The art of waiting

April 01, a date that people across the globe celebrate as all fools day, however, for students / recent graduates / young professionals living in the U.S. it has a different meaning all together. It is the day that marks the beginning of the H1B filing season. A day, which most of us patiently work towards, unknowingly perhaps, from the day we set foot in the U.S. It teaches us the art of waiting.

A lot has been said and written about the virtue of waiting. Religion being our first teacher, imbibes in us, the value of waiting for our turn, promising us with the sweet reward for our patience. We’re told to wait in line, which some of us fail to do at most government offices. Nevertheless, we do it in the most rustic form. It stems from our basic understanding of the concept, that, if I put in my time (by waiting) when my turn comes, I shall be rewarded with my work being taken care of swiftly.

This however, is not always the case.

It’s been three years and three months, since I moved back to India. It was a tough decision, but it had to be done. Three years later, I find my mind drifting back to the day that, I packed up my apartment, donated things, which I never thought I would part ways with and buying that one-way ticket back to Calcutta. During that flight from Boston to home, via Dubai, it taught me a few things about myself that I had probably not realized in the seven years that I had lived away from home, independently.

The art of waiting comes from the belief system that, eventually, things will fall into place. Life as we know it, will change, I mean it has to, right? After all, that’s what we’re taught. The unfortunate reality of life is that waiting doesn’t yield the necessary outcome that we desire. The first news article that I read this morning was about a woman news anchor, who had to read out, on air the news of a car crash. A car, that could potentially belong to her husband. The article says, that she stoically read the breaking news with utmost professionalism and waited for the segment to be over. She waited. Waited to confirm a person’s worst fear possible.

It’s been four months since I quit my job. The initial high of quitting, soon disappeared when I found that I no longer had a purpose to get out of bed each morning. The conviction with which I had quit my job was slowly slipping away. It dawned on me that, in my need to stick to my ethical and moral compass, I probably took a not so wise decision. But, that’s the thing about decisions, once you take them; you’re obligated to see them through. Not ‘cause of pride, but, because, intrinsically we would like to believe, that it no longer fits into the grand scheme of things in our life. Coupled with the faith that, this waiting period will eventually, yield our desired outcome.

In an ideal world, the art of waiting would always result in things working out in our favor. Which reminds, me of the Jim Carrey movie, Bruce Almighty, where he plays God for a few days. He starts off by granting everyone’s wishes, only to realize that wishes being granted might not always be good for that person(s).

Waiting can be cathartic, it gives you time to reflect, and appreciate the little things. At the same time, it can seem futile. I guess, it depends on which end of the spectrum you’re viewing it from.


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