When I started writing here, I called this space The Waiting because I was waiting on C to be born and also because Tom Petty is awesome and I wish I were related to him.* But then she was born and I realized that waiting is kind of a big thing in my life, as it probably is for everyone.
*One time I was listening to Terry Gross and she was interviewing him about his early life in Florida. He apparently lived in a university town so she asked him if and how that influenced him, to which he replied, “Um, we weren’t affiliated with the college. At all.” And that is why I love him.
Waiting is mashed in with my minor obsession with time. For pretty much my whole life, I have felt like I was entitled to the accomplishments that a certain age would bring me. If I only waited so long, I would get married. I would get to live in a house that I own. I would achieve a certain level of success in whatever professional field I entered. I would get to be a parent. If I didn’t hit those marks, I was supposed to worry them into occurring. That was my default response. I am an expert worrier in that I tackle it with the professionalism that I lack in all other aspects of my life. Worrying will bring into existence all that I lack, or so I thought.
So I hit the getting married thing pretty earlier when I married B when I was 24 and he was 23. I hit the baby milestone too so I will never have to worry about my ability to conceive again. It seemed like I hit the professional thing when I got my first real job out of school, but then I quit when it was horrible and I haven’t had a “real” job since (even though I loved working at a restaurant and then teaching in Korea, those don’t count as serious professions for me because I could not do them for the rest of my life without petering out or getting bored.) The personal life things have happened but the professional stuff and the other things that I have filed under “GROWING UP ETC.” in the file cabinet of my mind have never been all that satisfying. And so I have worried.
I’ve been worrying about B’s job search for awhile now. We’re still plugging away, applying applying applying. I don’t want to say too much else because I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. But at some point (I think it was about two weeks ago) I just relaxed. I don’t really know what did it, but all of a sudden I was able to sleep through the night. I had been telling myself all along that things would be alright, and in the space of I week I actually started believing it and realizing the truth of it. That we are not failures. That we will never be homeless. That we’d survive if we had to through the worst, worst case situation I can fabricate in my mind. Things are never as bad as they seem.
At first, it was disconcerting not worrying. I felt like my mind was broken and that I wasn’t approaching things with the seriousness they deserve. Surely B wouldn’t get a call back from the jobs we really like if I was sleeping soundly. LOGIC. But in the past few days I’ve given myself a pass. I am entitled to not stress myself out over these things. I’m realizing that the trajectory of my life is not always in my hands and that sometimes I just have to trust that I just need to wait it out. There is no shame in waiting. There is no shame in being safe and content. If we don’t get what we want to do this year, then we will try again next year. We all love each other so the world can’t harm us.
Right now, I am complacently waiting. I am gently reminding myself that worrying does not bring changes about. It only makes me not sleep and stuff my face with carbs past 9PM. Which is kind of fun at the time but this baby weight is burning a hole in my pocket.
Thanks to everyone who has been thinking about us through all this. I have no doubt in my mind that my replenished, more healthful mindset is due to your positive thoughts and prayers.