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Short Writing Project Essay

666 words - 3 pages

Expectations have acted as both my best friend and my worst enemy at different times in my life. When I have exceeded my boss’ quota consistently and received a promotion, expectations are what helped me to succeed. When I didn’t make the principals list on every single report card, my father’s expectations are what told me that I had failed. I have felt both role conflict and role strain in my life and they both had one thing in common, expectation.

My experience with role strain is more recent than my high school report card, it happened just a few years ago when I was offered a position as the “Worship Leader” at a church that claimed to be “progressive” I accepted the position but soon found out that they weren’t as progressive as I originally thought. In fact, the worship leader was expected to live a life of public celibacy, heterosexuality and sobriety. These expectations were all socially constructed, based on this church’s interpretation of the bible. Since I worked at a bar, drank socially, dated women and wasn’t celibate, I found myself in the middle of role strain because my status was in direct conflict with my social life and personal belief system. I was immensely stressed as I tried to maintain and meet their expectations. I broke up with my girlfriend at the time, remained celibate, stopped working at the bar and stopped drinking alcohol. I even entered “Ex-Gay Therapy” and tried to rid myself of homosexuality. Looking back now, I am astonished that I briefly allowed the ridiculous social expectations of this worship leader status to affect my master status as a gay person. This role strain eventually led to anti-depressants and an identity crisis. I often asked myself, “Who am I?” and soon realized that I was allowing this group of people to define who I was rather than defining that for myself....

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