Social anxiety

Wake Up Me: Living up to Expectations

Before I deal with the topic of this post, here’s a reminder of a competition to win a signed copy of Neither Here Nor There. More information on my Facebook page. You have a bit more than a day to enter the competition.

Edit: Actually it was 2 days. Now it’s one. Until midnight GMT on Thursday night.


A friend shared this picture from Wake Up World the other day.

Top5RegretsOfTheDyingI’m not thinking of dying anytime soon and neither is my friend, but this got me thinking. I could say four of those about myself. And two of them would go deeper than that.

So I thought I’d explore each one in more detail, starting with:

Top5RegretsOfTheDying1And when I thought about this some more, I decided I do live a life true to myself – now and in the big things. In my childhood, there were many things I’d have liked to have done – things I didn’t even ask my parents about because I knew they wouldn’t agree.

But as an adult, I generally do the things I want – the big things, anyway. With the little things, I try to do what’s expected of me, even without knowing what that is. It’s all part of wanting to be normal, whatever that is.

There’s an easy answer to that: Stop doing what’s expected of you and do what you want.

Absolutely. Good advice. Except that I do it automatically. Without thinking. Because that’s how I’m programmed. And it’s not something that’s easy to change.

Where do you stand on that?

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

6 replies on “Wake Up Me: Living up to Expectations”

I think there is a part of being human that gives being a “part” of something importance. Being accepted feels better than being rejected, so we do the things that lead to more acceptance and fewer rejections. For me to really accept that I was okay just as I was, I had to start early in life accepting me, faults and all. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s made life more filling knowing that things I do, I do because I want to, not because society expects it of me.

It’s not something that’s easy to change, no. And although there seems to be a lot of this empowering self-reflective advice about these days, there is an equally strong move to remind us of the importance of family and duty, while bemoaning the loss of community and the tragedy of families spread out over the country or the globe.
These snippets of wisdom – ‘live life for yourself’; ‘remove people who drain or depress you from your life’ – are all very well, but what do you when living the life you want means hurting someone else? Or when cutting out people that fill your life with negativity would mean abandoning someone it’s your duty to care for?
Where does looking after our well-being and living the life we want end and selfishness start? It’s a tricky one. Sometimes these things we’re programmed care about and take responsibility for are the very things that stop us living a life true to ourselves.

I think that over the years I’ve considered other people first and then realised too late that I was doing things that I didn’t truly want to do, both in work and at home. I don’t know how to please me and everybody around me and that’s the problem.

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