Waiting

It’s Christmas now – well, it won’t be when this is uploaded, but it was Christmas when I wrote that it was Christmas. Usually, around this time of year, I travel. I get on whatever flight or train necessary and spend some time with family. This year it didn’t work out. My brother couldn’t make it and I kind of figured if he couldn’t make it there wasn’t a whole lot of point to me going and so it’s not happening. Not on the day and date, anyway.

I can distinctly imagine myself being sad and upset about this, but I’m not actually. Maybe I will be later. I do have a tendency to disperse my emotions vaguely over the next few months or years rather than experiencing them when I’m supposed to. I guess that, just generally, I’m used to waiting. I’m used to delaying, deferring, unspecific anticipation, muted expectation. It’s not exactly a strength, but it does let me be patient and diligent, and it’s not exactly a weakness but it does sometimes lull me into complacency and stagnation.

Christmas isn’t cancelled, it’s just delayed. Any cold day spent with family and a spirit of giving will suffice, and can be deputized into an honorary holiday. It makes me think about how comfortable I find waiting though, and wonder if my capacity for anticipation has been overindulged. It’s happened before. I waited to grow up, and before I noticed I’d become an adult I’d become an older adult. That’s not a disaster, but it is a disappointment. I discovered it was much easier to anticipate doing great things than to spend time doing things and trying to make them as great as I could. That was a hard habit to break, and ever since I managed to do so I’ve been terrified of falling into the same trap again.

So I have to keep working for long periods of time sometimes to make something of the scope and meaning that interests me as a creator, but I also worry that those long periods of time are just another sea of future promises, and I’ll wake up and be no closer to where I want to go. I guess that’s the risk. I guess when you set sail you don’t know if you’ll find land again. The only thing that’s certain is that you can’t go anywhere by standing still, right? But it’s so hard to tell when one is standing still. Everything is relative. Am I moving, or stalled in place while the world moves around me? We can’t feel speed, just acceleration or deceleration pushing us forward and backwards like gravity, and the threat of impact if I try to start or stop too suddenly is overwhelming. If I’m moving, am I moving in the right direction? Am I getting closer to what I want, or just heading for another dead end?

it worries me. Maybe it should worry me. I get pretty worried when I’m driving and I think I’m getting close to my exit but I’m not sure if maybe I missed it, or maybe I accidentally got on the wrong road a while back. It’s the worry that gets me to my destination. I suppose this anxiety is, to some degree, one I have to live with. It just means I’m paying attention.

Stuck at the wheel, I wonder when I’ll get to sleep, or if that’s a right I ceded the last time I woke up.

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1 comment
  1. This is something I can completely relate to. Especially this: ” It’s the worry that gets me to my destination.” I worry that I’m not worried enough to get there in the correct time…

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