When You Are Always Waiting


People tell you all the time that you are impatient. It’s probably never intended to be snide — the implication is that you have a wonderful life full of surprises and beauty you cannot anticipate quite yet — but you can’t help but to interpret it as condescending. You are impatient, but not because you don’t think that your life is worth living now. It’s not because you don’t see plenty of things to love, to admire, to look forward to. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There is simply too much waiting for you, too much that you want to achieve and see and understand. The people and things which are coming at you from all directions seem impossible to appreciate when backlit by the blinding light of what is still to come. This makes you ungrateful, maybe, but it is never intentional.

You fall in love with people and want to skip ahead, past the tedious few moments of nervous courtship. You want to get to the meat of it, where people are lying in bed at night with their fingers woven together like loosely-made baskets, telling each other the future they want to create together. You want that because you can feel it already, you understand the much deeper meaning which is welling in your bone marrow and making you ache from within. People will tell you that the initial infatuation period — the one in which nothing is promised and everything is new — is amongst the most thrilling parts of love, if not the most meaningful. And you know that, on some level. But it is not filling you up, not giving you anywhere close to the high you achieve simply from the possibility of contact with your future.

There is just so much to do. You want to paint, to write, to sing (even if you are not terribly good at any of these things). But your desires aren’t limited to the artistic or the glamorous — you want to work. You want to go to work every day and make something, change something, leave the world a better place than you entered it. And though you are currently mired in a seemingly never-ending spiral of underpaid internships and bottom-rung responsibilities, you can see it on the horizon. Somewhere, in some place that you want so desperately to touch as soon as you possibly can, you are this successful person who is able to define success on your own terms.

It’s not so much a question of having dreams. Everyone has them, and many are patient and wise to understand that they take time to unfold. The idea is more that you are hungry, always starving for something which is just around a corner you cannot quite round. You are stuck revving your engine at the beginning of the race, already imagining what the finish-line asphalt will taste like when you kiss it. You are incapable of seeing the journey as something with calm, measured steps. There is what is now, and there is what will be. And between the two is a sort of pleasant blur. Sure, there will be work, and uncomfortable interludes, and nights you find yourself filled with regret. But those are all footnotes against the story you are actually trying to tell.

People tell you all the time that you are impatient. And you know you are. You know that you are filled with nothing but desire, and are often incapable of understanding the great privilege that is being you in this very moment. But it is only because you love, because you love so much that your very heart hurts and you don’t know what to do with it. You want everything to go from 0 to 60 immediately because 60 is the only place you feel truly comfortable, and everything else just feels like foreplay. You know that impatience is the mark of immaturity, of ungratefulness, of petulance. And perhaps you really are all of those things. But for now, you only know that you are waiting. You are waiting for the city, the job, the person that will make everything feel at once instantaneous and somehow pleasantly slow. Because when you’re finally able to slow down, that is when you’ll know you are happy.

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