Earlier this month, while attending a baby shower for a friend, the expectant mother read a Hallmark card that said, “There is wonder in the waiting.”
I have been weighing the concept of waiting for some time now, but it was in that moment when I realized the depths of its complexity.
There is the active kind of waiting in everyday being (e.g. for a sandwich or the morning train), and the passive kind that involves living a duller version of the life you’ve dreamed.
From bonding with coworkers or friends to colossal, emotional rock bottoms, the most significant life experiences seldom involve waiting.
But then again, according to my sentimentally astute gal pals, there’s still wonder.
Here’s the thing: Waiting is a part of life, much like taxes and tripping in public.
But sadly, some of us lack the self-assured confidence or security to do anything besides wait.
We wait for the perfect partners to sweep us off our feet or the core-shaking jobs that will lead us to faraway places.
We wait for the insecurity and loneliness to fade, for the timing to be right and for the universe to finally propel us into the lives we’ve always envisioned.
We can wait for the parent who continuously disappoints to turn over a new leaf or for the mediocrely minded rugby player from college to start stimulating our intellectual clitoris.
We can wait for the noble career path to illuminate above our beds and for the day our bodies don't reflect the seven slices of Domino’s we consumed in a single evening.
But at the end of the day, we’ll always be left notably unsatisfied.
We wait because the fear of acknowledging these sorry little lives we had such higher expectations for is exactly how we want it to be.
The reality is, it's exactly how we need it to be, until it isn't.
Until we can accept our own pitfalls, self-doubts and above all, our emotional truths, we will continue to wander aimlessly in limbo.
We’ll remain content with a hint of melancholy, neither happy nor sad, neither enlightened nor confused.
We'll be simultaneously jaded and dreamy.
Waiting is therefore merely settling disguised in sheep’s clothing. We wait because despite all of our fears, life will never stop for us.
We wait because although we keep up, we still find ourselves feeling left behind.
Like waiting, stumbling upon insecurity is more so an inevitability than an option.
Whether it’s your weight or your skin, your arm hair or your poorly timed jokes, allowing it to stick around is a choice.
Do you feel as if you were made for something different, something special? You're absolutely right.
That feeling is the vehicle, while the negative thoughts are obstacles.
We simply can’t find sick comfort in succumbing to our fears or our doubts.
They are nothing but rain puddles on passing sidewalk streets, and they should be treated as such.
These emotional cesspools are purely figments of our imagination.
The fairies and monsters of our childhood yesteryears have now molded into hindrances for our successes as adults.
The trick is, sometimes, we must outsmart ourselves.
See, by embracing these so-called “negative feelings,” we give them the option to stay or leave.
Luckily, feelings are as flighty as humans.
They get bored, and they eventually move on.
By holding back and habitually internalizing self-created fear — assuming it to be fact — we stunt our growth in every single way possible.
We watch enviously as the people around us evolve and prosper. We wonder why it seems we’re never where we want to be.
The moral of this story is both short and sweet.
You can wait your entire life to be your perfect self. It’s just a shame the only place that’ll get you is smiling on a death bed.
Life is meant to be challenging.
Test your will, shape your spirit and awaken your soul.
There is no time to wait for change, and it all starts with your perspective.