One of my writing spots in New York is the Maison du Croque Monsieur around Union Square. I love it there, because that’s where Anais Nin used to press her words—and ascribed upon the ascending staircase, there a quote of hers: “Good things come to those who hustle.”
I’ve never been good at being patient. I would suffocate in a waiting room. I’m not talking about the kind of wait that’s common sense—waiting for the water to boil to make tea, waiting for the lights to turn green to go. Those kinds of wait are mechanical waits, and mechanical waits save lives.
I’m talking about the kind of waiting that stops us from thriving. The kind of waiting that puts our life on hold and makes us feel like we are dying—the emotional wait. Emotional waiting robs us from living fully and robs us of our conviction to pursue what lights us up, thereby stripping us of life experiences we could have had and replacing dreams with fears and limitations.
Mechanical waiting is about the process; it’s simple science with a definitive answer in a set amount of time. Mechanical waiting is counting on science—and most of the time, aside from some frustration and impatience, our lives get better. On the contrary, emotional waiting is a lot more complicated, because emotional waiting engenders feelings, and feelings make most things complicated. We are counting on someone other than ourselves and on something that’s not as definitive as science.
With emotional waiting, we relinquish the control we have over our lives. Within the realm of romance, we surrender our lives to those who didn’t have the courage to pursue us and honour us in the present moment.
Emotional waiting within the realm of romance is the most heart-wrenching. Because it’s not about the waiting; it’s about our feelings—the feelings we develop while we are waiting for someone who didn’t prioritize us enough to act now. Instead, they shelved us to “someday,” and held off on us. Hesitated on us. Passed on us.
The raw truth is that if we wanted something or someone, there would be no hesitation—and there sure as hell would be no passing. There is no other story. But it takes courage to be honest about what we truly want, and it takes even more courage to pursue that.
We are wired to do things that are easy. We are wired to avoid doing things that are difficult. Yet, some of the simplest things in life are the hardest things to do—because of feelings. When we are being asked to wait, the truth is that whoever is asking us to wait is avoiding taking action on what needs to be done, so that it honours us. The truth about being asked to wait is that whoever is asking us to wait is taking the easy way out.
We don’t need cowards. We need courage. We are worth acting on. We are worth more than a life of numbed suspension, which kills both passion and love.
Yet, we wait.
We are manipulated into thinking that this is the “work” we have to put in, so that things will become better someday.
We wait for that someday; we wait for when they free up, when things slow down—and this gap makes we who wait feel insecure, trapped, helpless, and voiceless. Voiceless because when we do speak up, we are silenced. We are made to feel shame and guilt for our impatience. How dare we be impatient? How dare we want to live? How dare we want control of our own lives? How dare we want a love that wants us now?
As we wait, we live in silence. We live in walls of insecurity, and within those walls echo silently loud questions:
“Who am I?”
“What are we?”
“What is our future?”
“Is there a future?”
“Do I matter?”
“Am I enough?”
Within those walls, shattered is our self-worth, connection to self, faith, belief, confidence, and dreams of a life worth living. As we wait, we are emptied of the things that keep us alive, and as we continue to wait, we continue to drain.
Yet, our wait is not unique—and it sure as hell isn’t the “work” part we put in for our relationship—no one works by waiting. Yet, our wait is extraordinarily common.
We need people who can bridge the gap, not make it wider. The gap between here and now and where you want to be—that place you are waiting for—can be overwhelming. We start to lose confidence, or worse, become depressed, and the downward spiral into a vortex of darkness takes over. This toxic and anxiety ridden cycle doesn’t end until we arrest our wait.
It becomes a form of self-abuse if we allow those feelings to take over our mind and actions. We must choose ourselves. We must not put ourselves on hold for someone who didn’t choose us. We must not self-abandon.
One decision changes everything.
I’ve waited before, and I will repeat here the question that was asked to me: “If you are being made to wait today, do you think it will get better?”
It takes courage to be truthful to ourselves. Maybe they didn’t want us badly enough. By default, what they are telling us is that we come second to their comfort zones. What really happens when we wait is self-sacrifice, self-abandonment, and self-abuse, all of which are the opposite of self-love. When we wait, we will be forever in the shadows of someone else’s inaction. As we wait for others, we will also lose touch with ourselves. We validate our ideas by pursuing them. Treasures are worth pushing through all the obstacles to obtain.
Because I’ve waited before, I can say with deep confidence that I truly believe that you live more by waiting less. This is a plea for all those who are still numbly waiting, to reconsider their life choices and their future. For every moment that I’ve lost waiting, I hope you gain by actively living the best life there is. I hope you live with self-love; I hope you live with conviction. I hope every day, every decision, every choice you make, lights you up.
You just don’t wait for the life of your dreams. There is power in actively making decisions. It feels amazing when we are self-reliant. There is no right time; there is only right now.
This is life.
This is it.
“Just think it”—said no one ever. If we are truly desired, we would not be left waiting for that someday. The right moment may never arrive. But in hesitation, you just might miss the moment of something great possibly happening, and we lose moments all the time. More often than not, those who have spent their lives waiting for “the right moment” are often those on their death beds, regretting and imagining what could have been.
Find that out now.
Author: Xiren Wang
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina