Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anticipation

Anticipation in and of itself provides a great sense of excitement for me. I think that’s why I’m one of the only people I know who still love Christmas – not the day itself, but the preparation and anticipation of all the parties and people and presents leading up to the day. What will I wear? What food will I make? Who will be there? Will so-and-so like her present?

I do this with other things too: birthdays, vacations, dates, and even random events I know about several weeks in advance! I like envisioning what things will be like, but that can often get you into trouble as well if reality doesn’t live up to your expectations.

I remember the period of time leading up to the first time I attended summer camp. Camp is one of those things that’s often portrayed on television and in movies. I was nine – I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited nonetheless because it was going to be my first time away from my parents (and not with someone else’s parents) and I was going with my friend, Sarah-Jean. I envisioned us doing campy things: hiking and exploring, jumping into a lake from swinging tire roped to a tree, swimming, and roasting marshmallows over an open fire to make s’mores.

I knew I wanted the top bunk, but I was also slightly afraid I would roll off of it in the middle of the night. I was also afraid of the potential of communal showers, since I was an “early bloomer” and made fun of quite a bit by the other girls who at that time cherished the flatness of their chests (yet, I bet at least some of them have bolt-ons now).

I was nervous but excited. I thought I kind of knew what camp would be like, but I knew that there were unknowns, and that was thrilling.

That week wound up being a disaster. I got eaten alive by mosquitos, I rolled a canoe, and I got my period for the second time ever. Camp was not how I envisioned it, I was not having the fun time I thought I would have, and I couldn’t wait to go home. It was a total let down.

Reflecting back on that time, I don’t think it was camp itself that was the problem – it was me. I allowed myself to get worked up over the minor inconveniences (although getting your period at 9 away from home is more than a minor inconvenience), and I didn’t let myself have fun. I totally sweated the small stuff.

Today marks less than a month’s time until my ladies vacation. I’ve been anticipating this trip for almost 6 months now, and it’s finally in reach. Because I’ve had so long to think about it, I have a lot of ideas in my mind regarding what it’s going to be like. I realized this earlier today, and I consciously told myself not to create the vision of the perfect vacation, because chances are I will be let down. I need to relax, go with the flow, and just have fun. There may be minor inconveniences (guess who’s scheduled to get her period while we’re there?), but I’m not going to let them get to me. Until then, I’ll continue to anticipate the good times and enjoy them when they arrive.

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