Day 13: Mild to Moderate Expectations

Expectations are funny in that people will act or be a certain way because of expectations.

Expectations are funny to me because of a couple of reasons. Maybe I’ll make a list:

1. School altered the way I looked at myself

Like many of my friends, I was one of those students with the impressive talent to comprehend and analyze things with ease. There are a few reasons for this. I was taught to read young and, in fact, I don’t actually remember a time before I could read. My two cousins who helped raise me are an educator and a librarian. You can see how that could lead to me working on certain skills before I started school and could read at a college level by 10 years old. Because of this, teachers considered me “gifted”. Maybe I was, but more than likely I wasn’t. It just meant that it was easier for me to understand things than the average student and when the average elementary classroom needs to be taught to the average student, it’s easy to point out students that learn at a faster rate.

This meant I was often separated from other students when it came to reading and being put in GATE to keep my brain working hard. When I got to high school, I had to adjust hard because I would lose patience if I wasn’t in an honors class. It sounds like I’m a jerk but that’s just what it was. I hated when lessons moved too slow and usually read ahead or started on work early if they did. This led to a terrible habit of coasting. When the classroom is graded to the average student, it’s easy to do the bare minimum and still be in the top tier. I, and many of my classmates, did just that.

In my senior year, a student who had never been in an honors class joined us for one class and was immediately surprised when we told her, “no we didn’t read the book last night” because did we even need to?

This mentality made it insanely hard for us to push ourselves when the time came. This mentality should have made it so I didn’t graduate but I did. We all did. It’s hard when most of your life you’re thought of as “the smart ones” or the “gifted” of a class. You think you have this natural talent and maybe you do…but when you stop pushing, you become a bit less extraordinary.

2. Certain family dynamics made me not want to be extraordinary

I was brought up in a Filipino family. Most of you know what that means. You’re expected to become and do the very best and nothing else is acceptable. I won’t get into it too much but it’s your typical Asian fashion. It’s 100% or no dice. It’s nursing school or bust. It’s why don’t you have a boyfriend yet but also you’re too young just focus on school.

In any case, because of this I act a certain way at home and with my family. I don’t brag about my work or tell them what I’m making for dinner. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of them don’t think I can cook. It’s because when you grew up thinking nothing you do is good enough why bother sharing? But then it’s also because when they find talents to exploit, they do it hard. I don’t want to be the official pie maker for the rest of my life because I did it that one time. No thanks.

3. Finally, I find people more fascinating when they do great things and disappear into the sidelines

This is also that thing I was talking about when I say “I don’t want people to know who I am, just what I did.” I don’t know if I have greater respect for people who do great things and don’t push their image but I certainly have great admiration for it. John Hughes, for example, a pioneer for teen film was that type of person. He stopped making movies and just disappeared. I want that. I don’t need credits. I don’t want news spreads of my face. I just want to do good things and for people to remember those things. Plus I guess if things fall apart, no one will remember my name anyway. (Haha?)

So those are some examples I have regarding expectations and how they are reflected in my life. What are some ways you’ve acted based on expectations? Let me know in the comments! Will anyone actually comment? …maybe I’ll refrain from any….expectations.

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