When I was in high school, my theme song was "The Lifeboat Mutiny" by the Cherry Poppin Daddies, and the key phrase comes in at the end with the protagonist lamenting how "real life could never measure up" to her imagination. As an emo teenager this stuck out to me as being completely true. But what I neglected to realize until more than a decade later is that life is infinitely more exciting, interesting, unpredictable, and satisfying than I was asking it to be by expecting that the limits of my imagination be realized. Life isn't a movie. It's better.
Had life been so courteous as to reflect my fantasies at the time, l would be married to Josh, (now dead), and have borne him a daughter. Never could I have imagined the actual life that I am actually living at 28. It turns out that Life had a lot better things planned out for me, all I had to do was keep breathing in order to find out just how wildly mistaken l had been about my expectations.
It turns out this is a theme for many of the people in my life. l doubt Dame would ever have envisioned Toolmaker, And I know Ten had never imagined me, (we've even had that conversation recently). So why do we bother? The people coming into and out of our lives are way more interesting and sexy and meet way more of our needs than the two-dimensional characters we fantasize about. Now whether that fantasy comes in the form of day dreams, lousy expectations that life be like movies and love songs; or if we just roll through life thinking that it's all going according to some crazy plan, the idea that we have control, or that we should be able to have control is laughably small-minded. Yes, the things we do have consequences. And no, there's nothing wrong with having a plan for what you want to happen in your life, but being too attached to specifics means you're going to miss something, or someone, very important.
Allow me to illustrate this point a little more universally: Star Trek TNG. The show was made in the early 90s, and the creators of this fabulous scifi show imagined the most advance computers they thought possible for the 24th century, but the device into which I an currently inputting my thoughts, (along with the one that you are reading them from), is light years ahead of even the most imaginative tech on Star Trek. Point is, when you rely only on imagination to create your future, you're going to miss out.
Anti-fragility, a concept I've written about before, encourages us to be flexible. Expect to be disappointed. Expect small failures so you can figure out where the bugs are and fix them before the small fractures lead to catastrophic failure. Beyond that, be grateful for the tiny annoyances... be glad life doesn't meet all of your expectations, because then you know you're living and not dreaming.