Paul and I have recently developed a little bit of an addiction to The Blacklist. We love crime shows, and we especially love crime shows that let us play detective a little bit.
Anyways, there’s an episode of The Blacklist where Red is waiting to speak to an associate who works at the DMV. And, like in real life, he’s given a number and then, the waiting commences.
The DMV: It’s a place where we go to wait. And wait. And wait. And then finally get our license renewed or the registration approved on our car. But basically, it’s a place we go to wait.
I often feel like my mid-twenties are one ginormous waiting game: this decade, so far, has essentially been life’s version of the DMV. I’ve waited on my dream apartment, for the hiring manager to get back to me, for the right guy to come into my life.
So, much like the DMV, my mid-twenties have turned into a time where I’m really developing patience. And, news flash, patience is not a virtue I was born with. Here’s how I’ve coped:
I remind myself that every failure gets me closer to success. Continuously striking out, whether it be with job applications or first dates, just means you’re getting closer to that once in a lifetime, knock it out of the park, grand slam of an opportunity (hey, it’s spring training. I’ve got baseball on the brain). Fairy tales taught us that you’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, and in baseball, even the best hitters strike, fly, or ground out 70% of the time.
I find real-life examples where patience has paid off. When I applied to college, several schools offered me admission before Georgia didn’t accept me until February. If I hadn’t gone to UGA, I would’ve missed out on some of my very best friends. Similarly, if I had married the first guy I fell for, I would’ve settled for good and totally missed out on great. Both times, the waiting was the worst, but the outcome made all the waiting worth it.
I focus on what I can control to pass the time. When I’m playing a waiting game, going to the gym, signing up for a race, or planning a trip serves as a welcome distraction. Even more importantly, it reinforces that I’m in control of my life, even if I’m not in control of a specific situation.
…and when I have to, I let myself have a good cry, vent to a friend, mope a little bit, and binge on a guilty pleasure TV show. Sometimes, waiting gets the best of you, and the only way to cope is to throw a mini pity party, get your feelings out, and then move on. The key here is to keep the pity party to one night only, and then make sure you’ve got a solution-oriented friend who won’t let you self-sabotage longer.
Do your mid-twenties feel like the DMV? Any tips or tricks to make the waiting game a little less painful and a little more fun?