Waiting seasons (motivational long read)

Those seasons in your life where you feel like you’re stuck in the darkness, in a never ending tunnel, or walking for what feels like ages in a desert, are definitely not easy to stay in. You feel like you’ve been waiting for so long in this season and you want to get out of it. Maybe you’re wondering “why me?” or “why am I here?” or “when will this season end?” or “will anything good happen to me?” Maybe you’re tired of waiting and at this point lost all hope. This is the waiting season.

I’ve had my share of waiting seasons in my life. The last major one was years ago in my earlier 20s. I finished my undergrad in university and was working a minimum wage job that mentally drained me and made me miserable. I was at my lowest point. Eventually,  I quit that job; good move for my mental well-being but then felt purposeless. “What am I going to do with my life?” I thought. After endless searching and applying for jobs and getting no answer, that began the season of waiting; waiting for a job, waiting for the idea of what to do next with my life, waiting for something good to happen to me.

As difficult as the waiting season might sound like, it isn’t all that bad. It teaches you to focus on yourself, on what you like, what you want out of life, to do things you never had time to do before, or to pursue the things you’re passionate about again; self-discovery. That’s exactly what I got out of that waiting season. I had time to start writing again. I wrote poems and motivational paragraphs. Writing was part of what kept me sane during this season, and I came to the realization that I wanted to pursue my passion for writing.

My major in university, however, was nothing related to creative writing or writing. This meant that I had to start a new path. It was risky and I hesitated for a long time. Finally, I enrolled in a graduate certificate program related to writing, and I finally felt like I had a purpose again. I felt happier for pursuing my passion, and I finally felt like I was making my way out of the tunnel. I graduated in a year and immediately began working in a field where I was able to write. I made it out of the tunnel, out of the desert, out of the waiting season.

This is proof that even if you’re in the waiting season, you will find yourself out of it. The best things are yet to come if you keep believing that it will. Waiting seasons happen to:

  • give us time to realize things we might not have realized when we were busy doing life
  • allow us to appreciate what we have
  • allow us to slow down and really evaluate ourselves and our life
  • allow us to discover or rediscover our passions and pursue it
  • give us time to recharge
  • build our patience and teach us to trust the timing of our life
  • build character

If you’re in a waiting season right now, I promise that something will come out of it; you need only to be patient. There’s a purpose to this season. Live in this moment. Let me also remind you that you are not being punished. You might look at the people around you and wonder why their circumstances look better. Stop that thinking. You are being kept in this season because you are meant to be somewhere better, and what’s about to happen to you is not ready to be revealed to you yet.

Believe it or not, even though I told you that I made it out of that waiting season, I’m back in that waiting season right now. Waiting seasons don’t just happen once in your life; there are always more tunnels and deserts out there. But this time I know what to do and I feel more assured that something good will come out of this; in fact, I’m enjoying where I am right now even if it’s in the darkness. I’m trying to understand my purpose for being in this season and I’m pursuing that. That’s what we have to keep in mind. That no matter where we are in life, we need to be thankful and enjoy it because it’s temporary. Seasons change.

Your breakthrough is coming.

Advice after ending 2016

  1. It’s okay to outgrow people/friendships. Not every friend you make is meant to grow with you (no matter how long or how strong the friendship was). This was an eye-opener for me. But it showed me that the right people want to stay in every season. If anything, I became even closer to the existing people in my life and/or discovered new friendships.
  2. Stay humble with what you’re given. If you’re not getting what you thought you would or you’re getting less or just not getting what you want, stay humble and grounded. You could be doing your all to get what you want but it could just be that right now is not the time yet. Your time will come. For now, be thankful with what you have.
  3. For every loss, there is a blessing. Losing something or someone is painful. I’ve experienced a death of a loved one, and more within the last year, but there were also gains. Don’t think that it’s over. In time, life surprises you with blessings.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone and take risks because it will reward you. I think some people don’t take risks because they’re scared of what they might lose. In my experience, the risks I’ve taken have rewarded me. I went after my passion (even though I knew it was risky), and I now have a career in it. I wouldn’t have what I have now if I just stayed in my comfort zone. Go after what you want, even if it scares you. That just means it’s a big goal. You are capable of anything. No one is stopping you but you. You have the freedom to make your choices. How can you experience what life has to offer you if you stay where you are? There is more to life and you deserve to experience it.
  5. Stay patient in uncertainty. Man, this was a big one last year. There were situations that I was in where I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be if I stayed in it. It would make me feel discouraged at times because I wanted to know that what I was doing in the situation would be purposeful and not eventually become hard work for nothing. I wanted to have a secure future. But I learned to have faith and let go of that worry and uncertainty. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing is tied to you. Just do your best and give your all anyway for now. If it’s for you, then it’s for you. If not, your destiny is somewhere else. Deal with things as they come/happen. After all, you’re living in the present.
  6. The only person to compete and compare yourself to is yourself. It’s easy to look at the other person and push yourself to be better and do better than them. But this is exhausting and stressful. Everyone’s running their own race in life; focus on your own race. Focus on you.
  7. If you don’t like a situation you’re in, adapt to it or find a way out of it. This goes to the job you have, and so forth. Many people get into this pattern of thinking, that they’re stuck with their situation (job, partner, etc.) and can’t do anything about it. But you can. You have the power to get out of a situation or to ask for help or to think positive thoughts in order to stay strong in your situation.
  8. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers sometimes. Everyone has to work to make a living but don’t forget to live too. Don’t fall into a robotic routine. You haven’t gone out on a romantic date with your partner in a while? Do it. Cherish those around you. You don’t know how long your time on earth is. You don’t want the sum of your life to just be all about work or being too busy for your loved ones.
  9. Stay hungry. And I don’t mean for food (even though I always am hungry for food). Don’t just achieve your goal and get comfortable. One day, you’ll wonder “is this it?”. Or you’ll get discontent with life. Aim higher, make new goals. Ask yourself “what else can I do?” As always, there’s so much more to life. There’s so much more you can do and achieve.