Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Disappointment

Sometimes we just get our hopes up.  Maybe not in a big way, but it happens, right?  Even though there's a part of us that keeps saying, "Don't hope.  It's not going to happen to you" there's always that other part that says, "but what if it does?  What would that be like?"  Hope is great.  It's what dreams are often made of.

Some people aren't afraid to dream big.  They are confident that what they want is out there and they are capable of achieving it.  I admire those people a lot.  They are going to be the movers and shakers of this world.  They are not afraid of their own shortcomings.  They are brave.

I'm not brave.  Or at least, I'm not that sort of brave.  The truth is, the thought of succeeding scares me just as much as the thought of failing, maybe more.

A few months ago, I applied for a study abroad program to China.  I didn't get in.  For some reason, though, I knew that I wouldn't.  Even as I filled out the application, I kept thinking to myself, They're not going to choose me.  There just nothing about me that sticks out on paper.

Similarly, tonight I had a call back audition for the lead in a show.  There were seventeen girls who got called back for that part.  As soon as I saw how many other girls were being considered for the part, I knew that I would not get it.  I didn't get in the show.

Now, I'm not psychologist, so I can't really say how much this, "It's not going to be me" attitude is acting like a self-fulfilling prophecy.   I can, however say that I have become comfortable with not making it.  That's probably not a good thing.

This cozy relationship with not making it was largely developed as a defense mechanism.  Most people don't like to feel disappointment.  More importantly, most people don't like others to witness their disappointment.  We often wonder to ourselves, What if I don't make it? Then all my hoping and dreaming will be for nothing.  Or worse, what if I do get it?  What if I make it and the reality is way worse than I imagined it would be?

I'm not really trying to say that people should just throw themselves wholeheartedly into every dream.  I guess I'm just trying to say that disappointment happens.  That's okay.  It's not a horrible thing to feel disappointed or to let those close to you know about it.  Just remember to let yourself dream, at least sometimes.  Dare to dream.

P.S. Don't you just love this picture?  It's the cutest interpretation of disappointment ever!


Susie said...

Good post. Sometimes I think it's better to have low expectations, to feel less disappointment if you're let down.

Like with this Disney College Program thing...I can't control it, I will get my hopes up. And while everyone's telling me I'll get in, a lot of crazy Disney fans just like me don't get accepted. I already know I'm going to be beyond crushed if I'm not accepted. But if that happens, I'll try until I get it. Sometimes that's all we can do.

Kelly said...

This made me sad. I'm sorry, Therese. Please don't ever stop dreaming.

David White said...

I would just leave you with a quote by Henry Ford:

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.