Oh, this was going to be good! I was going to surprise someone. She was going to be happy. She was going to be ecstatic and excited. That, in turn, was going to make me happy.
Only, that’s not how it went down. My big surprise was met with awkward silence. Things were not going as I planned. Not at all. And instead of being happy, I cried myself to sleep. Two nights in a row. But not three. No, not three. And never again.
The mistake I made was assuming I could accurately predict the behavior, priorities, and thought processes of another human being. I had imagined myself in that person’s place, and I assumed that she would react in the exact same way that I would. I was genuinely shocked and hurt when she did not.
It actually has me reevaluating my entire world view. What can I count on? Whom can I rely on? How much of my conclusions are drawn on pure assumption, therefore rendering them invalid?
It is going to take me a long time to digest all of this. It will be uncomfortable, learning to lower my expectations. But I know, on some level, I had been giving away the keys to my happiness to someone else. How absolutely silly of me to build my joy on such unpredictable foundations! Everyone has different priorities and different criteria for their behavior. And guess what? That is each person’s right.
Here are the only things I know for sure: I can rely on myself. I can count on my own behavior. That’s my bedrock.
From now on, the only one who gets to hold the key to my happiness is me. No one can “make” me happy. My happiness lies within me. I can certainly share it, and I delight in doing so, but I can’t leech it off of someone else as if I’m some sort of happiness vampire.
Bottom line: It’s my key. You don’t get to have it. Go get your own.