There are two types of waiting. There’s the the waiting you do for something you know is coming, sooner or later—like waiting for the 6:28 train, or the school bus, or a party where a certain handsome boy might be. And then there’s the waiting for something you don’t know is coming. You don’t even know what it is exactly, but you’re hoping for it. You’re imagining it and living your life for it. That’s the kind of waiting that makes a fist in your heart.
When I was in elementary school, I was pretty sure that eighth grade meant adulthood. The eighth graders were the oldest kids in the school, and their classroom was down a long hallway. I pictured the hallway as a golden path to the future. I was sure the eighth graders had it all figured out. Later, I extended that to the high school seniors, then the college seniors, then, people who were 25. Now, finally, I can see that there is no moment in life when it all makes sense. Nor is there any real marker that someone DOES know what the fuck’s going on – an engagement or a house does not mean that someone feels complete and content. At 27, I can talk to my parents and see that while they’ve done a lot of amazing things with their lives, there are still doubts and insecurities that they’re holding on to and trying to make sense of. Answers don’t come with age. Age provides perspective, but life wasn’t designed with a point at which it definitively gets easier. It’s up and down, all the time, for everyone. We’re just doing our best, all of us, and that’s ok.