Friday, September 28, 2012

Managing Expectations... or Don't Poke the Bear...

One of the ways I try to avoid disappointment is by managing my expectations.  My expectations, generally, in life are pretty low.  Holidays don't mean much to me.  Vacations are non-existent.  I keep my expectations low and then this leaves me room to be pleasantly surprised, instead, if things go better than expected.

But sometimes one can't help oneself.  One can't help but get excited by the possibility of something. 

And there's this job opportunity at the place where I've been contracting.  And the deadline for letters of interest was today.  And I have a meeting about my project with some of the key decision makers in the morning.  I've worked my butt off (or really my brain off) these last 40 some odd hours getting the project together in a pretty little package, and accepting "Good enough" and letting go that the project isn't EVERYTHING I hoped it would be.  That was emotionally exhausting. 

I am emotionally exhausted.  I also only slept four hours last night, and I'm pretty wide awake now and expecting just as few hours tonight. 

But there is a strong possibility that tomorrow I might hear news about the job. 

Now I've tried not to get my hopes up, but everyone I've talked to (and I've tried not to talk to too many people) seem to think I'm really perfect for the job and that the owner would be a fool not to hire me for it.  My hopes are up.  I literally spent the last year writing the book on this job - or on the department overall.  I am literally GIVING them this book tomorrow. 

It is not unreasonable that they might say, "Great, now that you've finished this, here is what we were hoping..." and offer me the job.  But it may not be the wisest thing to "expect". 

And I don't "expect" it exactly, but I am hoping that this is what happens.  And, perhaps, to be honest, a part of me does expect that this might happen.

Worst case scenario, though, is that they thank me for my work, send me along on my way, and tell me that they're promoting someone else into this open position.  And I go home and spend what little money I have left in savings on alcohol, and.. well, let's not go there.

But, it is a reasonable possibility or outcome from tomorrow, too.

So, I'm touchy-sensitive, and anxious.  Anything poking at the bear, er, poking fun at me right now, particularly the situation, is not welcome.

Because I am very, very afraid that I have gotten my expectations too high.  I have gone against my common sense.  But I had little to no control over it.  The timing seems fortuitous, because my project is coming to an end, and I am well qualified for the job.  It would be a significant opportunity for me not simply from a job perspective - although that will be good - but for a finally moving on to the next chapter and leaving this bloody-awful, hellish three-and a half years since my ex went loco behind.  I want SOOOOOOO much to move on from this state.  I have borne it as best I can, with as stiff an upper lip as I can.  I've lived with the uncertainty of whether I will be able to pay my rent the following month, or afford food.  I have gone without health care benefits because the cost of my insurance was better spent on food.  I have not bought myself anything new or special in years.  I sleep on ill-fitted sheets in a bed that was given to me as a gift. I live without television because I can't afford to make that commitment to cable.  I live with just the bare necessities, and I operate in survival mode. 

That's a pretty grim description of it all, and frankly, I hope I'm doing a little better than that.  But this is how it's felt, and it feels like this job, if I get it, is what I need to finally turn the corner.  It would be a stable income greater than what I've brought home lately, health benefits, dental benefits (a cap on one of my front teeth fell off two and a half years ago, and I couldn't afford to replace it, so my smile has been off), vision benefits - my glasses are over 10 years old and badly scratched.  Some stream of income with which I can finally negotiate with folks I owe money to that wouldn't be dismissed by bankruptcy.  A chance to FINALLY turn the corner.

All of that laying at the feet of this one job.  A lot of pressure.  A lot of expectation.  That's if I get it. 

I am excited - truly - about the possibility.  But my excitement also scares the hell out of me.

Because tomorrow they could tell me there is someone else.  And whether it's true or not, it will feel like my entire life is flushing back down the toilet.  Because I have put all of this hope and expectation on this one possibility.  Against all common sense.

So, yes, I will probably stay up all night, even though I'm exhausted.  Even though I'd rather sleep the next eight hours.  And any attempts to poke at me will be, unfortunately, poking at the bear.  Because for a long time, while I have tried to stay optimistic, I have been working to accept that these circumstances I have been in, living on the edge of survival emotionally and financially (although, believe me, I know it could be MUCH worse than it has been! I recognize how lucky I have been!!) may never change... and in this last week, I've destroyed all that work I have done in accepting where I am in my life with the hope of this one job. 

I have failed, miserably, at managing my expectations. 


  1. No poking the bear here. Only hopes that it works out well for you, that your fears go unrealized, that your hopes become reality. (((Hugs)))

  2. Wishing you the best of luck over the next couple days.
    But it wouldn't be luck to get the position you worked so hard toward getting. I'm confident you'll do well.

    Try to get some sleep. :)