We all have expectations, but perhaps the most important ones are what we expect from ourselves. In one of our classes, the idea of expectations was brought up. In my group, we not only talked about our previous expectations on a film we had watched, but new expectations as we began reading Percival Everett’s I Am Not Sidney Poitier. It occurred to me we all had expectations, even if they were different, were there nonetheless. Although I did have an idea of what I might expect from the text, what I had not expected is what actually ended up that actually allowed me to enjoy reading it more.
When I started to read, I expected it to start a certain way, to go a certain direction, and to tell more as to why this man has such a comical name. All my expectations failed to be met as the text was nothing like I imagined it would read. It has been quite a long time since I last read for a class, and actually laughed to myself out loud as I read the text. It lacked the serious tone I was expecting at some point, even when talking about serious events that happened like the death of Not Sidney’s mother. Everything either felt comical or natural, and even if it did not meet my original expectations for the story, I certainly was not disappointed. However, failing to meet certain expectations does not always go so well.
As I thought more about the idea of expectations, and how we all have it, I started to think about my expectations for myself rather than the ones I had for the outside world. How time has flown, being already halfway through the semester as a college freshman, and I wondered if I had met my expectations for myself when I first came here. Just like with reading about Not Sidney, my expectations were not met. Time and time again, I have expected myself to do something instead of actually doing it. When expectations, especially of themselves are not met, people tend to beat themselves up over it. I know I’m guilty of doing that just about every time. But at the same time, it’s important to think about the expectations you did meet. Even if none of them were met, that also just means there is something to improve and that’s only natural. Contemplating further, I realized the same concept applies to when I fail to meet my expectations of myself in class, whether it is with papers or studying for tests. We’re all human, and it’s okay to mess up so long as you learn something from it. We all have expectations of our own writing, but the only way to make sure it gets better to meet your expectations, is by writing again even when you fail to meet an expectation.