A few years ago, some friends and I took a magical weekend getaway to the mountains. Truly, it was one for the books–we laughed, did a couple adventurous things, had campfires, ate the best of food, Britany threw up a gummy bear, and we all came back with some really great stories to share.
We loved our weekend getaway so much, the next year, we planned a reunion, in hopes to recreate the magic and develop more stories to share from the first weekend getaway. Except for this time, the weather wasn’t quite as beautiful so the adventurous activities turned into sitting inside and watching old 80’s reruns for the day, someone became pregnant, so not everyone could join in on the campfire shenanigans, and someone forgot the gummy bears (so Britany couldn’t throw them up again).
But, in our memories, the first weekend getaway was such a magical time, we all loved reminiscing and sharing stories of it, we disregarded the flop that the second weekend getaway ended up being, and we were hopeful that a third attempt would recreate the magic, we were certain that we could develop even more stories to share, so we tried again for a third time. Except for, this time, the owner of the condo sold it, so we had to find somewhere else to stay (which turned out to be quite a difficult and expensive task), the pregnant girl had her baby and the baby got sick, and the mountain town discontinued those adventurous activities we were all looking forward to, so the third year, the magical weekend getaway didn’t even occur, and when the fourth year came around, we all kind of forgot about it. Despite all of our fond memories, it was clear the magic could and would never be recreated from our weekend getaways, so we all resigned to packing our stories away into the vault of nostalgia, and never returning back to the same place.
But, this kind of thing happens all the time. We have one really magical experience–one really magical game, one really magical date, one really magical celebration, one really magical day–and because it was so magical, we hope to recreate it, so we carry our expectations of this really magical time into our next occurrence of it (because we want to cling onto those feelings we remember and we want to create MORE magic), and when that magic isn’t recreated, we default back and remember it’s first occurrence, and we still try again, and again, and again, until we finally admit to ourselves it can never be recreated–it was a one time deal–for whatever reason, the stars aligned perfectly in that particular moment, the right people were in the right places, and that fortuitous moment can never be recreated.
I’ve actually had a relationship like this too. The first year was so magical. Everything was perfect. He held the car door open for me, we went to fancy dinners together, gazed into each other’s eyes, sent cute love notes to each other, and held hands as we skipped down the sidewalks. And then, the second year rolled around, and things changed. No one had money anymore for fancy dates, finding time to sleep became much more necessary than gazing into each other’s eyes, and he grew too tall for us to hold hands and skip down the sidewalk together. But, I still held onto my expectations from that first year, I still remembered the magic, longed for it to be recreated, to have more of it, I still expected the second and the third years to yield the same magical results, even though it was clear that times and circumstances had changed.
I’ve also played on teams like this. Our first season together was so magical. The chemistry between the players, the level of our opponents, the circumstances of our schedule, our audacity and tenacity to do anything to win was off the charts, and we ended the season, feeling jolly, confident, full of energy, and equipped with a slew of great stories to share. And, then we played the next season. We lost a couple team mates, our opponents changed, our schedule shifted, the chemistry and the interplay between the players just wasn’t quite the same, and we didn’t leave the season feeling so fulfilled. But, we tried again, and again, and again, because our memories of the game were positive, and we hoped to recreate that magic of the first season, and it never quite happened.
But what all of this ultimately leads to is a set of expectations that are not met–expectations of a good time, for funny stories, of connection and friendship with others–which ultimately leads to disappointment because these expectations are not met. When we came home from that second weekend getaway, everyone felt like they could have spent their weekend doing something more productive at home (there were really no good stories to share). When that relationship eventually failed, I certainly did not end with those original fond memories of the first year (fond feelings definitely were not at the forefront of the relationship anymore), and when our team became disjointed, we just stopped playing (because it wasn’t fun and nothing climatic had happened in that last season). Because, the disappointment that comes when our expectations are not met is sometimes worse than continuing to recreate something that once was, but will probably never be again.
Somethings can just never be recreated–somethings should just be resigned and put up in our nostalgic vault.
(Photo Credit: WeHeartIt.Com)