free \ˈfrē • a friend said to me this weekend, “that’s your problem, you try to see the good in everyone”, and while i’ve heard it, read it, and thought it 1000 times before, something about this time in particular stuck with me. maybe this is what it means to “sleep on it”, because i woke up this morning feeling like i had experienced some kind of epiphany overnight. we all have our flaws, and it’s imperative that we recognize our own before pointing out someone else’s. the older i get, the more i realize there is a time and place for being proactive, and being reactive. sometimes we can control the outcome, and when we can’t, we can control our reaction to it. so i’m coming clean in hopes that this frees something in me, and consequently in you. perhaps one of my biggest flaws is that i have a tendency of putting everyone on a pedestal from our first interaction – regardless of our relationship (platonic, romantic, familial). that being said, if we have met, i have given you the benefit of the doubt that you are all of the traits that i value: honest, genuine, kind etc.. and in theory, this sounds great. in fact, many of you have lived up to be exactly that. but, what i’ve come to understand is that in doing so, i’m putting expectations on each and every one of you. expectations that you didn’t ask for, or agree to. and regardless of this being with good intentions, that is not my decision to make. i cannot be upset or frustrated or disappointed in *YOU*, if for whatever reason you cannot live up to the expectations that *I* have set. i am setting you, myself, and us up for failure, and for that, i apologize. not seeing the best in everyone is not equivalent to seeing the worst in everyone either, it is simply understanding and accepting everyone with a blank slate, and allowing each individual the freedom of being who they are. i know i’m not the only one who needed to hear this, so i see you, i feel you, and i can assure you – when you release these expectations, you will realize that there are not only people who will check every box, but there are people who will surprise you and people who will show you qualities that you never knew you would appreciate.