I often make a joke to my friends that I don’t do anything from scratch except maybe mac and cheese. I wish I was one of those quintessential do-it-all women who worked, kept an impeccable house, and baked delicious pastries from dry ingredients. But, you better believe if there’s a box version of anything I’m using it. If I could just add water to my life and stir it for ten minutes to perfection I would do that too. I like shortcuts; past tense, I liked short cuts. Now I realize they’re dangerous and disappointing.
It’s not that I now suddenly find joy in waiting, putting in the extra work, and settling myself into being unsure of when the fruits of my labor will come. I still (kind of whole-heartedly) despise that whole process. But the things I have waited for, the things I didn’t take the detour for, the things I hammered away at, the things I watched other people have before me, the things I cried for, the things that isolated me from other people (I really could keep going) are the things that I have the most pride in today having waited. When I reflect on those things, all of which I could have attained sooner by taking shortcuts, being willing to lose friends, and accepting mediocre outcomes, have become a very valuable source of the little bit of wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years (don’t tell my parents I refer to myself as ‘wise’).
Now everything I’ve waited for hasn’t been worth it, but most of it has. What I learned is waiting isn’t an excuse to be lazy, lackadaisical or to give up. I believe you should be doing several things while you wait (putting in work, praying, weighing a decision, all of the above). Waiting is valuable because it prepares you for the reward, it builds character, it helps you to cultivate some humility and gratitude, it helps you to identify real friends (family too, amen? AMEN), and it often reaps more fruitful rewards.
I don’t mean to suggest that everything in life is about getting stuff and feeling sorry for yourself when you don’t. I promise I’m not that vain or shallow. Waiting has taught me a lot about almost everything else in life including what matters and what doesn’t. So this isn’t to say if you wait on all the material things you want they will come (everything we wait for isn’t even material). This is to say we shouldn’t get deterred and frustrated by having to wait (for anything) if we just understand it as a component of the things that make us stronger and yields a more fulfilling life.
Though much of my waiting was frustrating, painful, and seemingly relentless, it has never been in vain. NEVER. I didn’t always get what I wanted, some of what I wanted wasn’t worth it, but I always learned something, and what I have learned helps me in my new endeavors and teaches me to make better choices (tah-dah! Wisdom sis). To be honest you learn quite a lot from not waiting as well because a lot of those short cut mistakes certainly stay with you. Below is just a few of the things I’ve waited for in my life:
If you are religious and or spiritual then I hope you realize that nothing is more important than waiting on the promises of the Lord. Nothing else matters and nothing else is for you. I mean nothing. If it’s not from God, we don’t want it fam. Period. When I was growing up the extent of what God wanted to bless me with seemed so small and limited; you were almost discouraged to want more because it seemed greedy and ungrateful. But I have learned that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it; that includes me, you, fruit flies, whales, stocks, mansions, Oprah’s wealth. Everything. Your limitations on what you think God can bless you with is in your own mind. There is no limit on God’s ACTUAL ability to bless you. So whatever you are waiting for I promise you if you seek God He can grant it. It’s not impossible for Him. Nothing is. Just wait. If you are satisfied with little he can bless you with that; if you seek him for much more he can bless you with that also. If it is His will for you wait on Him. I encourage you to read Bible passages on waiting on God. Your revelation is in there I assure you.
THE RIGHT PARTNER
I don’t want to make these sections too long so I’m going to go ahead and say that this is one of the sections that’s self-explanatory. Am I right?
I am almost always waiting on myself. Why? Because we are not perfect. I’m waiting for my hair to grow, for my body to morph into Rihanna’s, for my next level, for Instagram fame (LMAO), for my writing to flourish, for my bag, for my next opportunity, for my degree, for my this and that and the list is quite literally endless. This wasn’t always the case; I use to rush myself all the time instead of waiting. I should have had life figured out by 25. When 25 came and went I thought my world would capsize. I put entirely too much pressure on myself. I’m trying my hardest to change that and flush out this time line schema from out of my head along with this crippling over thinking. Now I keep working and wait. Work and WAIT. When the opportunity comes I seize the moment; I’ve exhausted myself trying to force moments time and time and time again. All I actually managed to do was worry about how much everything wasn’t happening rather than working towards it happening. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be kind to yourself, to forgive your mistakes, and to be patient when it seems like you’re going nowhere. You will get there. If other people got there why can’t you? WHY?
ON YOUR PARTNER
The only person in my life right now that I have the utmost patience for (other than myself and also because I don’t have any children) is the person I’m building a life with. I think no one is as worth waiting for as your life partner (both in waiting for them to enter your life and waiting for them to fulfill the role they take in your life). I’ve had to wait on my husband to mature in some areas and he has DEFINITELY had to wait on me to do the same. That wait is crucial because you are spending (sometimes) most of your adult life with this person and while you aren’t trying to change them, you are trying to get the most out of yourselves, each other, and this life. It takes time for someone to grow into that responsibility but the wait is very much worth it (if I do say so myself).
To my mom’s utter dismay I’ve decided to wait much longer for children than she would like. This is super tough to pull off in my culture because generally people expect you to produce a child within mere months of getting married (on the wedding night basically) and my husband and I have not succumbed to that pressure. Why? Who’s raising these kids? Us. And we’re not doing that until we feel mentally, and financially equipped. So I’ll take the barren jokes in stride until that time. Don’t let gossip run your life and don’t let shame rush you either.
THE RESULTS OF HARD WORK
I understand it can be very hard to sit in a situation with no end in sight; believe me I understand the hopelessness of it. But you owe it to yourself to see your work come to fruition. If you know you gave it your all trust that you will yield something and wait on it. I worked on my bachelors for four years and didn’t get to hold my diploma for another four years after that. Delayed gratification at its finest but it was a situation where I had no choice but to wait (A LOT of our waiting isn’t by choice). However this was an instance where I knew I did the work so I waited for the fruits.
THE NEXT LEVEL
Again, if you keep working hard don’t expect to always be in the same position in life. But elevating yourself from one social and financial status to another takes time. Initially it may have taken you a year or so to change things and you are doing well. When I started working my first decent job and the checks started rolling in I legit felt like I made it (remember that? good times). Not really sure where it all utterly fell apart (maybe after I bought my first eye shadow palette) but things get real really fast and then you suddenly want and need more of just about everything. But to jump from that to having actual wealth, success and long term prosperity is not going to take another year ‘or so’. Another decent job may not even do it. It may take yearsssssssssss. Think of your next level in steps; you need to pass several steps to get to the top. Trust the work and process and wait on your elevation.
TO GROW UP
Like every other teenager and young adult I wanted to grow up so desperately. I ran away from my youth and now I want so much of those years back which is sadly impossible. There is certainly different circumstances that causes some of us to take on responsibilities at a young age, and that’s a part of life. I didn’t start slowing down (and rejecting adulthood) until maybe a year or two ago. It’s perfectly okay to be mature when you’re very young but since adulthood is inescapable I wish I had waited a bit more and reveled in being care free. Trying to slow down at an older age has that peppering of carefreeness missing so it’s not quite the same. Either way I’m taking my time to mature in certain areas of my life (slow the progression of entrenched adulthood as much as possible). I’m in a space where I mostly struggle with the expectations I put on myself (I’ve let go of a lot of other people’s expectations because it’s exhausting) so I enjoy taking it easy on my self every now and then.
In my next post I’ll talk about the things I didn’t wait for, but in the meantime I’d love to hear from you guys. What are somethings you’ve waited for that you now have in your life or what are you currently waiting for?
This is just a list of the major things I’ve waited for that I hope provides some insight. Love chatting with you guys!