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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Waiting


I have spent a lot of time waiting.
Waiting on money.
Waiting on jobs.
Waiting on this car wash I'm in line for.
Waiting for anything and everything.

I also know myself well enough to know that waiting has been a stalling technique for me.
When I am scared, when I'm doubtful, I can find something to wait on.

I have a comedy partner who takes a lot of blame for my waiting.
"I have to talk to Erin first..."
"I have to see what Erin's doing..."
"We'll see when Erin is free..."
I don't even think about it half the time- me stalling, me waiting.
Erin hasn't asked me to wait, let the record show.
That is all me.

Today I had coffee with someone and we talked about the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. The gap always feels huge, especially when you're the person standing at the edge. But then we talked about all the things they could be doing today, right now, to leap to the other side. We talked about making a plan and how any voice that even slightly sounds like it's going to ask you to pull the e-brake has to be cut off. And I'm not talking voices of wisdom that alert you to an upcoming and avoidable death. I'm talking about the voices that start sentences with the word "before".

"Before you start writing, you have to..."
"Before you apply for that job, you should..."
"Before you try, this..."

The "before" voice has to go.
Because that time just ends up going toward the waiting.


I dated a boy for a long time and, looking back, there are a lot of reasons why it was a bad idea. We were both very young and very dumb and not as considerate as we should've been of one another's feelings or humanity. We should've ended things much earlier than we did, but I was waiting...

waiting to be good enough.
waiting for him to understand me.
waiting for it to all to be perfect and happy finally.
waiting to have a clear sign that all the struggle was worth it.
I'm sad to say that he wasn't the only person I've waited on.

Recently a lot of my life has changed in sudden and dramatic ways.
They were things that I've complained to my closest friends about for much too long.
I wish I could say that they changed because I was active in changing them.
But this is not the case.
I was busy waiting.

Just this week, I stood at the edge of one more major gap.
I haven't wanted to leap for a long time.
Why leap when a bridge could go into production at any moment, right?
What if I just like this side of the gap? I could build a house here!
What if I fall into the gap? What if I regret the other side?
Before I leap, I need to know it's the right decision.

But also, I'm thirty years old. Why am I okay with just waiting?
People who aren't as smart, capable, skilled, pretty, etc are doing things you and I have only dreamed of doing because they stopped waiting and just tried.
Why am I still waiting?

So no more.
No more "before".
Write your web series, you weirdo.
Ask them on a date.
Tell them you need space.
Get a job.
Move out.
Decide to like yourself, as is, right now.

No one will come to your house and say "Good news, you've done your time. You can stop feeling bad about XYZ" or
"You've germinated enough boldness! You are officially invited to go get 'em, tiger!"
That I know of, there is no department of the US government managing the waiting.
So decide you can give yourself the permission to move.
Don't be crazy. Don't ignore the people who you trust and who love you.
But you can cut out the excuses.
You're actively dying as you read this and that's morbid but it's true.
So stop waiting.
I will stop waiting.

1 comment:

KLeigh said...

This is "on point"! Waiting isn't limited to any age or stage...it steals and sounds "holy" when (in most cases) it is just another name for procrastination! I'll join your movement...not tomorrow, but now!