Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Waiting Place

Lately I feel like I'm trapped in that awful place Dr. Suess writes about in Oh, The Places You'll Go! If you haven't read the book to each of your classes at the end of the school year as I have, here you have it:

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Lately I feel like I'm there.


Now, in the rest of the world, I'm the norm. 28. Single. Career-oriented. But in my fine state of Utah (a state I love and consider home), at this point I should have a house, a husband, and 2.5 kids in order to fit within the spectrum of that norm. So, before you go off on how young I am so why worry, realize that is the context from which I am basing all of this. Marriage and family is major here. Currently on my fridge there are three wedding invites, two baby announcements, a baby shower invitation, and I haven't even checked the mail today. The truth is that at this point, I didn't expect to be a Miss.

And so we begin.

Singleton Status is laced with blessings: stellar friendships, a good job, family, travel, a chance to focus on my own testimony-building, the entire closet all to myself (and oh, do I use it), the entire bed all to myself (and oh, do I use it). Being single offers liberties that the married do not possess. For these blessings I am grateful. I am grateful I can go to the movies on a whim. I am grateful I can sleep solidly through a single night without disturbance. I am grateful that I eat my food while it's hot, conversing without interruption. I know that one day I would give anything to have those simple pleasures back. But sometimes I'd also like to give all that up.

I hope what I write today isn't misunderstood. I'm not writing for a pity party. It is like this: being single is an act of waiting. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying to you (and maybe themselves). I don't mean to say that I sit sad and unfulfilled in my pitiful basement apartment. I hardly have time for that. I don't mean to say that my job, my family, my friends leave me lonely. They don't. What I mean is that somewhere in the back of one's mind there is a sense that all of this is (hopefully) temporary. There is this sense that your life as currently lived isn't quite settled down. Yet. Everything comes with that caveat: yet. That next critical step in life is somewhere out in the time continuum. Its status still pending.

And so, somewhere strange inside of you, you feel yourself standing in this queue with no clear end in sight. Only rarely is this queue consciously acknowledged, but at all times one foot keeps your place there as you go about life.

So here I've admitted what lies down deep inside of me gnaws into my impressive capacity for worry: I fear I might remain in the queue forever. Which isn't my first choice, but it is a possibility. You see, with all those marriage and birth announcements hanging on the fridge, there comes a point where the notion of "plenty of fish" becomes laughable. My particular pool has fallen victim to overfishing.

And I'm unabashed in my metaphor mixing, I know, so now let me talk about my next thought--which is how I get myself into a space where I can find peace in all of this. And that place is bedded in trust. Trust in a plan and a purpose I feel is out there for me. I believe in a divine creator. A Heavenly Father who, though he can't control the choice and agency of man, does watch over me and sees beyond my vision, my perspective. All of this waiting is good for me, I know, because I feel blessed in my path thus far. I feel lucky I've had this much time as a single person. I know myself. I know what matters, what I like, what I want, what is important. So, I have to remember to trust this journey as it comes. I look back and see a path that has been intentional. So I have to trust that what lies ahead is just as purposeful.

Even if it involves perpetually standing with one foot in a queue while fishing even though I don't like seafood.

Pictures of the vacation to come eventually. Until then, you'll have to wait.


Jen said...

Dear Rookie,

Love your guts.


ps. I wish I writed as good and as thoughtful as you.

Alice said...

Sometimes it comes out of your mouth so much better than it ever could mine. I get you.

Waiting is lame but I suppose part of the deal. It just seems extra lame when someone says it like this:

Them: "Do you hope to have children some day?"

Me: "I do"

Them: "You know you need a man to marry first right?"

Me: "that would kind of help wouldn't it"

Them: "Well you might want to pick one unless it's too late"


Stephanie said...

Thanks for verbalizing my life, Rookie. {HUGS}

Rie Pie said...

Richard Armitage is single... It's a nice line to wait in when you can stand behind that.

Anonymous said...

The single thing seems way to foreign to me, but it sure does sound great sometimes. Your Mr. Darcy is out there somewhere. I also love the way you write. You are definitely talented, in my book.