Great Expectations: Yours or Theirs?

Pinky: Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world
Quote from Pinky and the Brain TV Series 1995–1998

Last week, Bud (That’s my husband) and I went to see the recently released ‘Dr Strange’ starring the very-British and super talented Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, as you may have already guessed from my tagline, I’m a movie person: Hollywood, Bollywood, Tollywood, Nollywood, Asian cinema, I’ve got all the ‘Woods’ covered!

I was so looking forward to seeing this movie that I put up a very good pitch as to why we should go see it (Bud isn’t so into all that butt-kicking, air walking/flying, somersaults and tumbling Kung Fu fighting/martial arts package you see. That, however, is right up my street!). So, I was excited to see the movie because I had very high expectations from ‘Dr Strange’ for two reasons:

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch!
  2. It’s a Marvel movie! (Yes! I like action heroes and heroines. If I can’t fly, I can at least enjoy others doing it!).

The entire cast put in great effort into their roles. Chinwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, in particular, stood out for me in their roles as ‘Mordo’ and the ‘Ancient one’ respectively. Background score by some guy called Michael Giacchino is fresh and pure talent. The CGI! Now THAT to me was the highlight of the movie. Talk about a combination of Inception, The Matrix and The Avengers all rolled up into one. Epic!

My only complaint was I felt there were sections in the script where the movie seemed to drag and I got bored (unlike Captain America: Civil War which was a full-on throttle movie!). So, in all, it was a good movie. However, for a Marvel movie, it could have been better script-wise. If anyone is asking, I would give it 4 stars!

This brings me to my recent pondering, which is how we are often expected to ‘perform’ based on certain criteria set by others.

Coming from an African background, I know about expectations all too well. From an early age, parents try to steer (more like hound consistently) their children towards the more ‘respectable’ professions: the 50 shades of engineering, banking and accounting, law, medicine and pharmacy. As the years progressed, they added Information Technology to the list. Those who were not inclined in these fields were in for a hard time. The creative field – singing, writing music, dancing, painting, fashion designing, photography, cooking, baking, and blogging (wink wink!) – were considered for those at the bottom rung of the ladder.

How the tables have turned… (Me now singing “I’m walking on sunshine, wooah, and don’t it feel good!”).

Don’t get me wrong! I am a strong advocate for education. I got one and it’s changed my life and I’m so grateful to my parents for ensuring it happened for me. I’m just so glad that there are more learning opportunities to suit people’s abilities and interests.

Anyway, back to my pondering. Like I was saying, you were expected to study certain courses, which should supposedly solidify your chances of success and then you graduate. Then comes the expectation to marry at a certain age or age range (like you can walk into a store and pick up a husband/wife just like that!). Next on the line-up is the expectation to make babies at the ‘right time’. I mean, you’ve got a great job, you have been married for a few years, you’ve got a nice house/apartment and life is going well for you. You should most definitely start having babies!

Other items on the list include buying a house (if you are in the UK or building one if you are in Nigeria), getting a higher degree such as a MSc/MBA/PhD, giving to charity or to your relatives, friends and all those other people (depending on which part of the world you find yourself in). Just saying!

We have a saying back in Nigeria – ‘No use your reggae take spoil my blues’ which basically translates to ‘Do not cramp my style with yours’. Makes me wonder how often we expect others to do the things we’ve done, the same way we did them and at the time we did them.

Personally, I think Great Expectations can be positive for the following reasons:

  1. They give you something to look forward to.
  2. They can keep you inspired and motivated.
  3. They can give you a sense of fulfillment.
  4. It’s simply great to have Great Expectations.

I had Great Expectations for ‘Dr Strange’, never mind the possibility that the Marvel studio may have gone up in flames or Benedict may have had cancer while filming (but is now completely healed. Amen!). I went expecting an epic performance because I alone knew what ‘best’ should look like!

So, I think the question to ask is not “Do you have Great Expectations?”


The real question here is – those Great Expectations, are they Yours or Theirs?

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2 comments on “Great Expectations: Yours or Theirs?

  1. Definitely food for thought… it’s so easy to think you know what you want, when actually you’ve been conditioned to have certain dreams and expectations. May we have the courage to pursue the dreams that are hidden deep down in our own hearts, rather than those of other well-meaning people.


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