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My Heart and Perceived Expectations. {Asheville, NC}

This week I’ve come face to face with the majority of my fears and insecurities. The funny thing, the different thing about this week and other weeks is that this week, I’m embracing them.

These things are bubbling to the surface and I’m opening my emotional arms to greet them.
It’s time.

It’s the right time for me to face them head on, to come to grips with them, and to let them go.

The ultimate of these being the perceived expectations that I’ve created for myself.
Basically, I’ve spent my entire life attempting to be everything to everyone. Quite literally.


To be a viable romantic partner I believe I must be beautiful.
I must have the perfect body, be intelligent, good at sports, enjoy the outdoors, have a great sense of humor, love to travel and binge on netflix at the same time.
I must feel and care deeply without being too emotional, I need to be funny and easy-going while also driven and hard-working, I have to be career focused and warm with motherly energy, I need to be open and genuine but also private, I need to be confident yet humble, and one of the guys but also a sex pot when we’re alone.

To be a good business owner I believe I need to be available 24/7. I should turn my work around at lightning speed and never take a day off. I should wake up at the crack of dawn and go to bed well after midnight. I need to be tough with my policies and set realistic expectations, all while blowing peoples minds with my ability to stay on top of everything. I need to be a bookkeeper, marketer, blog writer, strategist, client manager, sales woman, editor, event planner, stylist, graphic designer, and travel agent. I need to be technically great at photography and always artistically inspired and deeply connected to the heart of my work. All while charging an accessible rate that may or may not pay me a salary above the poverty line.

This is just a taste, there are still the obligations I feel to my friends, family, strangers, business contacts, and more.


No wonder I am tired.
No wonder I feel the tiniest bit lost in my own existence.

If I were told this by someone else, I would respond to them, “you sweet sweet girl, it’s ok to just live. It’s ok to just be whoever you are and whatever you want to be. It’s OK.”

I took the time to talk to myself with tenderness to release myself of these expectations and then to ask myself what it is I want and what I believe. Because, it’s about time I figure out what my expectations are for myself away from everyone else.

I believe:

Beauty is subjective and ultimately meaningless. Not to mention, I can’t change the way I look, even if I wanted to.
My body will grow and shrink with the seasons. I appreciate the ability to live in it. But, I am more then my skin and bones.

I value people and experiences.
I love people and the complexities of our souls and our different journeys.
I feel alive when I’m traveling. I need to explore in a way that is deeply ingrained in the core of my existence.
I want to look back at my life and know that I’ve shared my life with people and that I lived it in the fullest of ways.

I have limits and if I push myself to them I will want to quit everything and run away.
Taking a vacation before I get to that point is never a mistake.

My interests and hobbies will develop over the years.
Something I hate today I could love tomorrow.
The only thing I know for certain is that I’m constantly exploring the depths of my soul and there’s no way to know for sure how that will change me.

Today, I’m calling into the truest parts of myself. The beauty that is my heart and the tender parts of my soul. To find my roots there. To plant myself firmly in my core and though the winds of expectation will waft across my branches, I will remain rooted in the base of my being.

with love and self,

Gretchen Joy - April 16, 2014 - 8:29 pm

I love all of this. I love your fierce honesty and your beautiful way of expressing your thoughts. You are enough, you sweet sweet girl, and it is OK to just live.

Sarah Whitmeyer - April 17, 2014 - 1:30 am

Beautifully said sarah. Your blog really speaks to me 🙂 thank you.

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