I Don’t Want to Wait

Paula Cole at Edmonds Center For The Arts, nor...

Paula Cole at Edmonds Center For The Arts, north of Seattle, 10-23-09 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I don’t want to wait
For our lives to be over
I want to know right now
What will it be
I don’t want to wait
For our lives to be over
Will it be yes or will it be
Sorry ” (Paula Cole)

That song, made famous by Dawson’s Creek, has been playing in the soundtrack in my brain for the past few days. When the show and song began (1998) I was hooked. Yes, I realize it was about high school students, but it spoke to me. I had just graduated with an MFA in Theatre Directing. Although I was 30 years old, I felt like life was just beginning, and I was taking steps toward achieving dreams I could hardly imagine. I had moved in with my boyfriend, when I never though I would find anyone to love me. I had directed shows, and I was going to storm the world of theatre.

Except that I found myself lost, and not sure of what my next steps were.

So, I resorted to my comfort zone, after only a year in the real world and went back for another (useless) degree. I hoped that somehow that would give me more clarity about what I wanted to do with my life.

Nathan followed me, and a week after we moved to Arizona where I would get my doctorate, I was engaged to be married.

Since then life has been a speeding train heading for destinations unknown. I finished my doctorate in three years while planning a wedding and getting married in the middle.  After graduating, even though I had no plan or intention of continuing in academia when I first started in the program, I found myself falling into a series of adjunct faculty positions as our life took over and in some ways I was just along for the ride.

Now, 14 years later, I feel like I’m still waiting because I have no idea what happens next. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, and I don’t  want to wait for my life to be over before I understand it.

Back then, everything seemed possible. Now, I find it even difficult to name my dreams.

I’m still on a speeding train, but I have no idea what my destination might be.

I’m still just along for the ride.

I am trying to be patient and see where life takes me, but sometimes it seems life won’t take you anywhere unless you have a clear idea of where you want to go.

I don’t.

I guess I’m still waiting.


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    May 14, 2012 @ 16:39:24

    Patience is great, but do you know what you want? Do you know where you want life to take you? Hope you had a happy Mother’s Day, Lisa.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      May 14, 2012 @ 16:41:01

      That’s the problem. I don’t know. And I’m tired of waiting to figure it out. I want a blazing sign in the sky pointing me in the right direction. Or a wise mentor telling me what I should do.

      Mother’s Day was lovely, although I ate way too much.


  2. Life in the Boomer Lane
    May 14, 2012 @ 16:49:34

    I’m a strong believer in vision. When we have a vision for our lives, we operate from that, rather than from circumstances. I don’t think vision falls from the sky onto one’s head. Sometimes, it’s hard work to unravel the layers of fear or what we think we should want in order to get to the essence of what juices us, gives us joy, makes us think “Ah, this is what life is about!” There are workshops that enable people to identify their vision. Have you ever participated in a transformational workshop like that? They are life-altering.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      May 14, 2012 @ 17:16:42

      I was hoping to last fall, but I ended up not being able to. I know it takes work and won’t happen with a message from the sky, but I’m just very, very lost right now.


      • Life in the Boomer Lane
        May 15, 2012 @ 19:21:55

        Lisa, I attended the Lifespring workshops 16 years ago. It was the best thing I ever did. Please find a workshop and commit to it. Many of these are only three, four, or five days. It will be the most valuable thing you’ve ever done. I enrolled so many others in Lifespring, including my kids. It was life-altering for everyone. Lifespring no longer exists but there are workshops all over the country.


  3. Andra Watkins
    May 14, 2012 @ 17:52:28

    Lisa, what works for me is just living life and taking it as it comes. If I want something to happen, I make it happen. When I fail, something else ends up happening that works better than doing nothing would’ve. As a perpetual obsessor and worry-wart who had plans for the plans of my life, this new and recent approach has been freeing. It has also been work, but I’m glad I made the effort to change myself. It brought clarity and opportunities of which I never dreamed.


  4. Sparks In Shadow
    May 14, 2012 @ 18:59:25

    Lisa, it feels sad to hear that you’re feeling so lost these days. My difficulties are along a different section of the path of life, but I can see from your words that yours are troubling you as much as mine trouble me. (On a side note, I really wish that people on all the sides of human issues would grasp that we are not interchangeable pieces of a huge puzzle. Our needs are different and we all deserve the right to adrress them in ways that honor our individuality.) But I digress…

    What I wanted to say is that I was in therapy for a while at a place that charged on a sliding scale (and also had student counselors working under supervision of experienced counselors. Those sessions were low cost, too.) My sessions helped me figure out how to address problems I was having, by figuring out my natural thought processes and examining how I communicate with others and with myself. I wonder if this sort of guided self-examination could help you figure out and then focus on what you want at heart.

    I wish you all the best at finding your path. Somehow, through your words, I feel like you’re closer than you think. I hope you are.


  5. Geoff
    May 14, 2012 @ 19:21:39

    I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up but I ~do~ know it will involve taking photographs and writing … it’s something I love and I let it guide me. You know what you love doing … what nourishes you … follow it 🙂


  6. Victoria-writes
    May 15, 2012 @ 05:58:59

    Typically I also loved DC and this song! And I feel the same way sometimes, waiting for the life I want but don’t forget to think about what you do have. I guess it’s the journey really not the destination (see The Climb) 🙂


  7. Trackback: Alone But Not Lonely, Writing in a Crowd « Woman Wielding Words
  8. lifeandothermisadventures
    May 15, 2012 @ 21:53:05

    Honestly, I feel this way too. Although I am figuring my way through a new relationship, I wish I knew what path it would take and what path my life will take… and trying not to worry about it so much.


  9. benzeknees
    May 18, 2012 @ 13:05:19

    For me, what I find helpful is getting a picture in my head of where I want to be next year at this time, 2 years from this time & 5 years from this time. Then I sit down & record everything I see in my future. If my future includes driving a new car, then I take steps now to make it happen when it occurs in my dream (putting a little away each week so I have the down payment when I need it, etc.). If I know what I want my life to look like at different stages, I can plan how to get there from here.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      May 18, 2012 @ 14:13:55

      For the past few years, it’s been hard to plan because events have crashed into us making the expected unexpected. Hopefully that has changed now, so I can start envisioning life again.


  10. mj monaghan
    May 20, 2012 @ 19:05:37

    Lisa, this post really spoke to me. I often feel what you’re describing. And I have the approach Andra has: “… just living life and taking it as it comes.”

    I used to plan my career as a leader/manager, but found out that I had all these creative feelings, and talent (hopefully it’s talent) that I never really tapped in to.

    I still have to work, and I’m quite good at what I do, but I just take it one day at a time.

    Just keep writing and living. If you can make a brief statement about what it is you want to accomplish – as a wife, mother, citizen, etc. – that should help. Not necessarily goals, but overall objective.

    My thoughts are with you; I totally understand where you’re coming from.


  11. newsofthetimes
    May 21, 2012 @ 11:37:32

    I have come to believe that if I plan things too much, I could miss out on the amazing gifts that life presents that I could have never imagined. I feel the way you do right now at times, but then I think of all the interesting twists my life has taken that I never could have planned. Hang in there and enjoy the ride! And follow your passions…whatever they may be today! 🙂 Thanks for the honest and thoughtful post!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      May 22, 2012 @ 14:07:33

      Thanks for reminding me that my life has had interesting twists and turns, without my planning. I’m sure there is another one just around the bend, I just have to be patient.


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