We’re all waiting for something, aren’t we? Think about it. We’re waiting to finish school, the meet the one, to graduate, to be seen, to be heard, to relocate, to get married, to start a family, to retire, to be published, to post the blog, the edit the video, to shoot the next video, to change jobs, waiting for inspiration, for the boy to come home, for the shopping to be done.
In my life, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been waiting. Waiting for someone, waiting for something, waiting to take a flight, waiting to launch, waiting for an event to begin, for it to conclude, for the next one to start. Always waiting, for the mundane as well as for the pivotal.
And how do we wait? That varies too. Some of us wait expectantly, others of us wait impatiently. Some have hope while waiting, others feel less hopeful, not wanting to raise expectations that might leave room for disappointment. Others of us believe waiting hopefully and expectantly is the only way. Others yet are afraid to jinx it by being too expressive, too expectant, or even too doubtful. Playing the waiting game is a constant balance and a big part of it is managing our own expectations.
How we wait matters. For years now, I’ve woken up to a song by gospel singer Juanita Bynum titled ‘I don’t mind waiting’. I find it an oxymoron as I honestly don’t know many people that don’t mind waiting. To be perfectly honest, I’d really rather not wait. I want what I want now if not yesterday. Waiting is frustrating. Waiting is humbling. Waiting can be painful if we haven’t learnt patience. But it need not be. We can choose to normalize it, or even experience it positively.
It’s quiet in the wait, deafening silence. Lonely even. It’s easy to feel dejected, forgotten. Yet life really happens in the wait. “All we have are these moments. What we choose to do with them is what we choose to do with our lives”, says Jeff Goins. It’s in the waiting that we become, which is more important than getting what we’re waiting for. The waiting is an opportunity to work on our inner selves, to learn to live in the moment. Our most noticeable change often happens gradually in the wait.
The idea is to wait expectantly without being too invested in the outcome. To wait for something while resigned to the reality that the outcome could go either way and it will be okay is a learnt skill. If we don’t learn to detach from the expected outcome, then we find ourselves holding on too tightly which often tends to brings about an undesired outcome. Yet we must wait hopefully and expectantly while balancing the tension of waiting with being okay with whatever outcome, for herein lies the sweet spot where we can rest easy.
Arriving at our desired destination is just a fraction of the story, the journey to getting there is the real story. Looking at it that way allows us to see that waiting doesn’t have to be wasted time. After all, it’s where the story is crafted, it’s in the crucible that we become. Let’s rise to the challenge. Be still. Wait patiently. Wait expectantly. Be okay with either outcome, it makes the waiting bearable. Cheerfully waiting, Helena ღ