“Hurry up and wait.” We’ve all heard that saying, and man, is it true.
Whether it’s waiting on hearing back from a job, waiting to go on vacation or waiting on someone to get ready, it seems we’re always looking to the next thing. We save up our PTO so that we may have a reprieve from the monotonies of our daily grind, that weekend the boys come up to visit or that trip to visit a new friend. I guess it’s the only thing keeping me from going insane; having something to look forward to that breaks up this existence.
I remember as a kid always wishing I was a “grownup.” As a non-card-carrying “grown up,” I would sell my soul to go back to playing kickball in the cul-de-sac, dominating manhunt, and building preteen-skilled ramps to take my Mongoose off in a heartbeat. I couldn’t wait for school to be over and to be on vacation while my parents toiled away working so that I could dick around all summer. Or I wished for the weekend for my hockey game, whatever NFL game was on and a break from learning times tables.
Then I went to college. I couldn’t wait to kick my parents out of my dorm room to go explore and see some girl that ended up being my trainwreck girlfriend for a year and a half. All my parents wanted to do was see me off and I was a total piece of shit to them. After my dad passed away, I remember reading one of those memes online about letting your parents see you off and it hit me really hard. I still feel terrible about it to this day.
After college, we apply all over for our “dream job” until reality kicks us in the teeth. No one wants some greenhorn Johnny Dicknballs with his shiny new college degree. A lot of time is spent waiting to hear back from the entry level jobs that everyone under the sun also applied for. You can give your best interview, be just qualified enough, have great unpaid internship experience and for all you know, the interview is a formality for someone who’s mommy and daddy were friends with the boss or for someone changing positions within the company. The wait to hear back — even if it’s a “we’ve found a candidate more qualified” — is soul-crushing.
After undergrad, I went to grad school because I wasn’t ready to be an adult and I thought it would be cool to have some letters after my name. When I worked for the police, I remember driving around with Chief and him telling me that all they do is wait. Wait until something happens, which constitutes at most 5% of their day. In the police academy, they prepare you like everyone has drugs or an AK-47 in their car, when in reality, all they do is write college kids tickets and go on domestic violence calls. He then told me to never become a cop.
We all get out of college and want to change the world, yet realize that we are just entering the world. Everyone wants to hit the ground running and do a lot in a little time, only to find out that your job is spent drowning on Excel, entering data, dealing with clients or helping coworkers figure out how to use their computer. People that say “if you love your job, you never work a day in their life” are full of shit. I work to pay bills and anyone that says differently is lying and you should immediately disassociate with them.
Everyone is trying to make a difference, yet there isn’t enough action. I’m mostly tired at the end of the day from going through the motions and dealing with bullshit. It’s not like my job is terribly demanding, either. When I worked for a country club, it was constant moving and having stuff to do, and I longed for a desk job out of the sun in 95 degrees with 100% humidity. Now, I stare at a screen and miss being busy or having the excitement of always being on my toes. I guess the grass is always greener.
As I sit around and wait for my new job to begin, I have realized that waiting is part of life. I remember reading some memoirs of Civil War soldiers, talking about waiting all the time. They march, drill and exist for that one day of battle. Many of them wanted to fight to curb the boredom of living in camp. There’s always something coming up — without it, I think that we as people would lose focus. Having something worth waiting for is part of being human.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part. .