Because they’re NOT the same idea.

About 3 years ago I threw a celebratory party for my blog’s 1 year anniversary.  I reached out to a designer from Philly who agreed to design my outfit for the event.  I took a bus to her hometown, discussed design ideas, and made a down payment on my outfit.  We settle on a cute high-low satin skirt and a striped crop top that I’d seen on Adrienne Bailon.  It was fun, different and something I felt represented my personality.

Usually when a designer agrees to make you an outfit, a couple of fittings have to take place so that the alterations are perfect. Because I traveled to Philly the first go round, the designer agreed to come to New York to take my measurements.  She had family in the city so the trip was something she did often.  She came to my apartment, took my measurements and agreed that during her next visit to the city, she would bring the outfit for me to try on.  A few weeks later the designer informed me that she would have to cancel her trip to New York but she guaranteed that she’d be available the day of my event to make any last minute alterations.  She assured me that it wouldn’t take long and there wouldn’t be any major changes to my outfit.

On the day of my event, I was surprisingly calm.  Things were coming together seamlessly.  There was only one hiccup; as the time approached for the designer to come with my outfit, the excuses as to why she wasn’t here became long and annoying.  It went from, “I’ll meet you before the event,” to, “I’ll meet you at the event,” to, “I know the event started and you’re hiding in the basement from all your guests, but i’ll be there shortly.”

Lord, be a miracle.

An hour into my event, the designer showed up with my outfit.  I was livid, but the outfit was finally here and it was time to party.  Or so I thought. First of all, no.  The skirt was made with a cheap satin material that had oil stains on it.  Although she took my measurements, the skirt was about 5 sizes too big for me.  I mean, there was no way in hell I could wear this!  I voiced my concerns but she reassured me that she would fix it.  Honey, this could not be fixed.  I’m a fashion blogger, for heaven’s sake!  How was I going to attend my event looking like a draped curtain?

Rather than stressing out, I snuck out of the venue, got my girlfriend to give me a ride home, and put together a last minute outfit.  Despite the smile on my face, I was livid.  I had to be calm enough to figure out how to execute my next move.  I had successfully missed the first 2 hours of my celebration, but I was able to make a confident entrance.  I realized that only I had the power to turn the outcome of this situation around.

What I expected was a wearable garment.  It’s natural to pay for a service and expect to receive what you paid for.  Unfortunately, an expectation is a belief.  It is the belief that something will go according to your specific plan.  Reality is the state of which something already exists.  So while I expected a perfect garment for my event, the reality was a stained curtain skirt and an ill-fitting crop top (ain’t nothin’ cropped about that top!).

We go through life expecting so much from people, even if it seems like a logical idea.  I mean, when you pay for something, it’s natural to expect the item/service to be done to the best of it’s ability.  The reality is, it won’t always be.  Removing expectations from people, alleviates the disappoint you feel when it doesn’t meet your standards.  The only thing we have control over are our expectations which ultimately have the power to dictate our reality.  If I loan someone money, I evaluate how much of a loss it’d be if I didn’t get my money back.  I eliminate the expectation of getting paid back so there is no stress, tension or anticipation on my end.  If I recognize loaning money would have a huge financial impact on my bank account, I reconsider what I can give, recognizing that if I don’t get paid back, i’ll be at a financial loss.  I’ve adapted this way of thinking to everything I do.  Less expectations on my part have a greater impact on my reality.  Had I adopted that way of thinking 3 years ago, I would’ve limited my expectations and packed a “just in case,” outfit that I could’ve wore.

What is your relationship to expectations?