The Waiting Game

A few weeks ago I had this moment where I realized that I’m playing the waiting game. You know the one. It’s the game you play when you’re waiting on the one thing that doesn’t seem to have gotten in sync with your life timeline. It’s the door that no matter how long you sit in front of it willing it to open, it doesn’t budge an inch. The door that no matter how many keys you try, it remains locked.

And this realization left me wondering a lot about whether or not we all have something we’re waiting for and who we are while we wait. What type of ‘waiters’ are we?

Because here’s what I think—I think it’s a good thing to have things to wait for. I think it’s a great thing actually. I think it’s pretty incredible to have desires and dreams that have taken root in our hearts. After all, we’re the only living beings that have the ability to dream and desire. And what kind of life would it be if we didn’t have the desire to move into the next stage, if we didn’t give a second thought to the journey that lies ahead? Because that’s the type of waiting I’m talking about, the real stuff that we wait for. The real life dreams that have real emotions attached to them, but haven’t yet been played out in a real way. I think it’s good to wait for that stuff.

I just think somewhere along the way we forgot that we have choice in how we wait. I think we forgot that we can choose to wait with fear or with confidence.

This all hit me while I was on a walk with one of my roommates. I live with two friends who you’d say are in the same stage of life as me (AKA 20’s, working and single). And it was while on our walk- somewhere between debating whether or not we should take tennis lessons and how to know when it’s the right time to look for a new job- that I realized we may be living under the guise of fearful waiting.

Because it didn’t feel like we were just talking about tennis or a job. It felt like we were talking about whether or not those things would unlock the door we’re waiting to open. The marriage door…and before you decide to stop reading now and chock this up to another ‘single gal’ post, hear me out. It goes back to my earlier statement. I think we’re all waiting on something. And I think that’s a good thing.

A lot of times we call the stuff we’re waiting for ‘the next life stage’, and that’s okay I guess. I don’t really love the idea of life stages, but I admit that it makes a lot of sense to me. I just hope we don’t become so tied to the stage we’re waiting for or the stage we’re in that we forget that a stage of life doesn’t define life itself.

So, it’s my belief that we’re all waiting for something. Maybe it’s marriage. Maybe it’s the dream career. Or kids. The big move. The empty nest. Retirement. The chance to live more simply. The next version of the iPhone. It’s something. We’re all waiting for something because we were created to dream and desire.

And that’s why I’ve decided to no longer beat myself up about what it is I’m waiting for. I don’t have to feel some sort of guilt for desiring to be married or have kids or have a dream career or one day live more simply. And it’s also okay that some of the things I’m waiting for have more emotion tied to them than others.

But I’m not giving myself a free pass in how I wait because I don’t want to become someone that allows the one thing I’m waiting for at whatever stage of life I’m in to be the basis for my reality and the lens through which I view all other doors of opportunity. I can’t help but think that’s a pretty fearful way to wait.

Instead, I hope I wait confidently. I hope the only fear I feel is the fear of one day looking back and seeing all of the other doors I missed walking through while sitting at the foot of one to open. Because I think that fear is the kind of fear that produces not only confidence, but freedom.

And here’s the other thing I hope I do while I wait—I hope I’m honest about what it is I’m waiting for. Wouldn’t it be nice if we invited our friends and family into our hopes and dreams and asked them to hold us accountable to wait confidently? I think it might just make this waiting process feel a lot less like waiting and a lot more like living. And that’s fine by me. That’s the way I want to wait.

So don’t look for me to be hiding behind the door or have my hand on the knob fumbling with keys that will never unlock it. I won’t miss it when it opens, but until it does I’ve got a few others that I need to walk through.