Music is a killer time machine. Everyone has stories that certain tunes from back in the day re-ignite the soul. We subconsciously turn up the volume in our car and share a smile with our younger self, as memory seeps through our minds. We sing. We sigh. And after the song is over, we down-shift back to reality. And to quote one of my fave tunes (Set Adrift On Memory Bliss) from my days on the pole; “Reality used to be a friend of mine”.

PM Dawn. Remember those dudes? They had that one-hit-wonder which sampled another song from yet another one-hit-wonder group, Spandau Ballet, called “True”.  

If you don’t remember vinyl records, untangling tape cassettes or waiting an entire week after dropping off your camera film (only to toss half of them because you didn’t like your double chin/smile/eyes/hair/lighting), just trust me on this. Those songs were dope.

Having grabbed my spiky six-inch stilettos (“clear heels” weren’t around back then) on stage for the better part of a decade, whenever I hear an old tune, I am instantly transported back to a time when reality fused with expectations of what my life was to become.

Fuck it, I got time. I’ll do this for a bit,  get my shit together, fall in love, get married, squeeze out a pair of bambinos and live off my stripper-savings while traveling the world and writing about my adventures.

Naiveté is adorable when your 22. And Expectations, no matter how unintentional, always laugh in the face of our darling ignorance when we’re young. But that’s what growing up is all about, right? Being able to laugh at what we thought – only after crying through the realizations of what really is.

Some of us are still sporting Expectation blinders, not giving ourselves a break when Reality serves up something that wasn’t even on the menu. My big three:

I should be married. I should own a home. I should have kids.

If you want to squeeze lemon juice in that emotional paper cut you’ve so carefully sliced for yourself with each thought of: “I’m _____ years old. I’m supposed to have  _______  by now!”, go right ahead and Should all over yourself.  It’s a bitch to clean up, but knock yourself out.

Know what’s funny? I love my friends’ kiddos, but honestly – I’m still trying to raise my inner-child, so having kids is not something I want. And that’s *gasp* totally okay. Also (and this may change, but I doubt it), I’m really not the marriage type-a-gal. Gimmie a live-in lover-boy who feeds off wit and laughter and I’m all in.

I should have more money. I should have a better job. I should be happier.

Do we really know people who are exactly where they thought they’d be “by now”? And what is this quicksand-through-the-hourglass bullshit we so hopelessly cling to? Way to take the edge off your precious life.

It’s a struggle to stand out on our own and not compare ourselves to the mind-traps of “Should” – but it can be done.

Start with right now. Release the grip of personal expectation and allow your reality to massage this very moment. You are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be. Forget about trying to figure it out – it’s bigger than us. But the good news is that the lessons and growth are two-for-one package deals in our quest for self-acceptance. Another fun fact: if you don’t like where you are – you have more control than you think to change it. It all starts with letting go of “expecting”, and fully embracing the reality that YOU ARE YOUR OWN ROCK STAR. Driving your own tour bus. Without a single one-hit-wonder on board.

Your thoughts?

11 comments

  1. I love love love this one, it’s so spot on! Except, we are exactly where we choose to be and if not we can change that! The should’s are sickening but the sober reality rocks!! And trust me if I wasn’t in long term recovery, I’d still be chasing and forgetting all I have! Xxx

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  2. Yes. I downloaded a lot of songs from the 60’s and 70’s on my iPod so that I could get back in touch with the emotions around those songs. It helped to flesh out scenes in my memoir.

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  3. I will not should’ve all over myself anymore. LMBO! Your post really cracked me up. Thanks for the laughs. I cleaned up some old should’ve’s a while ago. “I should have learned the violin when I was younger and I should have written a book when I was younger”. Well I am working on my 6th book and just picked up my first violin for my first lesson this week. I tossed those expectation blinders out with the trash and each time I start to buy a new pair, I stop, think and say No!

    I am not even sure where I am “supposed” to be anymore. Right now the journey is too much fun. The potholes and wrong turns are just part of that and since I am well equipped to change a flat and make smooth U-turns I don’t worry. I wish this “I am capable” attitude for everyone.

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