Isn’t it funny how expectations rarely match reality?

Going to meet friends for a night out (drinking, singing, overall carousing) always sounds like a lot of fun. The reality rarely meets the expectation, especially when you find yourself hunched over a porcelain throne that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Alcohol has a way of stripping the hard edges of reality away, blurring memory and perception, leading to bad decisions (like drinking more alcohol).

Amusement parks are always fun, drawing flocks of people. Somehow between visits you forget the long lines, the constant beating rays of the sun, and the sunburn inevitably creeping across your face. Especially if you go with children, reality is often spent soothing cranky kiddos after an expensive sugar overload and doing mental math to determine how long you need to stay to make it worth the expense of having come.

Starting a blog, your mind filled with hopes and plans for how many visitors you will gain, improving each week, and the promise of a hundred followers in X amount of time. Reality usually finds you searching for topics, trying to figure out why one post got a dozen visits and another only got one, all the while wishing that dozen were the lower number. Even frantic google searches for how to succeed at blogging are little help, especially when you aren’t an expert in the key niches, but simply a writer trying to quit your day job.

Finally finishing a good book, enjoying those closing moments as everything wraps up and the tension dissipates… only to immediately wish it wasn’t over. Wanting desperately to return to friendships developed over hundreds of pages, the company of those individuals you came to know so intimately over the course of events. Missing the vivid landscapes, perilous events, and heartfelt individuals experienced within your mind.

Being separated from someone you care about, but figure you’ll enjoy the alone time. At first you think of all the annoying things about that person, convincing yourself you’ll be just fine solo. Then you sit down to watch a show they didn’t like and start thinking about them. They’d be on their phone right now, sitting next to you, every so often interrupting to ask what’s going on (since they’ve been ignoring it until something major happens).

Sleeping alone after months of cuddling, you think it will be nice to have the whole bed to yourself for a while, but find yourself missing a comforting presence. Even asleep you search for them, scooting all over the bed in search of that solidity. A chill settles at your back where they had provided warmth. Your arms fail to provide the solidity offered by a protective band around your chest.

Missing someone sneaks up on you, catching you unawares in the quiet moments, springing leaks that aren’t really crying, but still leave traces down your cheeks and wet your pillow. No amount of preparation is enough for the sheer emptiness of losing someone’s presence.

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