Monday, February 8, 2016

Living Up To

When I started working at One Life to Live, it was a wish come true. I had been watching the show for years, so the idea that I would actually be working there was amazing. And while the reality didn't always match what I had imagined, and while there were certainly bumps along the way, it pretty much lived up to (and went far beyond) my initial expectations.

Not everything in life works out that way. Whether it is a long-anticipated trip or an eagerly awaited book or movie, sometimes the reality can't live up to the imagination. So, given that, do we restrain our expectations? Do we keep ourselves from getting excited, so that we won't be disappointed? Do we avoid the soaring highs so that we can avoid the crushing lows?

A few times in my life, I have tried that--to aim in the middle, so that there's not so far to fall. The problem is, doing so often makes for polite smiles rather than hearty guffaws. Doing so can make for little victories rather than huge successes. Doing so can leave you meandering pleasantly through life without allowing yourself to celebrate it very much. So, while on a day-to-day basis, I may be a little cautious and responsible, I remind myself of the twenty-plus years of a life that came out of following a dream. I remind myself of the laughter and really tasty baked goods that have come out of letting go a little. I remind myself of the friendships and family ties that have grown out of risks taken and time spent and selves revealed.

We can live down to what is safe, or we can live up to what is possible. Which would you rather do?

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