This collection of essays focuses on how expectations shape my life, creating a form, an outline, which molds how I see my experiences. As I experience life, I unconsciously correlate my experiences with both outside and personal expectations, creating conflict between what I expect and what I experience. The personal essay format, as a narrative of the development and revision of thought, embodies the process of attempting to understand and interpret these conflicts in my life. In each essay, I examine the interactions between my expectations and my experiences in my life. Two essays will discuss gender roles. "Being Mary" deals with society's standard for an accomplished woman, specifically in terms of physical appearance and how I have fought or embrace that standard at different points throughout my life. "Unmarried Women I Have Known" discusses marriage expectations in Mormon culture and my reaction to fulfilling the expectations which I initially scorned. Another essay, "Daffodils at Grasmere, " deals with a lighter subject--the expectation for meaning created by the symbolic tradition behind flowers. "Seeking Holy Things" discusses the effect that my expectations of spiritual sites have on my experiences at those places. Finally, "On Loss and Knowing" deals with my surprise at my lack of grief upon the death of my grandfather, reflecting on what it means to not fulfill this social expectation.