On today’s episode, I’ll share a few stories about expectations and tie them into my journey. You’ll hear about my favorite board game, which is Ticket to Ride, my unplanned pregnancy at the age of 23, and my expectations for episode one of this podcast.
Mentioned in this episode
Ticket to Ride https://www.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/usa/
An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen in the future. There’s no plan. You just expect it to happen. If I set a goal, on the other hand, it’s specific. I get to pick how I try to achieve the goal. Goals can be flexible that way.
When I play my favorite board game, Ticket to Ride, I have some expectations. I expect to have fun, score as many points as possible, and finish the game. There’s no plan. I just expect it to happen. I believe it will happen.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ticket to Ride, it’s a board game with a train theme. It’s also available using apps on Apple and Android products. I love it! There are at least ten maps. The Swiss and US maps are my favorites. Players claim railway routes connecting cities, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. What’s the goal? To have the highest score. How do you get points? Depending on the map, there are several different ways, like completing destination tickets, building the longest train, and scoring the most points with up to 45 wagons.
If you can imagine a map of the United States, a common destination ticket is Los Angeles to New York City. To complete that ticket, I could travel across the middle of the country through Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, and Pittsburgh to get from LA to New York. I could travel from West to East or from East to West. I could even start in the middle of the country. If I wanted to, I could travel south through Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, and El Paso on my way to LA. It’s my journey. I get to pick the route. The goal remains the same, no matter how unconventional the route.
Ticket to Ride is practically an analogy for life. Have expectations. Play the game. Live your life. If you want to accomplish something, set some goals. Accomplish your goals whether you take the predictable, direct route or the longer, scenic route.
I’ve made it this far on my journey from pharmacist to voice actor by being flexible yet still achieving my goals. Because of my life circumstances, I’ll admit to taking the scenic route! I’m making progress slowly, but I expect to move the needle a little more every year.
I need to update my goals this month, but I have my expectations written. For the next 12 months, I expect to
- Improve my performance skills
- Improve my audio engineering skills
- Attempt more auditions
- Book more jobs
- Increase my income
- Nurture and develop relationships
Without goals to support those expectations, I’m only having fun being in the game. I’m looking forward to writing new goals this month and making progress.
Here’s the story about my unplanned pregnancy at the age of 23.
I got married in 2001 when I was still 22 years old, just 6 weeks after graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy. I expected to work for a year to pay off my student loans. Then, go to grad school. My choices were:
- Master’s Degree in Pharmacy Administration from Purdue
- PharmD from The University of Toledo.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Toledo (GO ROCKETS!), and the PharmD was the more likely choice. In less than a year, however, I unexpectedly got pregnant at the age of 23. I never went to grad school. Back when I graduated, a pharmacist only needed a Bachelor’s Degree.
When my husband and I were expecting our first child, I was just trying to get through the pregnancy. I was young, and none of my friends had kids yet. I didn’t think too much about the birth, childcare, or how my life would change. Like the free spirit I was back then, I thought I’d figure it out during maternity leave AFTER the baby was born. We had a son. He’s 17 now.
I expected an easy labor and delivery. I expected all the time my husband and I spent in lamaze class would pay off, and I would have an uneventful delivery. Unfortunately, our son was breech at 39 weeks, and I had a c-section. My expectations were blown completely apart. Not only did I have a c-section, but I also had a post-operative infection that lasted so long that I couldn’t even return to work after 12 weeks. I was out of work for 16 weeks.
Then, another surprise happened. I thought babies slept a lot. Not my baby. The doctors told me my son had “colic.” Fast-forward 2 and a half years. He actually had a number of problems, including sensory integration dysfunction and autism. I didn’t expect a c-section, a post-op infection, an unhappy baby, sleepless days and nights, and eventually a child with a disability. I know all about unmet expectations. There are some things, you just can’t write goals for. It’s ok to change your expectations though and make plans the best you can under the circumstances. That’s what I did.
When I was learning how to launch my podcast last year, at least a dozen people told me that my first episode would also be my worst episode. They were kind of right. It happens to be my most-listened-to episode whether you or I think it’s my worst or not. The point is that the expectation was set. Knowing that the first one might be terrible actually helped me reconcile that I had to just get started and not let my expectations or anyone’s judgement prevent me from moving forward. I made it my goal to improve my delivery, content, and show notes over time. I feel at peace with everything, and I really do think it’s getting better. Feel free to give me some feedback using the contact form on my website. https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com
Have expectations. Make goals. If you come close, give yourself credit, and try to enjoy the journey.