have perceived little disappointments as huge ones and had very strong emotional responses to them; nowadays, I can't help but hear this post-Big Relationship voice in the back of my mind chastize me for overreacting.

But if we don't overreact to anything, do we lose our ability to even react appropriately to different emotional stimuli? I've confused myself so much at this point about the importance of being logical v. the importance of recognizing my emotions that I can't even really measure my own reactions to setbacks and disappointments, and decide if they're over-or-under a "normal" reaction. If I really don't expect much from people, why do I feel like I get let down so easily?

Clearly this has wandered off topic of the misery of canceled weekend plans. I just really, really need something to look forward to at the end of this summer, which to date has not been one of the best I've had (read: the worst). I'll think of some more things I can do to break out of this despondency and, when they happen, they'll be here.

[Image from ehow]

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