In the Tangled Thick of It

Arya Stark of Winterfell

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I’ve missed this space. I’ve been busy chasing a one-year-old toddler reading the Game of Thrones. After five years of graduate school, it is such a pleasure to lose myself in reading-for-fun.

But so many people are dying, or almost dying, betrayed, bloody or lost, in these books. It is a bit dizzying. Arya is my favorite character. She is ten years old, orphaned (we think), and her home is a smoldering, ransacked ruin. She is presently at sea, on her way to a country she has never seen and knows little about. I adore her.

My father always said, “expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed.” That quit working for me about a decade ago. I’d rather expect the best — of myself, of life, of others.

But the best, the list of all the things I want to be and do, is so long. It isn’t just that I don’t have the time or money. I don’t have the energy. When did I get so old?

The Game of Thrones novels are thick, the stories long and twisting. Sometimes, reading, I get tired. Part of me imagines the conclusion — all ends tied, all journeys completed. But then I settle back in, content to travel, ready to be dismayed, excited, surprised, afraid, elated. I am so hopeful for Arya, even though she has been through so much and is so far from home. She is fiercer than she looks. I know she will do well.

Each morning as I drag myself out of bed, I am glad to hear my daughter’s voice. Within an hour, I am tired, yes, but that’s not all I am. I am fiercer than I look, too.

I want to know that I will do well — today, tomorrow, next year. Not always. I make plenty of mistakes. But I expect great things of myself and this life, the only one I have been given. Even though I’m tired. Even though some days it is all I can do to turn the page.

I won’t be a heroine or save anyone’s life. But I’ll be faithful to my own. My life is thick and, right now, this moment, I’m so glad to be in this…my messy, exhausting, complex story.

###

What about you? How do you manage your expectations? What is it like, living your story?

4 thoughts on “In the Tangled Thick of It

  1. Expecting the best sounds much better than expecting the worst. Expecting the worst causes me to have anxiety… Preparing for a realistic outcome is much more palatable than flat out expecting life to be crap. Where’s the fun in that?

    I tend to worry about the far-off future and plan plan plan to manage expectations. Since becoming a mama, I’m trying to change this part of myself… I accepted it for a long time, but have realized that worrying has too many downsides to become a way of life.

  2. After having watched the first three season of GOT, I’m listening to the books on tape (they are 30+ hours each!) I’ve just started book 2, which I’m eager to finish because I know how much great stuff happens in the (beginning of the) third book.

    Arya is always one of my favorites (though Kalisi is my absolutely fav). I really like how much more we get to see of her in the books. She is a fiery, feisty thing.

    As for expectations of my life, well I’m always working on that. I think for a long time I expected too much. Now I’ve learned to temper my expectations so that they match reality a bit more. While I do think it’s important to dream, I appreciate pragmatism.

    And living my life story? Right now it’s pretty darn good. I have so much of what I always wanted and now I’m realizing I have to figure out how to be as happy with it all as I believe I should be. It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s just that it’s so easy to be distracted by the little things, to let them bring you down. I don’t want to let those things bring me down, not when we’ve achieved so much and are so close to having the family, and life, we always dreamed about it. I don’t want to take all that for granted, you know?

  3. After having watched the first three season of GOT, I’m listening to the books on tape (they are 30+ hours each!) I’ve just started book 2, which I’m eager to finish because I know how much great stuff happens in the (beginning of the) third book.

    Arya is always one of my favorites (though Kalisi is my absolutely fav). I really like how much more we get to see of her in the books. She is a fiery, feisty thing.

    As for expectations of my life, well I’m always working on that. I think for a long time I expected too much. Now I’ve learned to temper my expectations so that they match reality a bit more. While I do think it’s important to dream, I appreciate pragmatism.

    And living my life story? Right now it’s pretty darn good. I have so much of what I always wanted and now I’m realizing I have to figure out how to be as happy with it all as I believe I should be. It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s just that it’s so easy to be distracted by the little things, to let them bring you down. I don’t want to let those things bring me down, not when we’ve achieved so much and are so close to having the family, and life, we always dreamed about it. I don’t want to take all that for granted, you know?

  4. How do you know you won’t be a heroine or save anyone’s life? You may. And right now, to your little girl, you’re all that and more – keep at it. Even if you don’t FEEL all of your pre-mom self alive inside you, she’s there. And because I enjoy your writing, and your story, and what is life for if not the impact we make on one another’s lives? – I nominated you today for the Liebster Award. Thank you for sharing yourself out here in the blogosphere.

Comments are closed.