Wednesday, May 8, 2013

i constantly wrestle with the gap between expectation and reality.

some of you know what i'm talking about. your expectations are high [or sometimes even realistic], but reality doesn't match up, leaving you lingering in this huge gap of disappointment and frustration. i find myself here more often than not when it comes to a few areas of my life, and truthfully, i`m unsure how to break free from it.

as a server, i expect to be tipped.

at the risk of sounding overly confident, i am good at what i do. i genuinely care about the guests that walk in, i'm energetic, attentive, and, as a little girl said to her dad most recently as i walked away from the table, "so nice".

i work hard for my money.

but the reality is, for whatever reason, some people just don't tip, and instead of walking away proud of myself for the way in which i served, i walk away angry and frustrated, say my piece to whoever will listen, and move on to the next table.

i reached my maximum 'blow up' point the other night when i received three non tipping tables in a row, followed by a 14 cent tip on a $60.00 bill and a $3.00 tip on an $80. i walked away questioning why i do what i do, and seriously contemplated quitting. [please note: i usually only serve once a week and manage the rest, so i rely heavily on my tips to get me through certain weeks].

i expect people to tell the truth.

i've always been a straight shooter [with more tact nowadays, thankfully] so i've never understood lying. in fact, i lied once in 2007 and still think about it to this day. no joke.

i was standing with a group of my friends in college one day when one of them turns to me and says lous enough for everyone to hear, "paula, do you have any gum?"

of course i had gum - i always did - but i, knowing that i only had two pieces left, said, "no, sorry, i don't".

that was it. that was the lie that haunts me to this day, and will more than likely go to the grave with me.

does it really matter if someone lies about gum? meh, there are worse things in life. but what if someone you love and trust gets caught in a more serious one? i can't help but take it personally, and if i'm honest with myself, i don't know how not to.

i expect to lose weight.

ever since my dad passed away from a heart attack just over a year a go, i've been on this huge health kick. i started motivating myself using vi shakes, which worked wonders, and slowly started to change my eating habits since. most recently, i started going back to the gym and on monday i start kickboxing. aside from my cheat day each week, which i think we're all entitled to, i am quite disciplined with what goes into my mouth. and i have never felt more proud of myself.

but then i put the same pants on every day [well, not the exact same pair lol] and ... nothing. no progress whatsoever. it's as if i've hit this plateau; this grueling, frustrating plateau.

and lastly, i expect way too much from myself.

this probably doesn't surprise you after reading my 'i don't have any gum' story, but i'm way too hard on myself. even as i sit here and type out this vulnerable post, i see that. truthfully, my biggest frustration isn't the fact that people let me down [as i, too, let others down]; my biggest frustration lies in the fact that i let myself get so worked up about such petty things and take things way too personally.

people don't leave me crappy [or non existent] tips because i suck, nor do people lie to me for the same reason. people are simply human, and i`m just as human.

i so desperately want to be known as one who extends grace. to others, yes, but also to myself ... even, and especially, when i find myself stuck in the frustrating gap between expectation and reality.