Stung by disappointment so many times, that I preferred not to count anymore, I always held on to my expectations. For that I've been called insane as I've been branded self destructive. Yet I nurtured innate faith in my expectations and the threads that bound me in short lived yet fulfilling relationships. My closest friend is of the firm opinion that man should expect less and less in relationships, to escape disappointment and misery. He would quote ancient adages to justify his thinking. He would cite those with scholarly perfection and conviction. I enjoy no such advantage. For I believe in the contrary. I trust my expectations. This I say despite having endured bitter anguish because of my expectations. I have trusted, been betrayed, trusted again only to be betrayed again. Perhaps I am an incorrigible believer in man's characteristic of living upto expectations, despite an overwhelming statistics disclosing the opposite.
I don't enjoy expectating and not having my expectations met. It hurts like hell. Tearing me into pieces beyond my own fathoming. I had a harrowing time when I expected in love. Those endlessly agonizing nights of resisting hopes pitted against a gullible and fanciful adolescent heart ever willing to drown in the tides of dreams and desires. I knew that I should not have waited, yet I waited piously and at times purposelessly. You know, I fell for my highschool friend, expecting her to love me back in the same fierceness that I loved her. Was I my expectation misplaced ? I cannot deny that if I hadn't expected so, my life thence would have been different. But doesn't it sound too mechanical to be in love and not expect anything, simply because there's a proverb confirming that expectation might lead to misery. In fact, when my friend came to know of my feelings, she said she would love back but never actually did. I expended the tender years of my youth in endless waiting for her love to become a reality. I expected her to recognize my affections, to respect them and to love me back, to keep loving me forever. Was that unnatural on my part ? I eventually realized that she is never going to love me. That I will only be a friend to her. That's the bitter sweet limit of my share in her priceless heart. I couldn't forsake our bond, yet could not endure being around her knowing that I'm not looked upon by her the way I look at her. In a matter of days she confided in me about her budding emotions for a senior year guy. They are married today.
In those days of relentless torment that I underwent, there came a point in time when I realized that there's nothing wrong to expect. It's amazing now to recall how then the whole of my existence used to be wrapped under the tentacles of pain on one hand, and yet, my mind, free and hoping, would surrender to the addiction of that hope on the other. I reckon, in retrospect, that if I hadn't expected then, I would have dwindled away into nothingness. It didn't matter that I was expecting the improbable, may be even the impossible. What mattered was that my expectations kept me afloat, when I had every reason to sink. I don't regret a moment of those days of loving or waiting or hoping. Nor do I regret having expected in the midst of tantalizing truth. I trusted her. Trust came to me naturally, instinctively. I wanted to trust, I felt like trusting. Therefore I trusted.
Layers of reconciliation later, when I lost my heart again I (or atleast I felt I did) I met with the exact repetition of my past fate. I expected, I fancied - mountains and hills, snow capped, home in meadows, belongingness, roses and daisies, guiltless moments, eternity - only to be asked to let go. This time the pain wasn't as excruciating as it was the first time around. But that's obvious. The point is, despite almost a sacred truth of life that expectation is highly likely to land you up in agony, I believed in expecting. I'm not being hypocritical since I have endured enough to earn the right to claim that belief. Moreover, I never memorized the rules of life, the wisdom of sages and the list of wise men's words whenever I have walked into relationships. I simply bond. And when I bond I feel more human than I ever do. And its human to trust, to expect, to want, to desire. Stripped of these basal values, no man would be human nor any bond would exist in relations. Let's not give up on the traits that make us the loving, doting, suffering, redeeming creatures that we are. Giving up on these is like being afraid of being human. Life, we know, is not only roses. Relationships too come with their unique thorns, sharpened further by expectations and hopes. Let these thorns sting you. Endure the pain. Wipe the tears that follow. Smile when the pain is gone. There is no fun if we constantly plan out what's going to unfold in a relationship and take 'precautions', like 'not expecting' . Take with open hands what life gives you. More importantly, whatever you take, do not let that blind you to the awesomeness that the future might hold for you. Take a leap of faith or perhaps practice leaping with faith.
These unique life experiences will count when we lie on our deathbeds recalling our journey. When we see through the past, remembering what a colourful canvas it is. Full of myriad events, joys, miseries, expectations, disappointments, fulfillments, anticipation, endurance. Not one which is manoeuvred to suit our preferences without surprises, pleasures, difficulties, victories, losses, sorrows. Only a bland display of thought out occurrences. Where's the life in that ?
No matter what your expectations get you into, expect still.