In early 2008, I was talking to a friend about the writing career I wanted that I feared would never happen. She looked at me, incredulous, and asked, “What are you waiting for?"
The words couldn’t have been simpler. And I didn’t have an answer. What was I doing, really? Was I hoping that magically it would just happen? I couldn’t believe how focused that moment made me feel. I had been expressing how much I wanted something for years, but what was I really doing about it—except wishing?
And so, I did start writing, focusing, setting small goals and meeting them. And although JK Rowling and I aren’t sharing an agent (yet), I feel closer to my goal than ever. And I know those five words started it.
As of late, I have felt other parts of my life coming together—or at least beginning to. And I realize how much time I have wasted over the years waiting for so many things. Waiting for a boys to call, waiting for the right moment to do this or try that, waiting for a job I hated to get better, waiting for my family to change so I could heal, waiting…waiting…
Some waiting is necessary. You can’t control everything. But too many times in my life I took a passive role when I was scared or unsure of myself. Too many times I thought I would wait just a little longer, just in case—even though I knew in my heart that nothing was going to change, or that I needed to head in the opposite direction.
There are also small instances of waiting that I watch myself and others I am close to fall back on every day. The little things we put off that lead to big things...I will start eating healthier next week, I will actually take a vacation next year, I will start exercising when the weather is better, I will take that art class I have always wanted to when I have more time…
For the last few years, I didn’t want photos taken of me—because I felt so self conscious about my weight. I would purposely avoid all pictures—including some at very large company events I was so proud to have pulled off and some very special occasions with dear friends that I just couldn’t bear to be photographed in. As a result, there are years now with holes—memories without me in them when I was a central part—all because I was waiting until I felt better about how I looked to include myself in recording them. I realize now how silly that sounds—and the reasons run deeper than appearance. But I was once again waiting for something to get better—for ME to get better before I allowed myself to enjoy life fully.
Waiting can feel safe, but now I am training myself to ask if I feel safe and comfortable—or scared. Am I waiting for the right reasons?
As some parts of my life begin to feel safe and dependable in the best senses of the word, I am learning what I can trust and who I can lean on—what parts of my life I can sink into and enjoy, knowing I am in the right place. There are areas of my life that are still broken and in need of repair and that may take time. But I am no longer relying on some magic solution to make it all happen. I am living in all of the moments- scared, painful, happy, uncertain, perfect or broken. And life is more real and vivid than it has ever been—and incredibly unpredictable.
Just what I have been waiting for.