Monday, July 15, 2013

disappointment and anatomy

Some time ago, someone told me not to have such high expectations of things, that way, I wouldn't be disappointed so often... In fact, it's something that lots of people say. Going into things with an open mind, they call it. 

This doesn't work. In life, there is no way of avoiding disappointment. Sure, you can rationalize things to a point where you aint even mad, but the thing is, disappointment isn't about expectancies that weren't met.

To expect is very similar to anticipating. There exists a difference in nuance, but in essence, both imply a belief of something to come. Expecting is usually used when you strongly believe something.

Again, I claim there's no way to avoid ever being disappointed. When things don't go as expected, it's called a surprise. Disappointment is something entirely different. Being disappointed is about your hopes not being met. In Swedish, the difference is quite vivid - Förväntan and Förhoppning. Quite similar, often the same, sometimes, for better or for worse, they're worlds far apart. 

And there is simply no way of avoiding hoping for things in life. There always exists a preferable outcome, even if it's not something you're consciously thinking about. You might not even know what you want, but you always want SOMETHING. If, someday, you need to choose between two different things, (an "ice-cream or candy"-sorts dilemma) but don't know which one you actually want - Flip a coin. It's a charming experiment, because you don't do what the coin says in the end, you simply gauge your reaction. More often than not, there will be either disappointment or happiness with the flip. Then you can know what you truly wanted.

It's also charming, because it's so naive. You have no way of truly knowing which would have been more satisfying, and nothing hinders you from being disappointed from the experience of eating that ice-cream or candy. Maybe it still wasn't as good as you hoped. 

Nothing is perfect, and often perfection is what we hoped for. We can try to mitigate disappointment by having realistic expectations, or trying not to get your hopes up, or simply not caring. But then, how are we supposed to ever get excited about something? We need to get disappointed sometimes, simply because it's an anchor to reality. It still sucks, though.

Mouse over this image! (Probably does not work on mobile devices.)

Ugh. I've already written a lot more than I meant to.

Anyway, I the picture above is just some study I made, it doesn't have anything to do with the subject of disappointment. For artists, and in life, I think its important to understand how things work, not just how they look, or what they do. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving a car, if I didn't have a basic idea of the principles and machinery working under the hood. In the same way, I don't think I would be able to draw humans as well if I hadn't ever looked at anatomical depictions of musculature and bone structure, or hadn't spent evenings feeling my face trying to figure out what's where and how things connect into one another.


  1. That first thing sounds like something I would say from time to time XD!

    While it's true that you cannot always avoid disappointment, one has to realize that there is no point in trying even if it weren’t paradoxically impossible.
    If you always focus on keeping disappointments at bay, won’t your mind just be having thoughts revolving around negativity then? If the price for always getting a result you expect is to stress about the future to such an extent, than the price is too high for me. Not that this really is what your post was about… Btw, was there anything special that you were disappointed about, or did you just think of the subject for no particular reason? (I’m sorry; I’m a curious creature :D)

    I wish that I would as well spend more time on analyzing things, but for a reason or another I just don’t get to it. I think it’s a good habit to have.

    Good entry as always ;)

    1. I'm being disappointed right now because I can't figure out how to enable avatars on comments here on blogger! Crikey, it shouldn't be this difficult!

      I agree though, if one always stresses about never getting disappointed in anything, then that person is in for a really crap life. Especially when it comes to relationships, I was thinking earlier as I wrote the entry. Some people seem to be so afraid of getting hurt, that they just don't bother at all. That kind of thinking really goes against my attitude and philosophy in life, and I think it's just too sad.

    2. Very true indeed.

      I don't know if you found this already, but it might of help:

      (I hope you can post links in the comments... let's find out!)

  2. "Ugh. I've already written a lot more than I meant to."

    Baaaaaad move

  3. The picture worked on mobiles too! Just thought you should know. Anyhow I agree with you about disapointments and hoping too much and it's something that at least I have to work on... Thanks for another well written and ineresting entry!

    1. Cheers! Feedback well appreciated, as usual.

      There is no avoiding disappointment, I believe. But we learn to cope, we find those things in our everyday lives on which we can rely on to be cheered up again. A friend, a love, an activity.

      Things like coffee.

  4. Expect the absolute worst and you can't be disappointed, easy enough right? But then again, if we all go around expecting everything to screw itself beyond all saving I guess we'd be significantly grumpier. That wouldn't be nice.


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