We live in a world where we are constantly waiting.
Waiting for the day our parents finally let us take the family car for a spin. Waiting until we graduate high school. Waiting for our 19th birthday to take that first (legal) sip of alcohol.
We wait for the exciting days of university dorm parties and then we wait for the papers and exams to finally end. After, we wait to find a good job, to buy a house (unless you live in Vancouver…), and to meet the love of our life. Once those things happen, we then spend our weekdays at the office waiting for the weekend, our weekends waiting for the week to start again, and the rest of our time waiting for our partner to get-it-together and propose already.
We are always waiting.
Waiting for the next best thing.
When Life Gives you Lemons
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my 26 years of accumulated wisdom, it’s that no matter how badly you want something or how long you wait, life never goes according to plan. Fortunately, however, sometimes (and the Dalai Lama is with me on this one) not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
Nevertheless, even when life gives you lemons and you manage to make lemonade, it can still take a while to realize that you should probably add some sugar in order for it to be remotely enjoyable. In other words, when you don’t get what you want when you want it, even if it turns out to be a good thing in the end, it can take a while to reach that conclusion.
Shit happens. Things change. And patiently sitting around waiting for the next best thing probably won’t make it any more likely that life is going to go the way we want it to.
Just Do It
When we invest our energy in constant anticipation of the future, by default we take what we already have for granted. We lose sight of the present and we get caught up wondering why the things we think should happen haven’t happened yet.
We take pity on ourselves.
We wait for our lives to change.
But we do nothing.
I for one am guilty of this, and I can recall many instances where I have ranted to my best friend or mom on the phone about how everyone else seems to have it all figured out but me.
But then I thought about it…
I mean, realistically I wasn’t going to find friends who share my passion for the outdoors by sitting in a coffee shop; I wasn’t going to establish myself in the mental health field if I didn’t start making myself known; and I probably wasn’t going to find a quality partner by swiping through Tinder while watching teen dramas like Riverdale in my bed.
With this in mind, it finally came to a point where instead of waiting around for my life to change, I started doing things to change my life.
I started going to my neighborhood’s weekly run crew, I began attending Alpine and BC Mountaineering Club socials, I found myself an awesome new (but expensive…) hobby rock climbing, I emailed my blog to multiple mental health organizations, and I deleted Tinder.
I’m not going to lie – although I’m a relatively social person, as a (sometimes awkward) introvert, getting out there and meeting new people in the real world (particularly alone) can be pretty scary. What I can tell you though, is that the more you do it, the easier it gets – and the payoff is totally worth it.
Next time you find yourself waiting:
Stop. Take a breath. Be present.
Because when you are too busy waiting, you might not realize that the next best thing is right in front of you.