The Right Timing
When I was still in grade school, I had a ritual. Every year, on the first day of school, I would take up an entire page with a calendar that stretched from the first day of school to my birthday. I would date each square methodically, count out the dates in-between and slowly cross them out one-by-one in a countdown to my birthday.
I'm not good at waiting for things.
I'm not patient, I don't live in the moment or the present very well. I'm either stuck on memories or counting down to the future.
I am intrinsically convinced that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the perfect timing for everything in my life. I could probably come up with a five year plan, heck, a ten year plan of my perfect plan and my perfect timing.
For my 11th or 12th birthday, I hosted my very own monkey themed birthday party. I invited my friends and planned everything down to the minute. I'm not kidding, by the way, I typed out a minute-by-minute itinerary with every activity perfectly scheduled.
11:00: Everyone arrives
11:05: Outside time
11:15: Make banana milkshakes
(something like that).
Of course, no one followed my plans back then, and life certainly doesn't follow my plans now.
My senior year of college I felt strongly that Erick and I should go ahead and get engaged. In my mind, it was the right timing. We had been dating for 4-5 years at the time, I knew he was the person I wanted to be with, and I was set to graduate in just a few months.
Erick, eternally the logical one in the relationship, waited. Despite my constant reminders about *timing*, he waited.
He saw what I couldn't at the time, how much better our life together would be better if we started on a solid footing. If he finished his master's degree and got a job first, and if I got a job first, and if we figured out where we'd be located first.
I see that now, looking back, and I'm eternally grateful to Erick for his foresight and thoughtfulness. I'm so glad we didn't rush into something because of my ideas of timing, or because everyone else was doing it.
Then finally, this year, our time had come (or so I thought). We excitedly planned our wedding, after many years of dreaming of the day (at least for me, read this blog for proof). We set the date and booked the vendors and sent out invitations.
And literally 2 days after I sent out our invites, we had to postpone.
And now, we've indefinitely set everything into limbo... There is no date to count down to. There is no calendar I can draw that can tell me when we'll get the opportunity to celebrate with our friends and family.
The thing is, I thought I would lose my mind entirely at the lack of plan. I thought it would drive me to madness, to the brink or over the edge. I thought I needed things to count down to.
I think, though, that I'm learning something else instead.
Like this tweet I sent out earlier this year:
I think I'm learning that there are an infinite number of small things to "count down" to, and be grateful for. I never knew how excited I could be for a Zoom game night, a phone call with a friend, a really great new recipe for chilli, a new season of a reality TV show.
I'm trying to lean into it, into this moment. I'm trying to let this crazy, terrifying, unprecedented time teach me something about patience and timing.
Instead of planning out my perfect life, I am realizing that my perfect life is what it is, no matter how much I try to map it out. I never could've anticipated this pandemic, or countless other derailments along the way. Basically, why should I plan everything so obsessively that I miss out on the little good nuggets right in front of me.
*Whispers* To be honest with you, now that we have definitely given up on a wedding date, I'm feeling excited about planning it again for the first time since mid-February.
Sometimes I hate how we take things for granted, only to realize it once it's gone forever. But I know I definitely took all of my plans for granted. I am hoping to use this time to make me even more grateful for family gatherings, birthday parties, weddings, concerts, movie premieres and everything else we've planned and lost this year.
I am hoping it will teach me a little bit of patience.
I think this post is mostly a lot of rambling, but if you enjoyed it, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more updates. Also, subscribe to my newsletter. I promise not to spam you ever, and just send you good things.
What are you learning right now? Leave a comment and let me know!