A life of expectation

How much of our life is led because we were told it should be?

Today I was on Facebook and saw an article with the title “Can you be a yogi and eat red meat?” Intrigued, I clicked on the article. The answer: Yes, you just won’t be a good yogi.

Oh, well thanks for making that clear, random person on the Internet. So if I eat meat, then I am not a good yogi.

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My outrage at this article got me thinking- how many things are we told each day that affect the way we think of ourselves? For me, a few immediately came to mind.

If I eat chocolate/sweets, then I am not a healthy eater.

If I put on weight, then I am not attractive.

If I have short hair, then I am not feminine.

If I burp, or god forbid, fart, then I am not a lady.

Now note- none of these judgements are intrinsically true. They are all judgements that have been pushed down onto me, telling me what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour.

How much more of my brain, and my life would be free, if I wasn’t constantly trying to meet the expectations of others?

What could I accomplish if I were to shed these expectations that have been put on me by society, and by myself? If I woke up in the morning and asked myself “How do I feel today? What do I want to do? What would make me happy?” would my decisions throughout the day be different?

Would I still go to work? Work a 10 hour day so that I can feel like I have achieved the status of a “good employee”? Would I come home and exercise so I can feel like I have been “healthy” for the day? Go to bed early so I can reach my status quo for tomorrow well rested?

Or would I be free to do that which I actually crave to do?

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I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been very selfish with my time. Moving to a different country has made me reassess the entire way I was living my life. Some things came up that surprised me- such as, suddenly realising that it is important to me to achieve something in this world. I use to think I just wanted to enjoy my time with friends and family- but I’m now learning that isn’t enough for me. I want more. At this point, I don’t know what that’s going to look like, or how I’m going to accomplish it. And that’s ok- I’ll get there.

I’ve been spending a lot of time doing yoga (and will start teaching a class for some people from work in January, which is exciting), and spending time with friends I’ve made here. I’ve been going out and drinking and dancing like I was in my early 20’s- crawling into bed on Saturday morning around 4 or 5 am after a night out. I take day trips to London, and I went to Italy last weekend- just for a quick trip away with Mark (who has now joined me).

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I had a period before I left for Europe where I thought I had it all figured out. But when you uproot your entire life, it uproots some long-held beliefs. And suddenly I realised- there is so much I just don’t know about the kind of life I want. But I do know that I’m tired of living a life filled with meeting other expectations.

So here’s to more articles about things that I find interesting, or moving, or just generally interest me. And less articles about what I think I should share on a healthy living blog. I hope you enjoy the change. Thanks for waiting for anyone still out there who’s reading.

3 thoughts on “A life of expectation

  1. Great post! It is so true that we put the expectations of others on ourselves and strive for that perfection, to be the perfect yogi, which in itself is a contradiction, to be healthy or whatever. It’s interesting working through those as we find our true self. what really resonates with me? What do I really want from this day? Good for you for enjoying your time there. Glad you popped in for an update (and super glad I checked). Happy holidays to you and Mark!

  2. Hi Sarah! It’s Marisa, your old neighbor from Nosara! I just read up on your blog and saw that you’re engaged! Congratulations! Very very exciting! I’m so happy you’re doing well and that life in Cambridge is moving along nicely. We’re still on the road and currently in hot Australia. Hope to hear from you ;)

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