I'm not in charge of your expectations - Thank you LeBron!

It's funny. I've been wanting to write a post for a while about how other people take their hopes and dreams for what they perceive your life should be and project it on to you... sometimes with relentless vigor. But I never thought LeBron James would be my inspiration to get it written. It is in by top 5 pet peeves when people share (in not-so-subtle ways) what they think about your world. For example:

"Oh you're not married?" Clearly not.

"No kids? You're so good with kids!" Thanks, I think.

"I always thought you and insert name here would get married." Solar beam side-eye.

"You didn't become an attorney, you would have been great at that!" No doubt but I left law school over 10 years ago. Maybe I'm great at what I do now?

"Crime thrillers are a really profitable genre, have you considered writing that instead?" Maybe someday, why do you ask?

"I thought you'd be taller/shorter, thinner/thicker, lighter/darker." Okay, but here I am.

"You should take a break from dating/date more often/date outside your race/do something completely different." You think so?

It goes on and on. But the great thing is - finally I realized. I can only be who I am. [Intro to Eric Benet's True to Myself plays in background] And I'm still figuring out exactly who that is. I simply cannot be my best me while juggling umpteenth many people's expectations of what they think I should be. Sounds exhausting. It IS exhausting. Been there, done that, got the ulcer at 24 years of age to prove it. 

I once heard Dick Gregory do a skit about bill collectors. He said the bill collectors would call, he would tell them he didn't have the money and so they would call back. He decided to try a new strategy; he just started telling them, "I'll get you a little something in the next thirty days." Thirty days passed and the bill collector called indignantly, "Mr. Gregory, what happened?" He replied, "What do you mean?" The bill collector said, "I expected to see a payment from you last month." He said, "Well I'm not in charge of your expectations."

Let the church say... Okay, moving on...

Recently, LeBron James has gone from being a media darling, beloved NBA player and one of the ten most popular personalities of all time to a man having to battle for his reputation. He dropped from number 7 most admired sports personalities to 92 (I think I read that right). Anyway, he went from being deified to vilified in the course of an off-season. For those that don't follow sports, Mr. James opted to get the hell out of Cleveland and jump to the Miami Heat to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in his quest for a ring. I wasn't mad about it. People paper-chase and title-chase on the Paycheck Plantation regular. I've never stayed at a job because the people loved me there. I've often left a job because I had a better offer with better long-term possibilities.

But back to Bron: For a man who has generally only basked in the warm glow of adulation and approval, this has been a struggle for him. I don't necessarily feel sorry for a multi-millionaire who bounces a ball for a living. But I get it. He's come face to face with the fact that you can't please everybody all of the time. For those of us that haven't managed not to give a damn, it can sting a little.

This week, Nike debuted a commercial where LeBron keeps it all the way real. It so very much reminds me of when I decided to bolt Texas for California. And when I decided to leave full-time consulting to write. Of course, I didn't get paid millions for announcing my decision and ESPN gave not a damn. That's not the point. Just sayin' I wish I'd had this video to play (on repeat).

(FYI - At last viewing, NikeBasketball had blocked the video for distribution. FAIL! Anyway, click here to view if the video below is blocked.)



Love. It. Do you, Bron-Bron. By the way, me likey the not so subtle dig at Charles Barkley. Shout out to @tmcydame for bringing the video to my attention.

BougieLand, how you handle the expectations others have for you? Have you gotten to the point where you can tune them all out? What do you think of LeBron's ad? Don't we all have to get to the point where we brush the dirt off our shoulders and keep it pushing? Thoughts, comments, insights? You have the floor.