Expectation vs

Dear Dazai,

I was going to write last night but tiredness and anticipation of the things I had to do today meant that I chose not to sit and type out something. For why say something when you have nothing to say.

Why shout into the void, as it were.

So tonight, while I lie on a surprisingly comfortable blow-up mattress, I thought I’d write to you. To tell you about my day.

There are days when you have expectations of how they’re going to go, yet they surprise you at each turn. As if you make a baseline only to have it be irrecoverably shifted by your next moment. By things that are good and things that are not.

The things that were not made my trip, the long car trip I do, one that is generally unpleasant and harrowing because I have one kitten that never settles to it. We’re even trying happy pills but they only ease it, they don’t fix the problem, and I am plagued with guilt when we travel because she is so upset and unhappy with the situation.

Today the experience was made worse by a single rock. A rock that flew towards my windscreen and for a second, I thought towards me. A rock so big that it’s cracked my windscreen and for a moment, a very long moment, left me anxious and upset. Upset that it was there. Upset about what it might mean. Upset that there was nothing I could then do to change.

Upset that my anxiousness made my kitten more upset.

Guilt is often a near constant state of being.

For me.

If I think back on my day, I’m liable to see these negatives as the defining moments of the day. That my day was made negative because I wasn’t expecting it to be, not entirely and it’s so easy to focus on that and nothing else.

Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the good.

And there was a lot of good. It’s good curled up on the mattress at Eliza’s house. It’s good seeing my kittens and hers playing, playing with an ease that we’ve not had since there’s been more than two of them. It’s exceeded my expectations about what this trip might bring for them.

It was good because I got to see Sophie and it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen her. Although she’s come into my life in a roundabout manner, I’m so grateful that she has, and seeing her reminded me how much I wish that I often saw more of her. My only regret, and it’s one that I never quite expect, is that I find it hard to be excited about the things I’m excited about with others, most others, I find it hard to talk about plans and things I’m working towards because there’s the slight fear of condemnation.

Even when I know, know that the person I’m talking to isn’t going to do that. I feel judged for saying anything and feel sad for saying nothing.

Which brings me to my final good thing, something that I wasn’t expecting but was at the same time. For today in my letterbox was a small, rectangular, brown paper wrapped parcel. One with unfamiliar handwriting and a lack of anticipation for it. Contained inside, in this small ubiquitous parcel, was the first ever book to contain a story I wrote.

I’m so happy I could burst.

My name might not appear on the cover and I might be two pages of content in a couple of hundred, but I’m there. My words printed in a book.

I did not expect that today, I also did not expect the joy as fierce as it is, or the desire for this to be the beginning.

I did not expect the day as it was and I shan’t tomorrow either.

xx

P.S. Many many thanks to Amelia, whose gorgeous portrait of me I have used as today’s picture.

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