Yesterday’s Expectations

Yesterday was filled with expectation.

I woke up a little too late, pulled on my black dress, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, and ran out the door with my first cup of coffee carefully secured.

Last day of student teaching and my official last day of undergrad.

Needless to say, I had expectations.

8:00 a.m. came and went. I said goodbye to my fifth graders, tore down old art projects, and made a plethora of copies.

12:00 p.m. lunch. I passed out thank you cards and said my goodbyes to the office staff. I ate my lunch in eager anticipation for dismissal and the start of my new and exciting life.

2:39 sixty seconds and counting. Dismissal, on many different levels, was upon me. A graduate. A real adult. I waited for the absolute joy and experience of it all to overtake me. And then…


A small and uncomplicated goodbye from my cooperating teacher and I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat of my car waiting for the stoplight to turn green. Confused served with a cold dish of disappointment. This was supposed to be a defining moment for me. A step into a world that I have, for so many years, longed to be a part of. The feeling lingered inside my heart as I drifted off to sleep that night.

It is now 9:17 p.m. on the following day and I have avoided my journal like the class nerd avoids gym class. I moped around like I was the black hole of all congratulatory sentiments. College graduate, so what? I made myself breakfast and complied a list of things I had and wanted to do and started on my day.

It was not until the sun slipped behind the western exposures to my apartment that it dawned on me that all my accomplishments could be found in the fact that I was sitting on the porch of my new apartment with dinner on my lap. I began to replay my day and a feeling of foolishness swept through my body.

I woke up this morning in my own room in my own apartment. I made myself breakfast and evaluated what needed to get done. I cleaned my apartment, read a novel, called old friends, prepared food, took care of my fish, and enjoyed my own company. A year ago this would have been impossible. I instinctively regulate my life. And more than that, I find joy in it.

I sat on my porch watching the blue turn to yellows and pinks and found myself understanding why I felt so misguided yesterday. I was expecting an inner change that had already taken place. I was already my post-2:40 person.

I had a professor my sophomore year of college that continually challenged me to find continuity in my life. At the time I felt a huge disparity between the first eighteen years of my life and the lather two. I poured over everything, trying to pull out the smallest bit of meaning from any and every experience I had ever had. The reality is, I exhausted myself.

It is now, two years after that experience, that I can say with all honesty, that I find joy in my life because of every painful and joyful experience twenty-two years has offered me. I have learned to move mountains rock by rock. The reason I could not see an elevated amount of change yesterday was because I was sitting on top of my mountain already.

I have been reading a lot of J.R.R. Tolkien lately. Keep that in mind when I say this: it is time for me to leave the Shire.

A hearty cyberspace toast to expectations that have been depressed by the reality that life continually moves despite the fact that we aren’t looking.



~ by kmconrad on June 4, 2009.

One Response to “Yesterday’s Expectations”

  1. Kasey, I love this. I always find myself disappointed by expectations of “defining moments”, and it always takes me days to realize that change that deep and definite is nearly always subtle and cannot take place overnight. There are defining moments, but they are small and often go unnoticed. I really appreciate the candidness of this blog, and I look forward to reading in the future.


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