Why Waiting Is the Best Thing Ever
And how waiting changed my life
I don’t think I’ve met a single person who likes waiting.
I’m the same way.
At the grocery store, I find the checkout line that moves the fastest (or head straight for self-checkout). Red traffic lights or slow drivers are the bane of my existence. And slow internet connection? Don’t even get me started.
But no matter how much I complain about it, I’m beginning to learn that waiting has played a huge role in making me who I am today.
When I want something, I want it now. Whether it be ice cream, a steady freelancing career, or marriage. Some big, some little. And when I get that something according to my timeline, I’m a happy camper. But, looking back, there have been a few instances where waiting saved my butt.
Waiting Makes the Future Better
It took almost two years of dating for my husband and me to get married. For some, that’s too short of a period. But for me? It felt like forever.
I just wanted to be married.
My husband, however, has always been slow in the decision-making department. Depending on the day, that trait either frustrates me or makes me love him even more.
While we were dating, it mostly frustrated me.
I begged, I pleaded, I prayed. But he held firm: we needed to wait. Looking back, he was so right, for two main reasons.
- About a month before we got engaged, I quit my job. I had some money saved up, and my plan was to continue living rent-free with my parents and try to make it as a freelance writer. If we had gotten married earlier, I would’ve been too afraid to lose that source of income from my job, and I wouldn’t be where I am today.
- While we were waiting to get married, we focused on the quality of our relationship. There were some things we needed to work through, and I’m glad we did it without all the stress of living on our own for the first time.
Long story short, if we hadn’t waited to get married, our relationship could’ve lost a lot of growth, and I would probably still be in a soul-sucking job.
The waiting paid off.
Waiting Makes You Realize You Weren’t Ready
I’ve been writing since I was fourteen. I’m 22 now, so that’s about eight years.
Up until recently, most of my work sucked. For a high schooler, it was great. For an adult, it wasn’t even “okay.” I wanted to publish my stories. I wanted to get my poems into literary magazines.
But I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t understand this then, but thankfully a lack of motivation and a fear of failure kept me from publishing. Well, that’s a lie. I self-published a collection of poems I wrote when I was 16. And guess what? No one bought it. Partially because it sucked, and partially because I didn’t know how to promote my book.
Six years later, I’m still not published. There were a few rough years in there. My job took all my creative motivation and threw it in the trash. I wasn’t dedicated to writing every day because I was exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I still wrote — just not nearly enough.
So now, eight years into writing (and a few months into writing full-time), I have way more experience under my belt than my fourteen-year-old self. I know how to write a good article. Character arcs are an important part of my stories now. And my storyworld? I actually bothered to develop it.
If I had published before now, my beloved story would be a piece of trash. Waiting — learning how to improve my writing, figuring out what makes a good story, and getting more life experience — has been exactly what my writing needed.
However much I want to be a published author, I’m glad I waited.
Waiting Saves You Money
We live in a rushed culture, and we’re paying for it.
We all love fast shipping.
High-speed internet is a must.
We throw money at websites and apps so we can get to their content without waiting for ads.
We grab fast food for dinner because it’s quicker than making a meal yourself.
But most of these leave me with a simple question: am I really saving myself time?
Coming from someone who’s never made more than $12.50 an hour, paying for luxuries like these means working extra to make up for it. So if I have to spend more time working to skip the ads and keep watching the next part of my favorite TV show, am I actually saving time? Or would waiting pay off so I don’t have to spend more time working?
The same thing can be true for driving. Is speeding really saving you time if it means burning through gas faster and having to pay for it more often?
Obviously, if you make a lot of money, this isn’t an issue for you. But quite often, if I can save money by waiting, I will — because it means less work to make back that spent cash.
Is it frustrating? Yes. I love speed, I hate waiting. But in the long run, it means saving money, which means less hours spent working, which means — you got it — more time.
Waiting Makes You a Better Person
I’m a rusher. I used to pride myself in being a highly efficient worker. If there was a job that needed done, I could do it better and faster than you could. Even still, I’m almost always in a go go go mood. I wake up, and I can never get to my computer fast enough. Sometimes I skip making breakfast if I feel too behind. I have to stop myself from getting annoyed at my husband because he’s not hurrying.
Because, honestly, I don’t know why I’m always rushing.
My days aren’t usually jam-packed with activities, appointments, or get-togethers. In the morning, I get up. I write until some point in the afternoon. Then sometimes I work out, other times I chill, and on occasion I get together with a friend.
It’s a pretty great life — one that I shouldn’t be rushing through.
My impatience has ruined a lot of things. Instead of living in the moment, I find myself running to the next big thing, not caring about the in between moments that can sometimes become the best memories — a lingering hug, an extra five minutes in bed cuddling, or a conversation full of funny rabbit trails.
Waiting has given me patience. That means that, in a lot of situations, I can just chill instead of trying to get from one place to another. I’ll probably just end up early anyway, and then — funnily enough — I’ll have to wait.
Long story short, waiting sucks. But sometimes it’s worth it.
Enjoy the journey.