I Expected Too Much of Whitney Houston

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whitney houston

One year ago one of my childhood icons passed away. Whitney Houston held a place on honor on my bedroom wall for a few of my teenage years next to Michael Jackson. To me she represented all that I wanted to become, strong, talented and beautiful; the list of attributes I assigned to her was long.
As time rolled on and my life changed, those posters no longer occupied my boudoir real estate but the impression of a woman to admire remained. It wasn’t until the Bobby Brown years, the arrests and tabloid frenzies that the image began to chip away.Ah yes, the Bobby Brown/Whitney years were ones of horrific tabloid photos, judgement and disdain. These are vague memories now, but I’m ashamed to admit she disappointed me. Yes ME, ever so important Julie was disgusted when Whitney was arrested for marajuana, when she stood by Brown at his spousal abuse hearing and after watching far too many interviews with Whitney slurring her speech and being a wreck in general I finally tore down the proverbial icon poster in my head.

I no longer admired Whitney Houston.

Talk about pot calling the kettle black!

It didn’t hit me until the news of her death, it never entered my head as I battled my own demons and faced my alcoholism. As is likely to happen, finally the reality of life smacked me upside the head that day when I read the announcement of her death.

Who the heck was I to have ever judged Whitney Houston? She was a human being, one who was always worthy of support but never of idolism. Whitney was simply a performer, a talented human who didn’t even know I existed.

How many times in my life had people let me down, disappointed me or surprised me with their behaviors?

Could it actually be that my expectations of people have been wrong? Is it actually possible that we as human beings are apt to err when being evaluated by someone else’s system of metrics?

I sat that morning staring into a steaming cup of coffee feeling like it was actually me who had dropped the ball. As I reviewed the various people to whom I’d stacked into the unreliable category it became apparent to me that my outlook may have been skewed.

Life is simply too short to be measuring people by my expectations, instead from that moment on I decided to accept people as they are not as I think they should be. By recognizing people’s limitations, quirks and even their annoying behaviors I’ve come to a point where I can see the positive they bring to my life.

Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of renewing friendships which I’d let go and strengthening those I hold dear. Through this time I’ve embraced the good, the bad and the ugly in folks I choose to have in my life. I do this because most of them have done it with me in the past and for that I’m grateful.

I’m not famous, I’m not an award winning talented actress/songstress and yet people in my life were there for me when I was at my worst. People were pulling for me, praying for me and I’m hands down certain I had let them down in the past. These folks didn’t write me off or give up on me and it didn’t strike me until I read about a fellow addict’s death.

If you have people in your lives who are disappointing you, maybe its time to reevaluate your expectations of them and see if you can tweak it so in future you’re not disappointed.

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  1. Lee Pearson says

    It made me so sad when I heard of Whitney Houston’s death. She was a beautiful, talented lady. Thank you for your advice and heartfelt post. For me, sometimes I become so head strong when I feel I’ve been wronged and I need to look at it from both points of view. I definitely have to take some time and think about certain things in my life. Again, thanks for the good advice.

  2. says

    Julie – I love this post. I remember the impact Michael Jackson’s death made on me, and the realization that despite his fame, money and talent, he really was human like the rest of us. We all have our struggles. I remember Oprah asking Whitney if she was afraid of the same fate, and then it happened. When Whitney died, as sad as it was, it wasn’t shocking. It was another example that we’re really all the same. You are so right about the importance of adjusting our expectations.
    Ida Mae West-Simone recently posted..Tutoring in ’04 and the one drawback of unconditional loveMy Profile

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