I posted this caption on my Instagram the other day:
And I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m pretty sure this thought was God-sent because I can’t even put my finger on when it came into my mind. I so badly wish I could tell you when I thought this up but I can’t remember if it was before I went to sleep? When I woke up? In my dreams? I don’t know. But all I can say is that I can’t believe I’d never thought about this before.
Honestly, I didn’t even know I had this mindset: One day, you’re going to wake up and everything is going to be perfect. You’ll have the perfect boyfriend, be attending the perfect college, hanging out with the perfect group of girlfriends, having a perfect Instagram feed. You’ll be perfectly happy and content with your perfect life.
WHAT?! Okay, that sounds crazy. It sounds like what everyone warns you against thinking, right? I mean, c’mon, everyone knows that life’s not perfect. Plus, I am a realistic girl with a tight grip on reality with realistic goals and expectations. So why would I have that ^^^ attitude?
Because I had made myself a victim of the waiting room. I’ve been sitting in it for far too long, staring at its perfectly white walls with its over-saturated magazine covers on the ugly brown coffee table, sitting with my legs crossed, eyebrows flat, and a frown on my face. Every once in a while, I’ll let out a heavy sigh that reminds myself that I’m miserable. Also, can you think of one good thing about sitting in a waiting room? Especially one with no other people: no receptionist, no other patients, and no nurse to even come and call my name…waiting.
For what? If I’m being honest, yeah. I’ve been waiting for a boyfriend. A college decision to land in my lap. A solid group of girlfriends. Adventures to come my way so I have cute, aesthetically pleasing Instagram pictures to post. Because I’m choosing to see myself as just a bummed out girl stuck in the waiting room, my life has begun to feel like that. But why in the world would I want to let it stay that way?
Here’s a crazy thought: those things I’m waiting for may never even come. I’m not in control — God is. And by sitting in the waiting room of life, I’m basically expecting someone to call my name to tell me it’s my turn. But guess what? Maybe they never will. Today’s all I’ve been guaranteed, so why make myself miserable over something that doesn’t even exist in time and space?
Just because I’m waiting doesn’t mean I should stop living. And I didn’t even know I had stopped truly living, but I think I did. And here’s how:
- I’ve become lukewarm in a lot of my relationships. I haven’t truly been 100% grateful and all-in to the relationships in my life because, in the back of my mind, I’ve been wishing for some new people. WHICH IS SO DUMB!! I know! Um, hello, Grace?! You have been blessed with people that love you so go love them. Stop wishing for different people that are just like you, or that totally get you, or that agree with everything you believe in. Stop wishing for those new people because they might never come. Go love the people that are in your life right now because you may never get them back. Quit being so willing to let go. Instead, unlock the rich potential of lifelong friends that you already have in your grasp.
- I’ve stopped stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m usually pretty bold and bubbly, but lately, I’ve just been kinda meh. You know how that feels? You lose interest in some of your favorite things. Everything’s a little less colorful and a little more gray. You start to feel a little insecure, too. You stop saying hi to the grocery clerk and just want to get on your way. You keep your head down and move quickly past new people with stories and feelings that you’ll never even give yourself a chance to get to know. Maybe you get stuck in the daily routine and forget to do your favorite things. I didn’t even make time to make my favorite pumpkin cookies this fall! And I kid you not when I say they are my favorite. And did the world stop turning because the oven never hit 350? No. But did I miss out on a little bit of joy that I normally make a priority? Yes. And I’m realizing that’s not as okay as we all make it seem. Every time we make a boring decision instead of a joyful one, we’re basically steering ourselves away from the arcade and toward the waiting room. I don’t want to go there, and I don’t think you do either. So keep stepping out of your comfort zone and [pumpkin] spicing up your life, okay?! (aka, go take the Zumba class. Watch the silly Disney movie you loved as a kid. Make something from those Tasty videos you’ve always watched on Facebook but never actually tried. Have some fun :).
I don’t have to be the victim stuck inside of four suffocating waiting room walls. No. I can slap that magazine down on that coffee table and walk out. I don’t have to wait for anything. I can go live my life right now because it’s all I have. And that’s all you have, too. Sure, not every day is going to be full of confetti and pizzazz. You’re going to have to wait for some good days and do a dance of patience through some bad ones. But that’s fine, because all those little normal moments are building into what your life is. Your life isn’t the boyfriend or girlfriend you’re wanting. Your life isn’t the dream college or dream job. Your life isn’t the Hawaiian vacation you’re hoping to take or the fast car you want to drive up the coast one day.
Your life is right now. It’s here! In the good days, the bad days, the boring ones, and the over-the-top ones. So, please, take my hand and drag me out of the waiting room with you. Seriously, it’s boring in here, isn’t it? Let’s go get a milkshake or something. Go ice skating. Sing at the top of our lungs. Smile for a million selfies. Let’s stop making ourselves the victims and go live until we can’t anymore. It’s going to be incredible.