I dislike the idea of expectation. To expect something suggests a sense of entitlement and this can often lead to disappointment.
In the last thirteen years there have been only two things that have remained unchanged and constant in my life: my bank details, and my little cat. Everything else is different. My family, my friends, the place that I live are different. Indeed, I am different.
As I was growing up I had a simple, if somewhat naive plan. I was going to go to university, become a session musician, get rich, get married, buy a house, have children and live happily ever after. I did everything that was expected from me, in what could have been deemed to be a socially acceptable order. I didn’t make waves or cause problems. I was a good girl.
What I discovered is that even the best laid plans do not always come to fruition. At the age of 32 I find myself working as a music teacher. I live in the UK’s second biggest city with my long-term, long-suffering partner and our three cats in a rented property, and I’ve moved house six times in ten years. I have no savings (thanks to astronomical vets bills over the last year) and I’m not rich. My parents are divorced and I haven’t seen or spoken to my father in twelve years.
I realised that I wasn’t cut out to be a professional musician – the competition for performing roles was too high, and if I am being brutally honest I was devastated because I simply knew that the profession wasn’t the right one for me. My expectations of what my life was going to be were dashed, and I was left feeling disappointed and lost. However, hard work, a little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time gained me a teaching role, and it was through this that I met my partner.
No, my life isn’t what I expected it to be. It’s far better.
I work in a profession that I enjoy, where I get good results and have a great relationship with the students. My mother is my closest friend and a constant source of support. I have fantastic friendships with genuine people and a relationship with a man who has supported me throughout it all. I am not financially rich, but I don’t want for anything. I’ve eaten good food, drank good cocktails and listened to fabulous bands in concert. I have been able to travel a little and see places and things that I could only have dreamed of when I was creating my life plan all those years ago. While the trials and tribulations have been tough, the journey has been exciting, I have worked hard and I love the idea of not knowing what is going to happen next.
I have few expectations from life, and make no apologies for this. Of course, I have dreams and little goals that I set myself, but I can only expect from life what I am willing to put into it. Always hope, always work hard, but never expect.