Waiting in traffic this afternoon while the sun was beating down on my 2006 Ford Freestar (which has no A/C) was absolutely brutal. Yes, I drive a hand-me-down mom vehicle to my internship everyday. I’d like to say I look cool doing it but there was absolutely nothing cool about pellets of sweat dripping down my cleavage into unknown territory from pure heat. I was SITTING for damn sake.
That’s just it though, NO ONE likes sitting around and waiting. Whether it’s in traffic, for a doctor’s appointment, for ANY appointment these days (face it, your therapist would say you need to practice patience), or for your iced coffee in the Starbucks drive through at 8 AM on a Tuesday, you aren’t pleased to be waiting. But, the world is filled with thousands and millions of people day in and day out waiting for something, because life is a series of moments that take time. What I wonder is, why do we seem to only want to take complete control and eliminate waiting when it’s on a smaller scale?
If I asked you how many new men you met in the past 3 weeks, I would guess you would tell me 1 per week, if even that. And these encounters were probably solely by chance. This is because of what I dub the “false fairy tale” we are waiting for, expecting our next big love to come to us by chance. In the meantime we can focus on our girlfriends, work, our hobbies, because there just DOESN’T seem to be any good men out there right now. Realistically, there is a good man out there…we’re just waiting for him.
If I took a survey of the average 20-something post-grad on what the next step was in their career, I would guess 90% have a next big step, something they would rather be doing, or have a passion they “haven’t yet pursued.” You are waiting for the promotion, the job switch, the perfect opportunity to travel, or the chance for a NEW endeavor.
I could go on and on with scenarios just like this: couples waiting for the right time to get engaged or the right time to have a baby. Husbands or wives waiting for the right time to leave their spouse. Waiting for the right time to get in shape because “when spring arrives I will have more time.”
We all seem to be waiting for something.
We all hate waiting when it’s in traffic and keeping us from dinner, or when the idiot ahead of you has ordered 10 skinny mocha half sweet lattes with whip and is keeping you from your morning coffee. So, why is it any different with these bigger life plans, these larger choices? Why don’t we consider our passing days’ precious time?
Don’t get me wrong, waiting is certainly a part of life and patience is a virtue. Sometimes you do have to make the money you need to create a new opportunity, or finish something you started in order to serve the greater good. Although, very often people use this as an excuse. There is no “right time.” The right time is now.
We ought to stop waiting for prince charming, and start creating avenues to find him. Seriously, ask a guy out!
We ought to stop waiting to travel. Make a budget and start planning, now. Sit down with a computer and figure out how much it will cost to get you a flight and some hostels to stay in.
We need to stop waiting for the next job like it’s going to pop out of Ms. Peabody in the cubicle next to us at work and start networking and putting ourselves into communities that we have a passion for and job search like crazy.
Humans are incredibly resilient creatures with a possibility to adapt, to change and to grow like no other species. We have 100 years or less left on this earth and I challenge us to ask ourselves why we are willing to honk our horn at the driver not paying attention, saving us 2 minutes of our day, however we aren’t willing to make a change that will affect 2 months of our life or more. We could have worked out, we could have saved for a trip, we could have had 5 more conversations with people from a field of interest, but we waited.
Let’s not be the 40-something wishing she did things differently if she had 20 years back. You don’t realize how quickly days pass, and this much is definitely true, you will never, ever get those days back in which you waited.
Featured image via Garin Wood