printing ticket, please wait

Today you are as old as you ever have been and as young as you ever will be.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 11.47.34 AM

Today’s Morning Pages prompt in CO301D is about waiting, about “the big wait,” to be precise. What are you waiting for? Wait up. Wait a minute. Please wait. I could go on, but I’ll just say that when I entered the word “wait” on Google images to make the image to the left of today’s Morning Pages prompt, I found more phrases than would fit. I bet you want to see the prompt. Have you read it yet? Okay, I’ll wait.

(Ahem.)

A little over a year ago, much to my mother’s chagrin, I got a tattoo on my left wrist that says no(w)here. I talk with my hands a lot, so it’s always fun to see people’s heads twist slightly mid-conversation in an attempt to read it. I inscribed it on my body as a dual reminder to be “now here” if I feel myself drifting away from the present, or “nowhere” if I need to let myself retreat from my work obsession and just be. At the top left of the tattoo, you can also see a drop of water leading into the script. It likewise symbolizes my dual needs for impact and serenity.

The tension between now here and nowhere is one I’ll always struggle with, I guess, because life always seems to feel like the “big wait.” On a pretty regular basis, I find myself experiencing anxiety or regret over the fact that I’ve waited too long to ________ and have in the process missed my window to do said ______. The words in the blank vary on a regular basis–meet the proposal deadline, play the piano, eat the bread before it molds, be on time, go on the hike, send the birthday card, really listen, finish the article, make the call, pay the bill.

I just as often experience anxiety or yearning because “I can’t wait to ____.” Get paid, be on vacation, finish the manuscript, celebrate the big day,  reach my goal weight, hear the results. And when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to win a medal, get a dog, go to kindergarten, wear a bra, make the basketball team, turn thirteen or sixteen or twenty-one, get to college, meet Mr. Right (which I had done in 3rd grade, but just didn’t know it yet), graduate from college, be a mom, finish my thesis or dissertation or first book.

Increasingly, I’m realizing that words in the blanks may vary, but the blanks themselves never go away.

I need to look at my wrist more often. I need to be no(w)here. I don’t know when that will happen, but I do know

I can’t wait.

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