Friday, July 08, 2011

On Waiting

A year ago, I was in a position where I was newly single and, frankly, a little lost. I realized in the weeks following that breakup that most of the plans I had laid out for my life were in some way tangled up in the success of the relationship I'd just ended. "Now what?", I wondered. How was I going to see those plans through as a thirty-something single woman? Was it even possible? And did I still want to see them through after all?

I started contemplating what I wanted my future to look like. The possibilities were endless, but the one thing I knew was that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life simply waiting. I'd done enough of that. If I had to wait for my dreams to come true, it wasn't going to be a passive observer of my life. I was going to wait actively this time. No more holding on to hope without taking any action.

Slowly but surely I started moving forward. Yes, I wanted to get married and have a family. Yes, I wanted to work for myself. And, surprisingly, yes, I wanted to become a yoga teacher. But those things wouldn't happen on their own. The first step I took was signing up for that 200-hour yoga teacher training. Then I worked out a budget and started saving more money as a cushion for when I finally take the leap into freelance. I even signed up for an online dating service so I could "get back on the horse", so to speak, and start meeting new people.

For the first time in my life, or at least in a really long time, I felt like I was living. Rather than watching my life pass by while I waited on things to change or get better, I was actually making things happen. A year later, I can honestly say that I have had the best year of my adult life so far.

This may sound silly, but I think somewhere along the way I'd forgotten how to really LIVE. Sure, I was breathing, eating, working, sleeping, and even playing. But I wasn't really experiencing most of it. I was too focused on all those things that I wanted so badly, all the things that were going to happen in the future. When I started choosing what I would do each day, paying closer attention to the individual moments and allowing the future to unfold as I took steps toward my goals, I saw how much I had been missing, how little I'd been participating in my own life.

Now that I finally know how to truly participate in life, reaching and striving toward my dreams without losing sight of the present moment, I'm looking forward to many, many more years like the one I've just had. Waiting doesn't have to mean standing still. I'd rather spend that time flying.

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