FROM THE ARCHIVES: What You Should Know About Waiting
We've published hundreds of stories from 100+ writers in the last three years, so we're highlighting some of these timeless posts in our new From the Archives series. Enjoy!
Over coffee one weekend, my friend poured out her thoughts in the vein of frustration with her first full-time gig after college. Her angst was stemming from the general discontent of routine and the initial feeling—3 weeks in—that her job was meaningless and seemingly dead-end.
As I listened, I felt the ping of familiarity with these sentiments—feeling discontent with the present and frustration of waiting for the future.
She asked me, “How long does it take for this to go away?”
I couldn’t give her a concrete answer. What do I tell her? That this will all go away soon? At the end of the month? Year?
And there lies the root of our frustration: there’s no timeline.
The fact was, although I was past some of the initial discomfort of starting a new job after college, I could relate. I had days when I felt discontent in the work I was doing at my 9-5 desk job. And let’s be honest, Bey’s “Single Ladies” was the theme of my love life.
Oh boy, could I relate to said friend’s discouragement in the waiting game.
That being said, I’ve learned a few things about the waiting game—there’s a good and a bad way to wait.
Perspective & Attitude:
For the love, check yourself. A bad attitude is going to affect you directly and, most likely, have no searing effect on anyone else. (But let’s be real. Your friends and family won’t enjoy spending time with you.) Complaining verbally or making mental negative Post-It notes with complaints will make the process seem longer and make the monster seem bigger in your mind.
Your thoughts and words have power. So instead of saying, “I wish I had a job where I could sit on a bean bag all day” or “I hate that I have a job that requires putting pants on in the morning,” think more along the lines of “I’m thankful I can pay my monthly Netflix invoice” or “This job will is actually helping me gain experience for where I hope to be in the future.”
It’s hard to be bitter when you’re busy being grateful.
I’d encourage you to take inventory of the value of where you are. Seriously. Make a list. When you see in writing the positive aspects of your current job or situation it’s an easier way to outline the silver lining.
Opportunity for Growth:
Once you find the silver lining, realize that there’s always room to shape up—whether that’s your work ethic, honing your craft or sifting through personal and relational deficits. Sometimes waiting is exactly what we need to grow and change. What we think is our dream or passion is great, but we might not be ready to handle it.
Tough love, folks, I know.
In my own experience, while I’ve been waiting for that relationship to come, I’ve become more aware of the relationships I do have. I’ve learned that this is time to invest in friendships.
While I’ve been trying to figure out what that dream job looks like, I’ve taken note that my job is the ideal place for me at this time and will allow me to gain invaluable experiences that can only push me forward in the future.
I’ve learned that this isn’t forever.
I’m not truly stuck, and neither is my friend.
Neither are you.
[This post was originally published on November 10, 2015.]
ANNOUNCEMENT: Windrose Magazine issue 2 is almost finished!
In issue 2, you’ll find articles like:
- "On Heartbreak and Healing"
- "The Poison of Perfectionism"
- "In Defense of Loneliness"
- "How Corporate Killed My Creativity And How I Got It Back"
- "On What It Means to Matter: An Interview with Author Hannah Brencher"
And so much more—all real life stories to assure you that you’re not alone as you navigate life in your twenties.
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