Musings on disappointment

thoughtfulLast night was interesting and not in a good way. I’ve been planning to run a Spartan race since September of last year. I even put together a team of five (myself included) for the event. A few weeks ago, one of my friends had to regretfully cancel, as he’s getting married the same weekend in another country. Completely understandable, no problem. That left our team at four people.

On Monday, I contacted everyone still interested in the race. I had received verbal confirmation from everyone in March, each expressing excitement. However, the time slot we wanted was filling up and we needed everyone to sign up ASAP, or risk losing our spot. Two of my friends didn’t reply to the voice mail or text I sent them, which was odd as both of them are constantly on their phones.

Neither had replied by Tuesday morning, so I sent a brief email to both outlining how important it was that we all sign up soon. It wasn’t until 6 pm that night that I got a really awkward email. Both my friends had been conferring back and forth via email and one of them forwarded me their conversation, stating that both of them were no longer interested. They gave no reason for their decision. Fortunately, my other friend is super excited to run the race, so I still have a partner in crime 🙂

I’m not the kind of person who normally plans events and activities. I feel very uncomfortable taking a leadership role. But this race is really important to me. So important that I took the initiative, figured out the logistics, and invited others to take part. Its a physical challenge that would have been impossible for me a couple of years ago due to health problems. To be at the point where I’m physically capable of conquering a Spartan Race truly shows how far I’ve come. To see those two casually toss away something so important to me was hard. But they’re the ones that lose out on an incredible experience.

I’m still processing a lot of different emotions right now. I feel betrayed because they were so excited, then dropped it casually without giving me the courtesy of a reason. There may be other things going on that I’m unaware of, so I don’t want to judge them too harshly, but the way things were handled was extremely unprofessional. I feel hurt, sadness, anger, confusion, and probably some other things I can’t articulate. I used to suppress all negative emotion and pretend I wasn’t affected by it. But that isn’t a healthy way to live and caused a lot of stress and issues. I’ve started accepting that feeling this way is okay. Its okay to not be okay all the time. Negative feelings are just as valid as positive ones.

Disappointment is an inevitable part of life, but I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. I want to continue to be a kind, open, trusting person. I’m just starting to open up to others and I’m not going to lose this progress. I want to choose kindness, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and to grow as a person. So I’m going to keep moving forwards.

Have you had any similar experiences?

Image credit: “Thoughtful” by Karsten Knoefler is licensed under CC by 2.0

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20 thoughts on “Musings on disappointment

  1. Warrior Freya says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the people backing out on you. I’m happy to hear you still have someone to go with, and if they back out let me know. I’ll fly up there and run with you because you’re awesome and your friends have no idea about what they’re missing out on. All of the epicness!

    I know what it’s like to have people bail on something that’s important to me. It sucks. Even if it’s justified, it sucks. To not be given a reason would make it that much harder.

    I’m not sure about the situation, but maybe it was just a fun idea for your friends at the time. I know I do that a lot, or at least I used to. I would say, “Yeah, going to that movie would be great!” or whatever the event happened to be weeks in advance of the actual date. And then the day would come and I had no energy or no interest to actually go out and see it. I would bail… “Hey. I’m really not feeling going out today. Can we rain check it?”

    It sucks for the other person. They were expecting me to be there, now they’re most likely not going to go, or at the very least, the image they had in their head is going to be different. They have to adjust to that change.

    Not following through on something we say we’re going to do affects more than just us. The race may not have been a big deal for your friends, but it’s a big deal for you and so it most likely feels like more than “just canceled plans” to you and that’s understandable. Those feelings are justified.

    I don’t really have any sagely advice for how to deal with the emotions. Experience them, accept them, and then remember that you’re still going to kick ass in your race. Your friends not being there… that doesn’t change or take away all of the progress you have made. It doesn’t devalue or invalidate all of the personal growth you’ve achieved.

    I might not be there in person, but I’ll be cheering for you. You got this and you’ll do great regardless of who’s there with you. : )

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ally says:

      I’m so grateful my other friend is still super excited about it. I’ll keep you posted and will try to get some pics on race day 🙂 I’m feeling a lot better today, having a couple of days to experience and process those emotions helped a lot.

      The two friends that cancelled are dating and I suspect the only reason he signed up was because she had already agreed to do the race. He then ended up convincing her otherwise. Its a shame, and a loss for them, but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying the experience.

      I totally agree with you. I rarely cancel plans nowadays, simply because I have a fairly good grasp on my energy level and I know what I can tolerate. However, in the past, I know I caused disappointment for others.

      Thank you for your comment and your encouragement. It definitely helped to brighten my day. I needed the reminder that their participation has nothing to do with my own personal growth and development.

      I really value your perspective and you’ve helped me countless times, so thank you for your friendship. I’m going to keep training, and when race day comes, I’m going to absolutely crush it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      As someone who works in an office, email is our main source of communication. I’m always amazed by how many people never answer my emails. I then have to spend the next couple of weeks following up with phone calls and emails. I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. notewords says:

    As your first commenter said, people do sometimes say – oh, what a wonderful idea – until push comes to shove and they bale. As you said, it’s their loss. All the best and have a great run! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. live_a_life_less_ordinary says:

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. Ten years ago, I had just moved to this area, and I didn’t have much of a social life. The university I had graduated from is about 30 miles from here, so I occupied myself by attending a lot of sporting events there. By the next fall, I had face-to-face friends, and I tried to get a big group together to come with me to a football game. Only two people replied to my invitation… and they both stiffed me for the tickets. A couple years later, I bought a house, and every few months I’ll host a game night or movie night or something like that. (I’m still very much an introvert; I can’t do something like that more than once every few months.) Every time, I’ve had people say they want to come and then back out, but with groups that big, that’s normal, and usually there’s a decent size crowd.

    My problem these days comes with making one-on-one plans with people. It seems like I get cancelled on or stood up so often that this has become the norm rather than the exception. I feel like when I make plans with someone, I tend to think of those plans as tentative until the other person actually shows up, because I’m so used to getting flaked on. And some of the excuses I’ve gotten have been really outrageous and unbelievable. Sometimes it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.

    I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’d feel betrayed and hurt too. Your feelings are justified.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ally says:

      What a terrible experience 😦 It definitely saps your confidence when things like that happen. I’m so glad your games nights are working out better. That’s a good point, regardless of how many people you invite, there will always be those who cancel.

      I couldn’t even imagine being stood up all the time, to the point where it feels normal for someone to cancel on you. That’s awful and no one should have to experience that. It really does make you feel as though something is wrong with you, even though you’re not the one with a commitment problem.

      I hope things improve for you, thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • live_a_life_less_ordinary says:

        Thank you. I’m glad you understand. A few years ago, after multiple experiences with someone backing out on me, I realized I just had to accept the fact that maybe we were going to have to be Facebook friends and not ever spend time in person. And that’s how it has been for a while now. And I’m kind of thinking I might be having to accept something similar about someone else right now, although that situation isn’t completely settled yet, and there’s a long back story there too. It makes me sad, especially in cases where I knew that there was a time when I could spend time with these people one-on-one and really enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. satzee says:

    I appreciate your kindness, it might mean a lot to those who might not have deserved it.

    It is good to throw out your negative emotions out on people who caused it. If people really cares & loves you, they will definitely accept that, and give you the ‘freedom to express’ if you want. Throwing out your negative emotions might not help you to calm down or feel better, but it will help others to understand you. I appreciate what you have written here.
    Like you said, we never knew what others might be going through. If you had let the others knew how you feel and what you go through, they will definitely turn around for a solution.

    Probably others are unclear/confused as well, probably your alone time could have meant for them that you weren’t interested, probably when you didn’t turn up when they needed you might gave them a clue that you were not interested in them, probably they wanted to meet you often in person face-to-face to stay motivated, probably they are missing their excitement and optimism due to their everyday little failures, or probably their brains are often not -functioning well to put in writings, probably they could also thought it will pave way for other worthy players to come-in, probably they are missing the excitement due to physical illnesses or medications. Probably they didn’t receive your calls, texts or even know that you did, or probably you called the wrong number or mail id.. Too many probabilities.

    Planning an event requires everyone’s sign-up, and cancelling should also be done only on everyone’s acceptance.
    I agree, its very unfair to say that we ‘cant’ casually and go out. We must request for the withdrawal. If others doesn’t disagree, we have to stay in. To participate or to withdraw, requires everyone’s acceptance.

    A good post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      As you mentioned above, there are countless possibilities as to why they cancelled. I wish they had let me know the reason, as it would have helped me understand where they were coming from. But at the end of the day, based on previous experiences I’ve had with them, I’m not that surprised. Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • satzee says:

        Thats strange, because most of the people give reasons when they say they disagree or opt out. May be they weren’t brief enough or clear enough or unaware that they were repeating what they said too many times in the past. I agree with your comment 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. albeckwall says:

    I had a similar experience. My Spartan team went from 7 to 4 right before the race. One of them had a good excuse, but the others were due to lack of “preparation.” I just rolled with it. After all, this was my goal and I would have run alone if necessary. My training was cut drastically short due to an injury. I dedicated a significant amount of time, pain and mental energy to healing myself, just so I could race. I wasn’t about to let anyone take that from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      So glad you were able to race, despite an injury and loss of teammates. I eventually got to that same point where I was determined to run, even if I had to do it on my own. I ended up with a team of four (different than originally intended) and we had an amazing race (new post coming soon!). Thank you for commenting 🙂

      Like

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