What Do You Expect?


The wheels started coming off my train wreck in 2001, and that it took me more than a decade later to realize how bad i was tells you just how deeply my insanity runs.

The beginning of the end was linked to a book proposal a publisher had accepted. A couple agents were also interested in representing me and i soon began to believe that all my shortcomings were about to be justified, because whatever mistakes i’d made had all become a part of the writer that was going to publish this book. i expected my dreams to come true.

Until the publisher backed out. And then the agents evaporated. i had meetings with another editor who green lighted the project. Only to ignore me a month later. My expectations were dashed on the rocks and by ‘rocks’ i mean the ice in the drinks I used to drown my sorrows.

Other factors abetted in my unfortunate demise, sure, but shattered expectations drew first blood.

Last month, after over ten years of forgetting this book, i decided to dust it off and shop it around to different agents. The first agent i contacted got back with me the same day and requested the full proposal. Those expectations started building again… until it was turned down and i started remembering all the negativity that swamped me ten years ago.

Fortunately this go round i have the tools to protect myself against disappointment, but what i’m really learning is the difference between hoping and expecting. The first is a useful push to set goals, and the second is a double-edged sword all too easy to fall on.



About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on May 4, 2013, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. First, I must admit, that picture up top brings back memories. When I was in college, I used that idiotic device and “bonged” grain alcohol. Not a pretty picture on the back end of that evening…

    Second, and I doubt this helps, but I’m putting it out there anyway, you write a book, and I will buy it. Period. Please don’t give up!

    Glad to hear that you are using the tools to get through this, and I’m looking forward to the epilogue to this story (hopefully published in the book I will be buying with your name as the author)!!!

  2. HI Miracle!

    Oh no! Grain alcohol in college! i forgot all about it. One night i finished late at the “Grill” in the dorm where i worked, so when i got back to my room, the floor party was already well underway. So to catch up, i chugged grain alcohol. Inside of an hour i was crawling on my hands and knees from the room i was in back to my room so i could puke. Lovely.

    As for the book, it’s kind of ironic, i’ve just realized, because the subject is a guide to the miracles here in ‘Yeaman’. A long time ago, i realized the city where i live has been the site of many miracles and so i wanted to put together an inspirational tourist guide. So if something ever comes of it, you will be the first to know about my guidebook to Miracles Around the Corner!

    Keep coming back, Milady,

    Al K Hall

  3. Excellent sentiment my friend. I like the lesson: Hope and Expectation. SUCH different animals.

    Me mum always said (that happy chick her), “expect nothing and you will not be disappointed”. I think somebody in the Bible wrote that. Mom was a fan.

    Carly Simon, of course, sang about anticipation which doesn’t sting as much as expectation, but can also send [one] down the road of “on the rocks”.

    So HOPE; there is always hope. Hope is a safe harbor. It is gentle and positive. It “expects” nothing.

    Oh, man, and as far as artists and agents go … phhhhhh, they will come and go, they are NOT to be expected to do anything, in my experience. Was that negative?

    You rock! Hope springs eternal!

    • What a nice message, Mel!

      Hope does spring eternal and working to make those hopes a reality is key…as long as i don’t expect my efforts to lead to something. i need to maintain the serenity over things i cannot change.

      As for the book and the agents, i’m trying to do just that. Do everything i can on my end and let things go that i have no control over. i need to remember the real thrill of writing is this right here, corresponding with friends and feeling gratitude that i have the ability to write at all.

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

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