Waiting, Hoping, and Elbow Grease
I imagine most, if not all, people have had to wait for something. But I don't necessarily mean the necessary kind of waiting, like standing in line at the grocery store for your turn to check out. Or for your turn at the doctor's office, sitting in the lobby.
I mean the other kind of waiting. The kind where you are putting your hopes on something that may or may not happen in the near or distant future. Where you are thinking when this thing - whatever it is - finally happens, life will be 100% perfect. You'd probably have thoughts like "when so-and-so finally happens, life will get easier" or "when I finally catch a big break, I'll be able to do this-or-that."
Lately, I feel like I have been doing a lot of waiting.
And you know what's dumb, is that I don't even know what I am waiting for! What is it that could possibly come that would make my life seem "perfect" when perfect is not something that is possible for anyone's life? Could it be that I am waiting for the world to not feel so chaotic (with politics, pandemics, etc)? I've been writing a graphic novel that hasn't seemed to happen yet... am I waiting for the time and inspiration to finish it? Am I waiting for some kind of "AH-HAA!" moment when my life path is completely clear to me, and I will know the exact choices I need to make to live the life I want? Or am I just waiting for the things from my past to stop clouding my thoughts?
Whatever it is, it isn't going to change just because I want it to.
We are all going to have to wait for something in life. But lately I have started to see how we can accidentally set ourselves up into a mental trap of sorts when we are ONLY waiting. And to clarify, I personally don't equate this idea of waiting with hope. Hope is looking forward to something that COULD happen (but it isn't a given) and having hope for the future is ABSOLUTELY good - it's healthy and it makes the future seem exciting. Like "I hope to someday go to Disney Land for the first time, but if I don't get to in this lifetime, I am still going to be happy. It would just be an added bonus to go."
But it's when we leave our fortune up to fate (and fate alone) and without some elbow grease that we set ourselves up for disappointment. I don't always recognize it, but at times I have caught myself getting some ideas into my head that this thing I am waiting for is going to DEFINETELY happen somehow. So, then I am only left feeling disappointed when it doesn't... I've let false certainty cloud my hope, and that certainty made me not feel so urgent about putting in the work.
I don't know what it is I am waiting for, but I do know something - waiting for something that is possible but not doing my part to make it happen is just silly.
The world is most likely always going to be somewhat scary, so waiting around for that to change and not doing my part is.... well... pointless. But what I can do is do my part in making the world a little less scary in whatever scale I can manage. Like by working in my garden so that there are more plants to produce fresh air and pollen for bees. Or by helping my elderly neighbor mow their lawn. Or by being kind to others every chance I can get.
Without hard work, it won't just happen that I find my place in the working world so that I can feel good about myself. Like I can bring something to the table that's special and important. But instead of just waiting for me to feel like that, I could spend time learning new skills, especially something that excites me.
Or waiting for things from the past to not bother me... ignoring what I am feeling isn't going to work either. That's going to take a lot of work too. Self-reflection, self-care, and making changes to how I deal with those memories will be the solution - not waiting.
I'm working on changing my perspective about what I can do to make the life I want for myself.
I can still hope for things to change, because life without hope isn't fun. But I am working on fixing my perspective so that I keep hope as HOPE, and that I don't let false certainty keep me from working hard for what I want. So instead of WAITING, I am choosing to HOPE for good things to come my way and putting in some elbow grease during that time to make what I am hoping for happen.