The Beast Of All Burdens Is Carrying Expectations Of Others

The Beast Of All Burdens Is Carrying Expectations Of Others

This beast is all about burdens.

Finally, the results were in. I expected that they were listed in alphabetical order seeing that next to “#1” read "achiever" and under that, next to “#2,” read "competition."

I then read the word “individualization” and after that, “relator” and thought to myself, “those aren't alphabetized..." I quickly understood that before me, listed on the computer screen, were my top five strengths in order of relevance, not alphabetical order.

There it was at the top of the list: "#1 Achiever"

The word itself couldn't even stand to be in second place, burdened with the expectation of always coming in first.

"What a show off" I thought.

One of the biggest battles with expectation is not the expectation we have of ourselves but the expectation we have of others and their role in our lives. We are most concerned with the expectation in which we have no control over. We feel uncomfortable with this lack of control because we have no power over the means by which the expectation can be satisfied; it is entirely up to that other person.

In 2008, burdened with this expectation was my sixth-grade self. I approached the drama and jungle of middle school as a train hauling ass in a summer rain approaches an emergency stop without breaks…hot, heavy and messy.

Perhaps if we were talking about a scene from 50 Shades of Grey, this would sound fitting. However, when used in a sentence about middle school it seems incredibly disconcerting, which is exactly how I felt.

As middle school ran its course, my small mind tried grappling with the experience of what I call “the downfall of middle-school kind.” This is the time where young minds become curious and are tempted. One of the hardest temptations to abstain from is being tempted by others. By projecting the expectations we have of ourselves onto those around us, we eventually find that it's not the middle school jungle that hurts us, it's our expectations of the animals within the jungle.

In my experience, I became tempted by (and fell prey to) the expectations I had of others. We expect that people are good and that we are enough until the veil of elementary school is removed and we are tempted to think otherwise.

At any rate, days passed, and then years, and the train eventually came to a stop. I suppose one could say my personal downfall from my elementary school heyday was a difficult one and I didn’t cope well going from having expectations met, to having expectations tested.

However, just like those Disney Channel stars who transition out of their childhood roles and into adulthood, I crashed, burned and eventually made it out pretty okay.

The days were long but the years went by quickly and I slowly realized the truth behind the saying “your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.”

As an achiever, something I always have been and always will be, I am one of those twisted people who finds pleasure in working myself into the ground only to prove something to my inner achiever and nobody else. It is my strength, it is my weakness, it is my double-sided quality. "Achieving" is what yields an immense sense of self-sufficiency but on the other side, also yields a yearning to aim for a target only you can see. This issue with this is, if only you can see the target, how can you ever expect someone else to hit it?

Where I once expected others to hit my target, I now understand that it often is the target that needs to be adjusted, not the other players.

Sure, there are times in our life when the cards are dealt and we’re stuck playing our double-sided card to its weaker side, only to fold moments later and walk out of the game feeling simultaneously empty and burdened by our unmet expectations.

Though we may feel this oxymoron, we continue to assume that if someone happens to be folding and rushing out at the same time as us, we'll still want to be the first one at the door…holding it open for them because we expect if that person is in such a hurry to run in front of us, perhaps they’re just trying to get the door for us, rather than get out of the door before us.

So, in summation (and for those not carrying this burden), what does it mean to be burdened with expectation? To put it plainly, it means that someone projects onto others the expectations they are both willing and ready to meet themselves. As a consequence of having these expectations, a burden is born and shouldered upon the sobering realization that their expectations can not be achieved because, just like the unseen target, they cannot even be seen.

And I suppose we now know what the Rolling Stones meant by never wanting to be someone’s “beast of burden”.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.


Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

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