Those of you who know me well know that I like to talk things out. Words are therapeutic. Putting things into words helps me to make sense of all the stuff that's going on in my brain. Today I was on the phone with my mom (twice), and something came up that I knew I had to write down. I was telling her how weird I feel that life has been for me recently. I can't really focus on a lot of things. I get in my room alone, intending to do all kinds of homework, but instead I kind of fizzle out in the homework department and end up being semi-useless for three hours. Sure, I try to get stuff done. But none of it really pans out. The same goes for my practice. I have really productive practice and I'm singing great, but I don't feel like I'm focused on it. Everything is just kind of fuzzy right now, or it feels that way to me. I'm 99% positive that it's all in my head.
I was explaining this to Mom, and I said the following: "You know, Mama, I just feel like I'm in a waiting period. I feel like I'm on the edge of something big. I don't know what it is, but I just feel like I'm waiting for something."
Maybe that's you, too. Maybe your life feels kind of fuzzy and blurry. You feel like you can almost just make something out on the horizon. You can almost see its outline. You sense its presence: but it's not here yet. You can feel it! -- but it isn't coming as fast as you would like. You're trapped in the no-man's land of anticipation and regret. I know you. I AM you. You're looking back on your former life, your former self, and remembering how comfortable and safe and lovely you felt back there. You know you left it for a good reason, but you can't remember what the reason is. You know that you weren't yourself there, but from where you are now -- from the Waiting Period -- it seems so settled, so safe.
In the meantime, your anticipation for what is coming is so great! You can almost taste it, touch it, hold it. It's so exciting to think about -- it reminds me of the song "Something's Coming" from West Side Story. In fact, I've been singing that song on repeat for the past week or so. It's so joyous to ponder, but at the same time, you don't have it yet. I think that makes the itch greater.
I don't know what your itch is or what you're looking back on. I know what it is for me. The looking-back stings and the looking-forward aches. And I know it feels like it'll never arrive, that you'll never get to hold it. I told Mom, "Maybe the edge I'm on is a really wide edge, and I won't get to the end of it for a while." To be frank, that really sucks.
A couple of things comfort me, though. First is this: what you anticipate and long for is so worth the wait. One of my favorite quotes is one that I've shared on this blog before -- I think CS Lewis said it: "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." I was also delighted and encouraged by a verse I read today, 1 Peter 1:6: "Be truly glad; there is wonderful joy ahead." Guys. There is so much beauty and joy ahead of us. It's promised us. Hang on. You may think it's a long time coming, but I promise you, it's coming -- and as cliché as this may sound, it will be worth the wait.
The second encouraging thing isn't so much encouraging -- more motivating. Today I was texting my friend Katie (shoutout to Katie! I miss you, pretty lady!), and I basically told her not to allow the distractions to keep her from the dream. It was a reminder that I myself have needed! I mentioned my distractions, and how I feel out of focus. You may feel like you can't zoom in on what has always mattered to you, the important things. For me, I feel distant from my dream. Do not -- I repeat, DO NOT allow whatever is blocking your brain to get in the way of your dream. Think of how long you've worked to get to where you are. Think of all the blood, sweat, and tears that have brought you to this point. Remind yourself of your dream every day. Don't let the distractions keep you from it. We all know dreams are hard. Some days you have to really push through. Do it. Push through. Your dream is worth more than the distractions or your current state of mind.
I know that waiting is crap. I personally feel like I'll never get to the end of waiting. But waiting is part of the adventure, too. I'm reminded of that part in the middle of The Two Towers (dork alert) when Frodo and Sam are picking their way through the mountains and the marshes. It's gray and boring and dank, and all the days kind of blend together, but they had to go through those days as part of their task. So do we. In order to live adventurously, you have to live in a place that isn't comfortable. The desert between anticipation and stinging grief is a tough place to be, but imagine your joy when you receive what you've anticipated.
This may be related only in my mind, but I simply have to add this bit: It's okay to feel lonely sometimes. I think that being lonely means you're vulnerable. You're able to face the ache in your heart and own it. It's painful, but it means that you're allowing yourself to feel, instead of burying it. I know it's crap, but props to you for allowing yourself to be lonely. It gets better.
My fight club (accountability partner) and I periodically text each other these three words: "Hey. We're okay." Y'all, it's okay. You're okay. The waiting is hard, yes. But you're okay. You're better than okay: think of what you have coming to you. It makes me super happy to know that what is on my horizon has already been accomplished and reached before the dawn of time by Christ Jesus. It's already in my hands, in my grasp! I can't see it yet, but it already belongs to me. It's already mine.
Push through. It's gonna be beautiful.