14 March 2012

Waiting Game

(I imagine I'd be surprised at how many people feel this way, too, about their own lives, and this sounds more like some faux-introspective college journal entry than I intended it to. But, it's true, even if it's not original.)

When I think back on my life, it hurts me to think about how much time I've wasted, just waiting for something to happen. I'm good at waiting. I'm good at pretending, even to myself, that I'm living, when I'm really just waiting.

I spent most of high school waiting to go to college, so that my real life could start. I knew I was waiting. High school sucked; there seemed little reason to try and make something better of it.

I spent most of college waiting to graduate, so that my real life could start. College wasn't what I expected, and I didn't know how to make it better, and I was scared to try.

I moved across the country for graduate school, and it was a little more like I imagined "real life," but I was still waiting -- mostly for the right guy, because grad school was where I was supposed to meet him. When he didn't turn up, I decided the one who did must be the right one.

After graduate school, I moved home, then to a new town and got a job and an apartment, but I went home every weekend to visit my boyfriend. I never really lived in either of those cute little apartments I had all to myself. I didn't go out, or make friends outside of work, or get involved in anything. And then I got engaged.

After I got engaged, I moved home with my parents and got a different job nearby, to save money for the wedding. After I got married, I decided, real life would start.

After I got married, I waited to have a baby. When I become a mother, that's when my life would start.

After I become a mother, twice in rapid succession, I spent years pretending I was ok with how I thought my real life had turned out. Marriage and parenting wasn't what I expected, and I didn't know how to make it better, and I was scared to try.

After I finally decided to get divorced, I spent two years waiting for it to be final, so the rest of my life could start.

And now, almost two years later, I sometimes catch myself thinking "when the kids are older, that's when I can really do something different."

I realized I'm STILL waiting. To earn more money, to meet the right person, to find some motivation, to find some time, to learn to dance, to write a book, even to hang pictures on the walls of my rented house. Waiting to be a better parent. Waiting to look right, to wear the right clothes, to make the right choices. Just ... waiting. I'm tired of it. I hate waiting. But I'm not sure I know how to stop.


  1. the waiting will stop the day you can truly embrace that life is not a destination, but a journey. You've had some great places to visit on your journey and some hell holes that you never want to visit again, but you are still moving forward. You may want to visit "better paying job" land, but for now, enjoy "crocheting naughty items" valley

    just my 2cents

  2. If this seems at all cliche it is only because it echos so true for so many of us. I think the best two pieces of advice on this are indeed that life is a journey, not a destination, and also that there is no time like the present. (I'm not so good at that second one myself).

  3. This is so true! I do this all the time. But recognizing it is the first step to fixing it, right?

  4. No one really knows. Technically I'm still young and often people say "oh you havn't seen life yet", but my response to it is this, it's my life and I've lived it up to this point, who are you to tell me what I have or have not seen?

    I often look forward and think about what I want my lifestory to say, that imaginary 80 year old me will say "back when I was 20, I did this", and this often spurs me to actively challenge myself. After all it's better to regret what you did than didn't.