The Waiting Game

So much of my life, I’ve had something to look forward to. But for the first time, there’s no foreseeable future.

I have trouble staying in one place. Previously, I would make it a point to travel somewhere or go somewhere interesting at least once a month. Or I would make it a point to have something fun planned for the weekend. I always had a project to work on or a book to finish reading or a place to go or a tournament to practice for.

But now I sit at my desk, working towards the unknown.

Maybe it’s the age we live in where everything comes immediately and gratification is instant. When it comes to movies, we get spoilers. When it comes to music, songs get “leaked.” When it comes to people, if we have something to say, we can just text or email. We don’t even have to wait for food anymore. We can order it off our phones and go and pick it up without waiting in line.

I want everything to happen when I want it to. I want to be somebody that matters right now. I want to be successful right now because I’m grueling away far past the normal 9-5 job. I want the love of my life to be next to me, right here, right now, because I like him, and I hope he likes me, and I’m lonely and loneliness should be cured immediately. But that’s not the natural order of things.

Although I am nowhere near practicing what I preach, I think there is something to be said for waiting and being patient. I actually have no idea what there is to be said for doing so, but every generation before waited, so why can’t we? They worked and waited patiently, making a quiet or loud living, taking things as they came.

Things happen when they’re meant to happen. It can be frustrating. So often we think we’re waiting for everything, but we end up with nothing. Or we think we’re waiting for nothing, and then it ends up being everything.

This is not to say that we should live passively. We should continue to attempt productivity and efficiency, and we should continue to meet people and say “yes” more often than we say “no.” But I was talking to a very wise friend the other day and he also seems to be grappling with this challenge: “how can you balance worthiness with pragmatism?” Is it possible to be pragmatic and live with your head but also live a life worthy of your heart? Literally no idea. But the best we can do is to manage our expectations and emotions and remember that time moves the way it does and things come along when they do. Hopefully if we work hard enough, something good will come along.

Life isn’t as predictable as I sometimes wish it were. People continue to break my heart, even when I try impossibly hard to be stronger and wiser. We end up in places we never thought we’d stay. Work doesn’t get always get easier and fun doesn’t always last. But I do truly believe (although I conveniently forget sometimes) that if you’re meant to be with someone, you’ll find your way back to each other, and that everything happens for a reason. Reading horoscopes and looking for signs and being frightened by superstition is fruitless. There’s enough complexity and magic in the natural world as it is. We just need to adapt, adjust, wait patiently, and let the universe tell its tale the way it always has.

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