Dear Waiting,

I hate you. I loathe you. I despise you! I want to make up new words to express my disdain for your continuous and unwelcome presence in my life – words that drip with anger and poke through your barriers of protection. Yet, no matter what words I choose you never seem to go away. You bring your friends Patience and Someday and together you mock me. You mock my concerns and fight my friend Optimism. Your efforts to invade my life are relentless. You can’t seem to get the hint that I

don’t

want

you

around!!!

My friends hate you as well. Success says he can never arrive because you keep holding him back. Happiness keeps making her appearance, but you keep knocking her down. You water down Enthusiasm and push away Goals. You bind up Longing and yet continue to make sure I think of her every minute. You dangle Desire in front of me and keep pushing Hope behind me. No matter how tightly I try to hold on to Joy I just keep feeling the weight of Waiting upon my shoulders.

Upon my soul.

Waiting, do you relish in your misdeeds? Your ability to dangle the puppet strings of those of us unfortunate enough to be human? Do you delight in how readily you control the world? Do you cackle with glee when you steal Confidence and bring her back to me broken and battered? Do you wring your hands in delight when you warp my view of Expectation? Do you sneer at those who try to escape your grasp with effort? Do you pin us down with your giant thumb, watch our attempts to scramble out of your grasp, and abuse us with your name?

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

I try to surround myself with more positive role models. Friends easier to get along with. Friends such as Satisfaction and Achievement. Friends like Comfort and Pleasure. Friends like Relief. I know I’m not the only one who welcomes Relief. But Waiting, your presence contaminates everything else. You steal the oxygen from the room until no one can deny your presence. And, then you pollute the positivity with the giant girth of your existence. I know how cruel you have been to my relationship with Belief. I know how cruel you have seemed to me.

Maybe I wouldn’t hate you as badly if you didn’t keep bringing others with you. Others like Helplessness. Fear. Confusion. Hopelessness. Because Waiting, you are quite the warrior. You send in Despair as if he were commending your cavalry. Anxieties are your arrows and Doubt is your dagger. You cut me with the sword of Suspicion and hack at me with the cleaver of Concern. And Waiting, sometimes you can be sly with your weaponry. Sometimes you use Unease and Worry to give me just a little dose of poison every day. Not enough to kill me. Just enough to control me.

Ambition has been my weapon of choice against you. However, Ambition is complicated. It’s the reason I can fight you and the reason I keep having to fight you. I know you fight back Ambition as well. I hate when you tell Ambition that he needs more Patience no matter how hard Ambition is working. I hate when you tell Ambition that things will be better if he accepts you. If we accept you. If we make friends with you Waiting.

But…Waiting… you are so very hard to make friends with, because you force yourself on me. You breathe down my neck and climb inside my soul. You overpower me and your stench fills the air around me. When you’re on top of me you make it difficult to breathe…to sing…to hope. Waiting, your presence makes me question everything. Everything about myself. Everything about my life. Everything about my future. Everything about my past.

If I had been bigger, stronger, smarter would I have been able to fight you off? If I had been kinder could I have earned the right to avoid you? If I had been more cunning and less trusting could I have barred your entrance into the door or my life?

Is there a way to make you go away? Can I pray hard enough, execute swiftly enough, and run fast enough to earn the right to leave you? Can I be enough to earn the favor of the forces more powerful than me? Will the wind blow you out of my way so I can dream, build, and create? If I finally defeat you will I be able to…

rest?

Or will you always be with me Waiting? When I look back into my life will you be the one who I remember most? Will I look back in despair and think Waiting wasted my life away? Will I be fortunate enough to look back and smile as I remember outsmarting you? Or, will I look back and remember the day I embraced you?

Waiting…what if I embraced you? I know others have. Others who seem weaker than me and others who seem stronger than me. Others I admire for their relationship with you and others who I feel use their friendship with Waiting as an excuse to avoid Action. Far too often the people I see deligithing in their dance with Waiting are also clinging to their relationship with Denial. But…where does that leave me? What should I do? Which path should I take? Which person will I become? Will I come to you on hands and knees waving my white flag in surrender? Will I drag Purpose behind me, hand him over to your eager arms and then quietly admit “You win.” Will I feel okay about it or will I truly feel as defeated as I imagine?

Because…you always win Waiting. You always, always win.

You tell me that I can win too if I embrace the surrender. Trust the process. Trust you Waiting. You tell me that you have been watching me kick as hard as I can to keep from drowning rather than simply trusting that if I put my feet down I’ll be able to stand up with my head above water. Others tell me this, too. They watch me in pity and awe as I keep afloat and wonder how I have been able to keep it up for so long. My heart screams back “Don’t you see! I have to keep kicking because of Waiting! He never brings me to solid ground!” They look at me in pity and say “But, don’t you see? There is solid ground. It just happens to be under the water. You don’t have to keep kicking. You just have to stand up until Waiting moves the water.”

Waiting…please move the water. Bring back Hope so I can keep holding on to Purpose. So Contentment isn’t so difficult to get to. So my partnership with Commitment feels easy again. So I no longer feel like Patience’s prisoner. For just a moment let me get passed you so I can remember that it’s possible to get passed you. And then…maybe the next time you come around it will be on better terms.

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Sarah K Ramsey