14 March 2012
(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.