“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. ” —- Dr. Seuss
I know I’ve spent most of my life waiting for something. As a teenager, in May, I spent most of the day waiting for my report card to come in the mail. My fingers would separate the blinds and peek out to see if I could see the mailman down the street.
Waiting took other forms when I got older.
When I applied for law school, I remember asking my mom, “Has it come yet? Have you checked the mail?” Her response determined if I needed to wait longer. I was waiting for the acceptance or rejection letter from the school of my choice. That time was built in and around anxiety, stress and lots of nervous energy. It’s almost been 11 years since that day, but I remember my sweaty palms, the fidgeting of my fingers and my constant need to make the phone my companion. This type of “waiting” continued for at least three months until I finally received that minted acceptance letter.
I reflect on that experience now and realize I’ve engaged in this type of waiting all of my life. Waiting to get into college, waiting to get into law school, waiting to graduate, waiting to take the bar exam, waiting to get that first job out of law school. Waiting to get engaged, waiting to get married, waiting to get my first house, and waiting to have a baby. What I’ve realized now is that my life is probably a string of consistent series of waiting for something to happened. And what I’ve learned is that the waiting is what steals the breath out of the present. The whole purpose is to embrace what isn’t waiting. It’s in the now, the non-waiting that you derive the most joy.
In the past, I’ve never been fully immersed in the experience. The waiting is what sat on my shoulder convincing me to anticipate what’s next. It’s not the greatest way to live is what I’ve learned. You’re constantly anticipating what may come, instead of what is. For the first time in my life, I am deciding how to wait. It scares me, but my appreciation of what is happening, the experience of living in the now, pushes waiting out of my shadow.
Do you feel like you are constantly waiting for something? Does the waiting perpetuate anxiety? How do you control your emotions while waiting?