Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The other night I was talking on the phone with my friend Laurel and catching up on life. We’d been going back and forth for the past few weeks trying to find a time to talk, but I finally hunted her down because I had an ambiguous voicemail informing me that we had to talk because her “heart was so full.”

She has justified reasoning for having an overflowing heart; her dreams of spontaneous travel are coming true. In two weeks she is boarding a plane that will carry her to Haiti for six months! Within a few days of hearing about the opportunity, she turned in her two week notice at work, bought a plane ticket, and started packing her suitcase. I am elated for her because she’s finally escaping the limbo of life decisions where she’s been stuck for the past several months.

But in the midst of my excitement, I started to ponder my own personal dichotomous existence—half dynamic and half static. There’s a part of my life that seems active and thriving and even has a vague essence of being grown up. I share a house with my beautiful wife. We’ve bought appliances together, and last week we bought a couch. A new couch. From a furniture store, not a garage sale. That’s grown up, right? We eat dinner together every night and crawl into bed when our eyelids start to get droopy. We’ve discussed getting a cat and naming her Ellen, and occasionally when we’re feeling brave we talk about someday procreating. All of these activities seem to fit the stereotypical grown up qualities that I’ve accumulated in my head throughout the years.

Then there’s the other part of my life. The part where instead of getting up every morning and going to work, I put on my backpack and go to school. The part where I take out loans each fall while my wife gets a paycheck twice a month. It’s the part of my life that makes me sit in my new couch that I bought from a furniture store and ponder when my REAL life will begin.

In my introduction to this blog, I stated that my goal is to live in my daily reality instead of wishing away my current circumstances. The battle of waiting for my REAL life to start has been continuous since I’ve been in high school, but it’s just been within the last couple days that I’ve come to a somewhat encouraging conclusion. I am not alone. The majority of the people in my life are waiting for something significant to occur.

My friends Jon Erik, Katie, and Jason are all waiting for their current jobs to end and their time in grad school to begin so that they can pursue the careers of their dreams. All of my fellow med school classmates are waiting for school to end so they can be doctors. My mom is waiting to lose ten pounds, while my dad is waiting for next hunting season. My sister is trying to live her life while trusting God that He will bring her a husband. I’m waiting for my lunch to get ready, while my wife waits for me to stop typing and help her set the table. And in a few months, Laurel will be waiting to see what her homeland holds for her after she returns from Haiti.

I suppose that life is a ubiquitous commonality that all patients’ share when going to see their physician—the waiting room. Sometimes the waiting is minimal, and other times it seems like an eternity. The waiting is always there; however, it’s up to me to determine how I’ll spend my time in the drab room with the uncomfortable, plastic furniture and the tacky, mass produced artwork hanging on the walls. Will I be productive, or will I fidget about as I wait for my REAL life to begin?