When I used to live in New York City, there would be days when I would meet up with my friend Libby in the middle of Grand Central Station at the end of our workday.
We would climb the stairs up to overlook the grand foyer, right where the Apple Store now sits, and we would not say much for a little while. We would just look down at all the people rushing to get home. We’d point out all the ones who were waiting for something. Specifically a someone.
“That one,” she’d point out to me. “Him.”
“He’s waiting on her,” I’d connect the dots, finding the girl in the red tights from across the way who would soon be running up to him to pull him in closer.
We’d point them out from a distance. One by one. A guy and a girl meeting up after a longer day.
I don’t know how many times we did that. How many times we sat and we talked about our days with one another while we watched other people waiting. Regardless, it is still one of my favorite things about Grand Central– it’s a reminder of how there is something terribly romantic and awful about waiting. And the two feelings seem to exist at the same time.
I didn’t date much while I lived there.
Not that year. I cried too often and figured therapy was a better option than dating ever could be. I kind of tortured myself thinking. “I’m too broken to be date-able.” And while I don’t think dating is the key to not being a train wreck (one must be willing to pull themselves out from a wreckage), I also think we are too hard on ourselves sometimes. Life is really short. We can be super dramatic. Perhaps sometimes we are supposed to wear the red lip stick, go out, and meet the cute boy.
So I signed up for a dating site. One of those free ones where people seem to sit on the Emoji button a little too much. And I went out with an extremely sweet bagpipe player who also played rugby (I still don’t know if there is a better combination than that). He had the kindest eyes and his texts made me feel seen. He didn’t ever know my heart was already broken and trying to put itself back together daily.
But I remember there were a few times when we would meet up after work in the middle of Grand Central. Him and I– by the big clock. I have to be honest– I haven’t really found the feeling that is better than the one that comes from knowing someone is waiting for you. Wanting you. Hoping you’ll show.
It’s a waiting game.
A lot of us are waiting. For answers. For people to love us. For someone to change. A lot of us are waiting on love. It’s like we grew up into a world that promised us one day we would get love- our missing piece of the puzzle. And I guess I still want to believe in that. I want to believe that hope isn’t just something that got me through high school, and got me through college, and pushed me to stay optimistic. And while I no longer believe that there is just one person in the world for us, I still want to believe he’s out there. (Hey you– I still think you’re out there.)
So we get a lot of choices. And sometimes those choices look like waiting. Sometimes those choices look like being wild. Spontaneous. Deciding to step forward and into the woods– facing our fears and deciding not to talk of them any longer.
Life isn’t a waiting room and yet so many of us are waiting. We can’t help it.
And I guess we could either feel gutted or hopeful. Gutted or hopeful. There are the two options. We could either trace people in Grand Central that are getting what we want or we could see the truth: the ones who have that “one thing” are probably often waiting for something else. We won’t always know what that is. We are all waiting on secret things that we neglect to write in our diaries at night.
Maybe it’s for the fog to lift. Maybe it’s for someone to finally leave us. A lot of us are waiting on disaster. I am not certain why but too many of us are waiting for God to give up. Like he’s gonna turn around, see our crying face, and finally whisper, “Enough. I am through.”
But maybe, just maybe, the opposite could happen in our waiting. A miracle might come. A blessing might show up. Maybe God is gonna be the one who scoops us up– as if he saw us helpless and doe-eyed in Grand Central that whole time– and finally tell us the words we need to hear, “Little one, the waiting is over. The waiting is over.
Come on, we’re moving. It’s gonna be so good.”
You know, even in those times where I knew no one was going to meet me by the clock, I had someone right beside me who asked me about my day. She would meet me in the middle of any day when everything felt like it was falling apart. When I stopped seeing myself and the good in who I was as a human being. She’d be there– whether I was crushed in spirit or ready for another round of resilience. And together we could pluck the people from the crowd who were waiting, just like us.
We wait. That’s certain. We wait for things.
But we never are waiting alone.
11 thoughts on “When waiting.”
You are absolutely right! I am still waiting, I have waded through some good times and good people, some bad times and bad people and I am still waiting for the one I am suppose to be with and what I am suppose to be doing with my life and time is running out!
Love Grand Central! One of the great train stations!
Hi Hannah, Lovely post. I spent too much of my life waiting. At around 35, I starting going after what I wanted. Too many nights spent crying in my apartment wondering why so and so did what and what to me.
And it’s only gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older. I believe we make things happen in our lives by taking chances on life, on business, on love. So many times I made eye contact with a guy on the subway. Our glances grew longer and longer. We got off the train at the same time. He said something. I said something. And we each walked off into the fog of not knowing why no one said, “let’s grab a coffee.”
you always know what’s in my heart ❤ thanks for this, hannah.
Hi Hannah! I was really happy to see that today’s post was about “waiting”. Lately, I have thought too much about “waiting” and why we wait. You know the saying “wait and things will fall into place”? I have thought a lot about this phrase and I have come to the conclusion that maybe this isn’t the best advice. Instead, people should walk around saying “don’t wait for things to fall into place, you need to PUSH them into place!” It sounds scary but you have to do it. No one is going to do it for you. YOU have to go after what YOU want and mold YOUR future. When I came to this realization, I was surprised. I surprised myself because I am the girl who is too patient for her own good. I like sitting on the sidelines and wait for good things to come. Wait for love to come. When 2015 rolled around, I told myself “Hey you, you need to be brave and fearless and live a little. Surround yourself with good people and be happy. A boy will come. It’s ok to wait for him but don’t wait on living your life now.” As you said, until the things we wait for show up on our doorstep, we get to grow, learn, and spend time with the ones we love. Time has to pass in order to wait for something, might as well make the most of it!
Thank you again for another great post!
Great post! Is this for general speaking with waiting or are you just waiting for love of your life? It is true we are waiting for things in our life. We are the only ones who can push to get past those waiting periods. Is your waiting pointless? Does it have purpose? Are you in a stand still? I like how you make the reader think about the whole “waiting” period. Thanks for sharing!
THIS..hits me home. ❤ beautiful words as always, hannah.
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The world needs more of Hannah Brencher ❤