This is part of the synchroblog on waiting, to celebrate the release of Those Who Wait: Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay by Tanya Marlow – out now. See more here and link up to the synchroblog here.
The other day, I sighed and told my sister, “Things are going too well lately.”
Which sounds like a stupid thing to complain about (and I might have a skewed view of what “well” looks like), but she knew what I meant.
Every time things start looking up, something huge happens and I come crashing back down.
I’m always waiting for something to change, even when I really don’t want it to.
It feels like I’m sitting at the bottom of the mountain, waiting for my turn to start climbing again. Or I’m near the top of the mountain, waiting to fall again.
Both times are going to come. They always do.
I’ve been in a nonstop dance of grieving and rebuilding since . . . well, I don’t remember ever not doing this.
Maybe that makes me sound pessimistic. I promise I’m not.
Actually, I’m obnoxiously optimistic. It can be a problem.
Years ago, someone close to me was frustrated with their life and said something I thought was hilarious. “Somehow, everything always works out for you, Kristy.”
They didn’t appreciate it when I started laughing. I was feeling a little bitter that day.
But there’s some truth to that. Eventually, I do tend to right my ship. But there’s a lot of waiting involved before that happens.
I spent my nineteenth birthday in a safe house because I was hiding from a stalker who wanted to kill me. My family waited there for almost a year. We had a roof over us (thanks to a family friend), but we were homeless. Jobless. Friendless.
Six years later, I was married with a newborn. I was back in school, had a good job, and owned my own home. When I was nineteen, and storing my clothes in a black garbage bag, I couldn’t have seen that coming.
And I worked my ass off to keep it all.
About a year after my second daughter was born, I went for a run and started having a lot of knee pain.
I waited through xrays, and MRIs, and years of physical therapy as the issue moved beyond my knee, into my other joints, and began interfering with my life.
Turns out, the problem is in my DNA. It can’t be fixed. The best I can hope for is to address each individual issue as it pops up. The problem is, there aren’t any good treatments for the issues that pop up for me.
I quit my job a few years ago because of my health issues. And I went right back into that familiar waiting period. I’m still there.
I keep telling people I’m just waiting until technology catches up. In a few years, I’ll be able to 3D print new joints and ligaments or something. Some awesome new migraine treatment will come out. I won’t be like this forever.
It’s funny. Not ha-ha funny, unless you’re like me and you ha-ha at inappropriate things all the time, but interesting funny. While I’ve been in a waiting period because of my shitty joints, I came out of a different waiting period. I’ve been waiting for years to have the time and the mental energy to write. I’d tried to pull it off while working, having babies, and going to school. I was never able to prioritize it while everything else was going on. It felt selfish.
My body being all crazy forced me to stop prioritizing my career and education. So what was I going to do with all this free time? I started a blog.
Yes, I’m in a lot of pain some days. Yes, my annoying body gets in the way of my goals frequently. But if my body hadn’t forced me to slow down, I wouldn’t be blogging right now. I wouldn’t have met some of the awesome people I’ve met through this.
Slowing down gave me the time and the mental space needed to write a book. I haven’t been idle while waiting. I’ve accomplished a lot on the days I’ve been able to accomplish anything.
I’m waiting for my health to improve, but I’ve stopped waiting to fulfill the goal I set for myself when I was eight years old and told everyone I was going to write books when I grew up.
I think that’s how life goes. I think our periods of waiting must hit us like waves. Sometimes the end of one wave is the beginning of another. And now I’ve got “Closing Time” stuck in my head.
I’ve been feeling restless lately. It feels like things are going to change again soon. Maybe that change will be positive. Maybe not.
Maybe I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Maybe I’m waiting for a miracle joint cure.
Maybe I’m not waiting on what I think I am. Maybe it’s OK not to know.
It’s hard, but I’m trying to just roll with it. Somehow, everything always works out for me.
Image Credit: flickr user chiaralily (Creative Commons)