Expect the best for yourself
Few things in life offer greater gifts than anticipation. Take a moment and reflect upon some life experiences you eagerly anticipated which gave you great joy.
Do you recall those late springs as a child when you couldn’t wait for that last day of the school year? Freedom! Freedom to roam the neighborhood, hang with friends, and occasionally do idiotic things that led to trouble with your parents. When we could stay up late at night and sleep late in the morning. Good times.
Sporting activities also present great anticipation. Your first Little League game. Your first soccer match. Your first basketball game. Do you remember how eager and nervous you were at the time? And how wonderful those experiences were?
Was there anything more anticipated as a child than Christmas morning? What gifts did Santa leave under the tree for you? Running into your parents’ room to wake them shouting, “Santa’s been here!” as you did your best to drag them from their bed. And decades later, when your children did the same to you.
As teenagers, anticipation shifts gears. Along with excitement, it can lead to doubt and trepidation. On the first day of high school when your world expands exponentially. Will I make new friends? I hope I can find all my classes. Will the seniors pick on me? Will I be accepted? Please don’t let me miss my bus.
But none of this compares to the anticipation regarding a first date. This will vary considerably if you are male or female. Generally speaking, males in high school are clueless when it comes to the opposite sex. Certainly, they are attracted to the opposite sex as hormones run rampant. The fear of rejection often stifles any attempt to ask a girl on a date. What if she says yes? What do I do then? Go ahead and laugh, girls. That fear of rejection often conquers the excitement of anticipation of a first date.
A girl in high school has an advantage regarding a first date. First, they have been preparing for this with Barbie and Ken dolls for years. They may have been changing the diapers of their younger brother and are somewhat familiar with male body parts. Practice makes perfect. This doesn’t mean they don’t fall prey to doubts and anxiety. Am I pretty enough? What should I wear that is sexy but not slutty? Should I laugh at his jokes if they’re not funny? Why isn’t Tommy asking me out? What can I do to get John to ask me out? No doubt, the anticipation we felt during our high school years tested us in various ways.
And then the biggest test of anticipation arrives. When your pulse rate explodes, and the fear of rejection is overwhelmed by your beating heart. When you begin to realize you want to share the rest of your life with someone you love. Will he ask me to marry him? Will she say yes? What if she says no? Funny how the level of doubt and rejection increases along with the level of anticipation. But, the rewards are much greater when we face these fears.
Then comes the granddaddy of anticipation. The one we have been preparing for our entire lives. Parenthood. The wonderful joy we feel at our child’s birth. And the scary realization that we now have to live this adventure of anticipation with them and through them. To help them overcome their doubts and fears and enjoy the lessons that anticipation brings.
Anticipation makes life worth living. And it doesn’t end when we are no longer on the earth. It just keeps getting more exciting along the way.
May the blessings be
©2024 Joe Merkle All rights reserved
Originally published on Medium.com