Maybe the best thing to do is not have any, then things can only be a positive. I am not that kind of person though. I have always had expectations of people, places and experiences. I was raised with expectations. I can’t remember my parents ever not telling me what they expected of me, whether it involved grades, a job, contributing to the family, etc. I am pretty sure that I didn’t live up to all of their expectations and their thoughts about what my potential was but that’s for another post.

Over the past few days, I have had some unusual conversations. I have gotten some very frank advice about my tendency to wear sneakers (and sport ones not dressy ones), my fondness for fleece and other outdoor type clothing, color combinations and using clothing as a wall. This was a particularly good conversation because it prompted me to do some thinking about why I wear what I do. A lot of my motivation is based on what is comfortable and what works with riding on a bike. Looking at it more closely, a lot of my clothing choice is also based on what makes me feel safe, protected from the chaos and dirt of the outside world. This doesn’t mean that I walk around in a hazmat suit – I just wear a tinfoil helmet which is equally effective and less obvious. It means that I dress in what reminds of the Pacific Northwest, of Seattle, of my mom. It completely doesn’t go over here. I don’t think I want to change it. I am going to do some more thinking about it though, why am I really wearing what I do? What is it about my clothing that I identify so strongly with? Yet when I travel to the US, I want to be more formal looking, more European and I look at what I pack and wear differently.

Less easy to manage are the expectations I have about people. I think this is where I get into trouble a lot. There used to be a quite important person in my life who I would often tell “those are your expectations of how you would treat people and what you would do. You can’t expect Person X to do so as well”. Instead I find myself now telling myself that. It is not quite as effective when it is your own voice talking to you. I feel like over the past few days, the expectations I have had for some people have not been met. I can’t say I blame them because they are my expectations for someone else but at the same time, I feel irritated and let down. Then I start thinking about what I am going to do with that information. I don’t really think there is anything I can do other than accept it and make different choices in the future.

One of the houses I looked at last week closes for offers tomorrow morning at 830. The owner called me tonight to tell me. And as much as I want to go for it, I know it would be really dumb to do this without at least understanding the process and walking through it with a realtor. Especially since you are only buying the right to the house, not necessarily the house itself, which is a very weird concept for an American. Letting the house go without putting an offer in means also letting go of the expectation of living in that neighborhood, which is a bit of a bummer.

We did have a good family dinner tonight in Alkmaar. My spicy tofu and couscous was really excellent, considering we were definitely in the countryside. The conversation was good overall and it was nice to be together again. And my aunt gave me two Italian phrase books for my upcoming trip. What is hilarious is there are even the phrases for how to tell someone they are seducing you too fast. I guess Italy has a deserved reputation for romance if those kinds of phrases are included! I am going to have fun practicing.

I am done being melancholy. I have more work to do tomorrow morning before I go into the office so it is off to bed.

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