I don’t know who will see this, if anyone will find it remotely interesting, or if it will speak to where you’re at. I don’t know who reads my blog…all I know is that I have some 2000 people who see these posts and think I’m an ok, kinda sorta funny, 29 year old and I love and appreciate that so much. Seriously, when I started this blog, I thought I would just write a few things and maybe someone would be encouraged. But when you get emails that ask “When are you going to write more? This once in a blue moon thing isn’t going to cut it”, that means the world.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a terribly impatient person. I can’t do it. I can barely wait for my water glass to be refilled and waiting for something worth so much more makes my skin crawl. I can’t. I literally can’t do it.
I’m a graduate student at an incredible university, that even with all its quirks and weirdness, I feel like I’m supposed to be here. I have the best friends. I have the best church and life group. I love it here. I love Norman, Oklahoma and don’t want to leave. But…< *don’t you hate this? I always hate the “but” that usually comes after all the good and great things someone has pointed out about you*> I’m still waiting…
Waiting is just… the literal worst. No one likes it. No one likes waiting for someone to call. No one likes waiting for money to hit the bank account. No one likes swiping their credit card, hoping they can buy the bare minimum groceries sitting in the basket. No one likes waiting for test results. No one likes waiting. What I’ve recently realized is there is a lot of life that happens while you wait. I’ve decided to document it and hopefully, you get a laugh or two out of it.
While you’re waiting, take time to…
- Breathe. You can’t change what will or won’t happen. By you holding your breath, all you’re doing is causing yourself internal pain and your facial color to change. Stop it. Breathe.
- Sleep. Did you know sleep is important to your daily functioning? No? Allow me to demonstrate its importance with this: my friend Katie and I were talking the other night and she said “Linds… I was so tired the other day, I took a video of me driving home. Look at my eyes…one of them is drooping so low, it looks like my eye is closed! Honestly, when I figured out I parked my car outside my house, I don’t know how I even got home”. Y’all. I’ve been where Katie has been. In fact, while I was writing my comprehensive exam, I got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep every night for a solid 3 weeks. The week the exam was due, I had 3 days where my total sleep amount was 8 hours. 8 HOURS FOR 3 DAYS. Y’all, my whole life was a miracle during February. I really should not have been allowed to drive a car, cut vegetables, or talk to people with that little sleep. Take time to sleep.
- Talk to someone. I don’t know about you, but I tend to bottle my emotions up because I’m the happy go lucky girl who loves to support and celebrate others. I love listening to people. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I love laughing until I’m crying. I love how infectious laughter is…BUT, I’m also human, and every happy go lucky girl has her limits. I am so weak, you guys. I am tired. And when I am tired, I cry. When I am weak, the happy go lucky Linds goes away and in her place is the real, raw Linds that no one but my sisters and parents and maybe 2 friends have seen. I knew I needed to talk to someone when I found myself crying over my notes in the middle of the library at OU. It was like all of a sudden, I was noticing my notes were all smeared. I was losing my edge. The greatest thing was in my phone, I have several people I could reach out to. When I let it out, and my friend let me just cry and said “it sucks, but you’re stronger than this… you can do it”, I felt like it was ok to be my true self, happy go lucky or weak. You’re stronger when you have that support system. Let people in. It’s good for your soul and for your sanity.
- Eat and drink. The last 2 weeks have been horrifyingly awful for me. I went to Whataburger on Saturday night and couldn’t eat all of my burger and fries… AND IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW THIS IS A TRAVESTY. Why? Stress kills not only my vibe, but my appetite. Luckily, my friend Dylan was like “Ummm I know you didn’t eat lunch and you probably ate half a donut for breakfast. You’re eating dinner. Do it.” I’ve forgotten to drink water. If it weren’t for Hailey and Jess checking in to make sure I’m still mentally aware of what’s happening, I would probably be very dehydrated. Don’t be that person who neglects all the important things because you feel you can’t make it. You can, and in order to do so, you need food and drink.
- Celebrate…but carefully. I’m all about the celebration. I love it all. But when I’m feeling lost or hurt or absolutely like my future is so unsettled, I tend to go overboard. And yes, I’m talking about alcohol. It’s a vice that temporarily makes me bold and even more happy than I am…keyword is temporary. When I wake up after a night of drinking that went too far, I feel guilty and dirty. It’s like I know my limits and went so far past them that it literally causes me pain the next day. Luckily, this hasn’t happened in what seems like ages, but has really been a few months. I went out recently and had a blast. I had 2, maybe 3 drinks, and the rest of the time, I drank water and just laughed with my friends. I didn’t feel guilty at all. I actually felt like if I hadn’t gone out with friends, I would’ve been worse. Worry and stress keep you high strung and physically hurting. When you’re able to release that and just be you, its so rewarding when you go home and fall asleep.
- Hug someone. I need hugs in order to function. Some people need acts of service. Others need gifts. Me? If you see me, just hug me. I remember when my parents came to Norman the week my exam was due and when I saw my dad standing in my house, I fell apart. I stood there and wept. And what did my dad do? Just hugged me. Just told me he was so proud of me for what I’ve accomplished in a year’s time. My mom just sat next to me while I printed out my basketball ticket. I was emotionally on edge and ready to lose it that my parents and sister just let me. Up until this point, I’m pretty sure my family has only seen me lose it a few times, but this time, they didn’t tell me not to. They didn’t tell me to pull it together. They just hugged me. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
- Encourage…someone else. I know. It’s hard when you’re facing a freaking huge challenge yourself to change your focus to someone else. You should take the time to look around you and see who’s needing encouragement. Most of the time it’s the person who’s writing my name on my Starbucks cup. You can tell people have overlooked them and just wanted their coffee. I’ve started being intentional when I’m at the market or Starbucks. I make sure my phone is in my bag or pocket and always ask how they are. Friday, I was at Q’Doba and the guy helping me was run down and frustrated. The group in front of me was oblivious to the fact he was trying to serve them because they were on their phones. When I got to the register I said “Are you doing ok?” and he just stopped and looked at me and said “you’re the first person who’s asked me that…I’m ready for this week to be over… Today sucked”. I simply smiled and said “Yeah, I feel you on that. It’s been a week for sure”. He looked at me and said “You know what… just take this. It’s on the house. Are you always like this?” I said “I’m trying to be.” Y’all. You don’t know who needs to be acknowledged but you should take time to.
- Pray. I wish I could say I pray all the time and my heart life is in perfect condition. It’s not. I’d be lying if I said it was perfect. Actually, if I’m being honest, my prayer life sucks. Like I pray, but it’s the usual “Hey God, it’s me, Linds. Keep me from hurting people using only my words today. K. Thanks”. It’s nothing substantial. I put an expectation on myself for April. My faith has been a little lacking lately, so I told the Lord that April was my month. It’s my month for amazing results and a for sure YOU GET TO GRADUATE on my exam and not just any job, but THE job on OU’s campus. I told the Lord that I have the faith to see those things come to pass. Have they yet? Nope. But it’s still April. This is the first time in a long time that I look to the Lord with this confident expectation (hello… it’s called HOPE) that God is going to answer me, but in a better way than what I even know. Did you know it’s completely appropriate to tell the Lord your expectations? He wants that. He wants you to be so open and vulnerable with him that you just naturally spill it. So, I’ve been incredible vulnerable with the Lord. I believe he knows what he’s doing with me. He knows why the time is taking longer than expected for my test results. He knows why I haven’t heard anything for 2 of the jobs I’m so excited and passionate about. He knows. So why am I still so uptight about waiting? Because even though I know it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to, since its not up to me, it drives me absolutely crazy. This is why we are not good left to our own devices. This is why as human beings we need someone to contend and fight for us. Because us fighting for ourselves would be a complete and utter nuisance. This is why prayer is a necessity to this waiting life.
When you’re in the waiting room, it’s not time to freak out. It’s actually the best time to breathe, to focus and to get yourself ready for what’s coming. The waiting room is the last stop before the next phase begins. When you leave the waiting room, your life changes in an instant. It isn’t going to be the same after that. So, while you wait, no matter how long it takes, think about all the life you’ve lived. Think about all the lessons you’ve learned, the friends you’ve made and the moments you walked away with. I guarantee you, what’s next will be even better than what you’ve just went through. And guess what? If you did horrible in this waiting room, there will be another, maybe not as long, but another one for sure. And because you’ve been through this one, it’ll be a bit easier to rest, pray, focus and prepare.
Don’t get too hurried in the waiting room… Just trust me… Don’t.