The Waiting


“The waiting is the hardest part.”
-Tom Petty

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but wait. You’re waiting on a phone call. You’re waiting on a shift in your environment or for someone else to do something. You’re waiting on the world to change.

Waiting is uncomfortable and unpleasant. Even if there’s a chance that the news you’re waiting on could be bad, you’d much rather know for sure.

It sucks, because waiting is the opposite of doing. You want to make this thing happen! But you wait.

The airline schedule is out of your control.

The girl or the boy hasn’t returned your call.

You’ve applied for the school, the job, the scholarship, the new chance on life—but then you enter the time of waiting around.

While you’re waiting, you imagine the payoff. You look ahead and picture what’s on the other side of the waiting. Hopefully it’s good, and you daydream about crossing over from the present tense of uncertainty to the future tense of possibility.

But for now, you wait.

What else can you do while you’re waiting?

You can distract yourself. Hey, look! Shiny object at 11-o-clock.

You can do other stuff. You can work on other projects. Might as well make the time count for something, right?

But about the matter at hand, there’s not much you can do.

Don’t just do something; sit there.

And so you wait. That’s just what you do.


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Image: Kevin

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