I had two situations this weekend that made think of how often we confuse expectations with reality.
First: The Supermoon, Bloodmoon, Whatever you want to call it, moon.
Did anyone go out and look for the super moon last night? I was expecting to see it. We noticed a lot of people camped out looking at the sky line on the hill in the park that overlooks Manhattan near our house. My sister did a quick google search and found out that at 8:11 pm the moon was going to turn pink. My husband and I found an empty park bench and waited. The clock struck 8:11 and nothing happened. We sat for about 16 minutes and then walked back inside. We came back out around 9:40 pm to check again. The moon was still white but this time it was half covered by clouds. We went back inside. To pass the time, I went upstairs to do my three step Rodan and Fields regime. I ended up falling asleep waiting for the blood moon. When we woke up this morning, my husband told me he did in fact take one more look at the moon before he went to bed and by that time the moon was completely covered with clouds. Needless to say, we didn’t see the blood moon. A classic case of expectations vs. reality. I actually expected to watch the moon go from white to pink at 8:11 pm. Reality, there were clouds & the moon stayed white…in my sky at least. And I had my glasses on.
Second: Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
This weekend I went dress shopping with my future sister- in- law for my bridesmaid dress for her and my brother’s upcoming May wedding. There were 7 girls & my mom in total from the bridal party in attendance at Sunday dress shopping and brunch. My sister- in- law allowed us to pick any style dress we wanted from the same designer in the same color. This made things run rather smoothly. We all got dresses in a matter of an hour. Later, over a glass of skinny girl sangria at brunch at Cheesecake Factory we all commented about how easy that was for us to secure a dress we each loved.
Now in the dressing room when you are trying on dresses or any clothes with other girls there is standard chatter that we are all accustomed to hearing. Basically it’s all of us girls speaking our insecurities out loud. Any girl who has ever been in a dressing room with any other girl has heard this convo; “I can’t wear this style because it makes my hips look big,” followed by “that’s impossible because you don’t have big hips.” My go to is always, “I can’t wear a strapless dress because my arms are too big.” No but seriously, I rarely wear a strapless dress because I have convinced myself that I have big arms. Skinny arm pose and all my eyes tend to go right to my arms the minute I see a picture of myself. The same way you may have convinced yourself you have a big stomach or big hips.
We all know the bridesmaid dress stereotype jokes. I for one am guilty of watching 27 Dresses any and every time it’s airing on ABC Family on a Saturday at 2 pm. But why have bridesmaid dresses taken the brunt of every joke? It’s because our expectations are too high for how we think we are supposed to look. I don’t know a single bride who didn’t do everything to try and make their bridesmaids feel comfortable and beautiful in the dress she choose. And as a bride, I’ve been on the end of the dress picker..it’s just a stressful. The point. It’s not the bride or the dress, it’s us…our minds. When our BFF bride picks the dress we are going to wear, we all secretly hope/assume that she will magically email us with the dress that looks how we expect to look. We hope she picks the dress that changes how we see ourselves. We hope the dress changes the reality we have created for ourself. And most importantly, we hope that the dress she picks isn’t one of the dresses where when lady puts that yellow measuring tape around our waists she makes you order 6 sizes larger than you really wear based on how your hips and bust are measuring. Instant buzz kill. The size alone can make any gorgeous dress look hideous. But bridesmaid dress shopping is a perfect example of how the small act of checking in with ourselves to see if the cause of how we feel is the fact simply that a person or situation is different from what we envisioned as “perfect.”
Bill Levkoff aside, I have never ever walked into a dressing room to try on a pair of jeans, swimsuit or flowy shirt from Anthro, not hoping that that piece of clothing would be the thing that changed my life. The swimsuit that makes me look the size I wish the scale said. The pair of jeans that made me look like the girl on the magazine who can hair throw on a T-shirt with jeans and beach waves and look amaze. The reason that’s impossible is because we all bring in the pair of jeans we want to be, we expect to be. For me reality is that that size usually results in a button logo branded into my lower stomach for majority of the day.
It’s time to lift the unrealistic visions we see for our bodies. When we set expectations for ourselves we ultimately set perfectionism into motion. We will almost always be disappointed because we are striving for something unattainable. When we are disappointed we are harsh to ourselves. Very harsh to ourselves, picking apart every imperfection. The most important thing I think we should all try to do is release our expectations about how we think our lives should go, and approach life from a place of appreciation. If we change our idea of perfect, we will ultimately change how we feel. And hopefully see how perfect we all already are.
I’ve loved nothing more than being invited to be in each of these girls weddings <3 and I DO plan to wear the dresses again 🙂