There’s something to be said about having low expectations, and usually I’m the one saying it. I know it sounds pessimistic to set the bar low to leave less room to be disappointed, and I’ve heard the saying about how you should “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It’s a nice saying; I totally get the intention behind it. And I agree that when putting effort into something, you should act as if you’ll hit your goal, however impossible it appears.
But. Life has shown me that when it comes to expectations, setting them on the branch you can almost touch on the tree without standing on your tip-toes is the smart way to go–at least if you have a tendency to be easily disappointed like I do. Because then when you are disappointed you’ll at least go into it with the understanding that it was bound to happen. The less depressing side of the situation, however, is that on those occasions that the whatever turns out to be better than expected, you’re just that much happier.
I am, anyway.
So when I went to the tortilla factory in Bushwick last night, I expected it to be underwhelming. Despite its high yelp reviews, it had also been described as too crowded, not worth it, and too hipster-y. Plus, a real human I knew who’d been there echoed those complaints. Setting the bar low was the insurance that I wouldn’t be disappointed to discover all of these claims were true.
When I arrived on a Saturday evening at prime dinner time and found the place to be not only not overrun by annoying people but not crowded at all, it was a welcome revelation. When the food came (much more quickly than had been expected after reading reviews), it was good. They let you sit and drink–the place is BYOB–for hours without bothering you. In short, it was a nice way to spend a weekend night with friends.
It wasn’t incredible, no. And if I’d gone there expecting it to be, I may have been less than pleased with the outcome. But because I expected it to be slightly painful and in fact felt no pain whatsoever, I was that much more content with the experience.
So yes, keep your eye on the sky if we’re talking about your own effort on things. Even keep it there if we’re talking about relationships (only because I don’t know how not to, not because I think it’s a good idea). But when it comes to experiences, and tacos, and Bushwick, keep it trained straight ahead, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find you need to raise your gaze when you get to the tortilla factory.