My phone rang last night and it was my friend, you know the one I was planning the dream vacation to Arizona with. I answered excitedly as I knew why she was calling… to confirm our plans of course. But when I answered I could tell by the hesitancy in her voice that something was up. My suspicions were confirmed when she avoided my question “Is everything ok?”. Finally, she cut to the chase. After reviewing her budget and being realistic about her summer schedule, a grand vacation was not in the cards for her this summer. “Oh… ok. Yes, I understand.” I stammered. Which of course, my head did… until my heart set in.
I don’t do disappointment well. I really don’t do disappointment in the face of public humiliation well either. Didn’t she know I had just publicly announced the power of intention and the ease of setting goals and dreams? Didn’t she know that this was a life-long dream and I had shared openly about the joy of it coming true?
2.5 seconds was all it took to go from disappointment to devastation. In all honesty, it was probably less than that.
The storm between my head and my heart ensued. I was glad she could be honest. It was brave and courageous for her to speak the truth, especially knowing the disappointment it would cause. I’m glad I have friends in my life that will honor their truth and not go along to appease and over-accommodate. I know Life has another plan and something else will come along to fulfill that dream eventually, but damn…
I had gotten excited. I had put myself out there and now I felt like a fool, a fraud even. Why had I done that? Why hadn’t I waited until the reservations were secure or we had landed safely in Arizona before I shared about joy, enthusiasm, and dreams coming true? Now I look like an idiot AND my heart is heavy with disappointment. Double whammy!!
What will people think? Why do I even let myself get excited in the first place? What kind of joke is Life playing on me anyway? I needed this vacation badly and leave it to Life to set it all in place and then rip the rug out from underneath me. Oh the storm grew dark… I could feel myself taking a disappointing situation into a devastating one just by the thoughts brewing in my head. I knew I had to be careful because this is dangerous territory for me.
I let myself sit there, fussing, crying, pitching a fit. Like a child having a tantrum, it lasted for awhile and when it seemed to have run its course, I started to pick myself up and find Plan B. I hate Plan B. I like Plan A. Still some tantruming energy left. I know I’ve got to let it roll until I’m done feeling it. I’ll shift and come to terms with it but it takes me a little while. I know I don’t have to like it, I just need to accept it. I’ve learned that over the years.
I’ve also learned that when you are honest with people and share openly, it creates connection, vulnerability, and understanding. So I decided to get honest. Plans change sometimes and it’s hard for me to adjust. Life hands us an alternative that we need to come to terms with whether we like it or not. Sometimes, even as an adult it is hard to deal with disappointment and we need to fuss it out until we can accept it.
I’ve also learned that it’s better let people be honest with you, even when it may cause disappointment or require a shift to Plan B. I don’t want my feelings and needs to hold someone hostage to having to cater, accommodate, and appease me if it’s not in their best interest.
Finally, I’ve learned that this adult stuff is hard. Sometimes I liked it better when we could just sit on the floor and cry until someone else came along to make it all better. That job is up to me now.