Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Waiting Game

"When you're early, you're on time. When you're on time, you're late..."

When I was younger, my dad always taught me the importance of being early. We would always get to appointments, flights and parties long before our scheduled time because my dad told me it looked better if you got someplace before you were supposed to be there; If you got there right on time, you looked like you were running late. Also, it was important to give yourself ample time to get anywhere you needed to because you never knew what would happen along the way. As a result of this method of thinking, I have spent a lot of my life waiting.

In sixth grade, I had a crush on a boy but was too afraid and nervous to get up the courage to talk to him, especially since he himself was also pretty shy and quiet. Year after year passed, through middle school and eventually high school. I pined over that boy for nearly 7 years and never once did I manage to get up the cojones to open my mouth and make conversation. Every year I would make excuses that too much time had passed, we'd had all these classes together already, wouldn't it be silly to just kind of randomly start talking to him now? I suppose I could have found something simple to talk to him about: a homework assignment, a teacher, one of our exams. Heck, I even wound up having Driver's Ed with him in High School. We were even in the same car and he would fall asleep on me in the backseat. But even then, I just kept on waiting; I waited in the hopes that he would eventually get around to talking to me first. As a result, I let a crush go by for 7 years without knowing what could have been if I had just spoken up.

In college, I waited around for a guy I wish I had never waited around for. We dated for about 2 weeks and then he broke up with me because he had "stuff" going on and couldn't have a girlfriend. I waited for a few weeks and then gave up and broke off contact with him. But then somewhere along the lines, I decided it would be a good idea to wait around in the hopes that he would call me up and we'd get back together again. He did eventually call me up - but it turned out he wasn't looking for a girlfriend & proceeded to date me and another girl at the same time. And so, I kept waiting for him to change his mind and make me his girlfriend. He did eventually, after the other girl wound up getting serious with someone else. And so we were together and things were going pretty good for a while. But then, things got bad and then they got worse, and I waited around in the hopes that things would go back to the way they were; That he would be as loving and caring towards me as he had once been. That he would be the same fun loving person I remembered from the beginning of the relationship. And then one day, I realized I had been waiting too long and everything fell apart. He was never going to change and so, I finally got tired of waiting.

Sometimes waiting can be a good thing. I got to my current job interview almost an hour before I had to be there because it was in a different state and I was unfamiliar with the area and traffic patterns. The interview went great, but then I had to wait around to hear back from them. And then I had a phone interview. And then I had to wait some more because there was some "Changing of the Guard" in their HR department. Then, finally, almost a month after my interview, I got the job. In that case, all that waiting really paid off.

After my breakup with my ex, I had a lot of trust issues and did a lot of random dating and "casual encounters". I was waiting for someone to come along who would make me forget about the shit-fest of a relationship I had been in for 3 years. Waiting for someone who I could let my guard down with and who made me feel like me again. I dated a couple of guys and waited to feel that connection, that spark, that perfect chemistry - and it never came. Then, one day as I was waiting, someone totally unexpected came along who made me feel all those things and I thought my waiting had come to an end. But then, something else totally unexpected happened and he found out he was moving out of the country and the worst part of all? He didn't want me waiting.

But... but... how do I not wait? Waiting is what I do. I'm always waiting. Waiting for a better deal on those shoes at the mall. Waiting for all the traffic to be gone before turning. Waiting until a line goes down before I decide to get in it. Waiting for another bus to come when the first one is too full. Waiting is what I've always done. It's just what I do. Is it another form of procrastination? Perhaps. But don't they have all these brilliant quotes about waiting? "Good things come to those who wait"?

And so he left and I waited....

and waited...

and waited some more.

The waiting was long and painful and torturous; still I endured. Finally, I heard from him and I thought my waiting to be over. Yet, still now, I find myself waiting. Waiting for answers to messages and emails. Waiting for these long months to pass until I see him again. Waiting to see when (or if?) he'll come back. Waiting to see if there's really a future in all this, after all of this waiting. The waiting has become tiring and all-consuming. "So why don't you just stop waiting?", you're probably thinking. Because I feel like there's something worth waiting for. I know it is probably stupid and pointless and a waste of time to be doing all this waiting, but I want to. Because sometimes it's better to have waited and to have nothing come of the waiting than to not have waited and missed out on something amazing. That's why I'm waiting. And until I have reason to believe otherwise, I'll keep on waiting.

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