Looking forward to a certain situation that is going to happen sometime soon, can be a stimulating experience. It raises anticipation, creates a buzz and makes you eager to get there. When said situation finally arrives and it goes another way, not like you expected, it can get delicate. Unfulfilled expectations can be a disillusioning thing. But also something to strive for. There you have it: a “two sides of the coin-situation” in the most fundamental sense. And since disappointment and negativity is written about sufficiently, the following examines the fertile potential of playing with expectations. Of not exactly knowing about all that is going to happen.
In a university, a restaurant or an art space, the participants plays the pivotal role of a collaborator. A collaborator in an experiment with an open outcome. Sure, there is, and we are circling the key word already here, an expected outcome. But this may very much differ from the artists or cooks point of view in comparison to the expectations a restaurant guest has. Sometimes, the audience just wants to be pleased. Lured by what is brought to the table and assured in its own taste. But it needs to be stated here: it is not a challenging undertaking to like things you already liked before. To further pick out the cook as a counterexample here: he or she may want to confront, teach or irritate with his or her craft. Usually not for the sake of doing it, but to offer something offbeat, something unique – things that have not been done before.
Therefore, what’s challenging is the unknown and the strange, the mysterious and the new. Whether it be trying an exotic ingredient in a dish or even a whole menu or the willingness to explore surroundings you are not familiar with. It is about freeing yourself from diffuse expectations as much as it is about giving up control. One causes the other: you are willing to give up control when you know that you can trust the involved entities – without necessarily being informed about everything that’s to come.
What sounds like a spiritual guideline is, in fact, not meant as esoteric advice, but a simple suggestion: to go with the flow and consider the possibility of just letting things happen without overanalyzing them beforehand. To reintegrate spontaneity into the daily routines and remain open for all. The process of stepping into the unknown and experiencing things for the first time possesses the beauty to trigger new ideas and to put something in transition: you never know when inspiration is going to hit you, but with new things and surroundings, the chances are high.