And you hit a wall so hard it knocks the breath out of you.

Sometimes we’re led down a path we think will improve our life. We get over excited about it and our expectations go through the roof. Sometimes that path is good, and our high expectations are met with great satisfaction. Unfortunately, sometimes that path is bad, and our high expectations ultimately crush our souls. We never know where life will lead us, but it’s important that we always keep an open mind and never set expectations. Setting expectations can ultimately lead to feelings of failure and regret.

Yup, that’s me right now. Feeling like a failure and full of regrets. Granted, I’ve made lots of mistakes that led to these feelings, but its certainly not entirely my fault. Most of the current events dictating the direction of this path are completely out of my control. I find that to be the most frustrating part of all.

As I took a step back to pause and reflect, I was forced to see my fault in this failure. I realized it’s my expectations that got me into trouble. I expected so much more than I got. I expected everyone else to be on the same path as me. And I expected everyone to want the same results as me. These expectations ultimately led to my failure and the end of this road.

It’s hard to admit you’ve reached the end of a road, especially when that end isn’t where you expected to end up. But the answer can’t be “I should have lowered my expectations.” That’s no different than saying “I accept mediocrity.” That will get us nowhere and fast.

So, what is the answer? Should we really never set expectations? I don’t know the answer to that. I started out by saying never set expectations, but that feels wrong to me. Maybe one day the answer will come.

The important lesson here is to not let this take me down. I may feel down, and in the pits, right now. But the truth is the next road is right around the corner and maybe that will lead me down a path I never imagined. A path of greatness. So today, I put this failure behind me and I raise my head high and say, “I will persist and be happy.”

Best to all,

A.M. Bochnak is a dreamer. She always has her head in the clouds or her eyes turned to the stars imagining new adventures and far off worlds for which to travel. She has written numerous short stories and poems as well as several full-length novels. She writes science fiction and fantasy. She cannot resist a good epic fantasy or apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. She is an American author, born and raised in southern Ohio and now lives in Gainesville, Florida.