Leaving The Waiting Room

“I’m tired of living life in a waiting room.”

I wrote that in my journal in the final days of December in a moment of sheer frustration. I was wallowing in a shallow pool of self-pity over the lack of progress I’d made over the course of 2021. I touched on that in my Reflection on 2021 post, but essentially, I didn’t like where I was. 

Have you ever gone through one of those exercises where you “visualize your highest self?” It’s one of my therapist’s favorite things to do with me. I do it on my own sometimes too. The reason we keep repeating the exercise? 

I keep not doing the “show up as her” part of the assignment. 

I’ve been living in the waiting room. Waiting for – something. For purpose. Direction. Guidance. For someone to walk up to me and say “hey, take a right at the fork in the road, then walk a couple miles until you reach the cute little farmhouse on the left…” 

I haven’t been showing up as “her.” 

I’ve been like the Isrealites, wandering around in the wilderness because they didn’t believe in all the signs and wonders God had shown them. They only had to trust and obey, but they didn’t and so – they wandered. Wandered and waited. 

It’s like looking in a mirror, really. 

God gave me my calling a long time ago: Tell stories. 

Tell my story. Tell their stories. 

Just tell stories. 

There’s a reason our ancestors told their stories to the younger generations after all. 

But instead of going out there and telling my story, telling other’s stories, sharing the fictional stories I dream up, I just… don’t. Or didn’t. I think about the community I want to be a part of, the guy I want to marry, the life I want to build. I think about taking steps towards those things. 

And then I don’t. 

I wake up. Go to work. School. Maybe take a barre class. Come home. Write for a while. Go to bed. Wake up the next morning. Repeat. I stay in my cocoon and don’t risk putting myself out there for fear of failure. Rejection. Hurt. 

I stay in the waiting room, waiting for life to begin. 

Waiting for someone to come get me so “life” can begin. 

But it finally hit me when I wrote that phrase: 

“I’m tired of living life in a waiting room.”

I’m wandering in the wilderness, not trusting all the signs and guidance and deep rooted convictions that I need to step out of the waiting room and into whatever is on the other side of the door. Just hanging out in the waiting room, reading dated magazines and doing the “spot the difference” in Highlights. Waiting for my name to be called. Someone to come get me. And yet… Maybe they’re waiting on ME. 

The doctor or lawyer or job interviewer or whoever is waiting for you on their side of the door can call your name, call your turn, but it’s on you to stand up and join them. 

My name has been called to leave the waiting room time and time again. Yet I’ve been sitting in the same chair with my airpods in, ignoring the call to stand up and walk through the door while flipping through a People magazine from 2019. 

Writing those words about living in a waiting room shifted something in me. 

I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines watching life pass me by. I’m tired of sitting and waiting for someone to take my hand and pull me out of the waiting room chair I’ve become far too comfortable in. 

Maybe I’ve had enough therapy to work through some of the things that have held me back. 

Maybe I’ve spent enough time in prayer that I’ve finally accepted God’s call on my life and all the signs and wonders He’s been throwing in my path. 

Maybe I’ve just had enough of reflecting on a year gone by and instead of moving forward, realized I’ve been moving lateral. Again. 

When we’re living life in the waiting room, we’re not living life at all. So here I am, walking out of the waiting room with no real idea what’s on the other side, just a deep knowing that I’ve had the signs and wonders and I’ve seen what my highest self looks like. 

I’m finally ready to show up as her. 

It’s scary as I step through this door. I don’t know what sort of appointment is waiting for me. I do know I’m done standing with my hand on the plow when the seeds have already been planted. 

It’s time to sow. I

It’s time to stand up, walk across the room, and step through the door and into life.

If you’re living your life in a waiting room, thinking “when I have…” or “when I do…” or “when this thing happens…” you will do that thing you’re being called to do or that thing you really want to do, may I invite you to rise to your feet and walk out of the waiting room with me? 

Let’s stop waiting. 

Let’s start living.  

Waiting Room

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