Why is waiting so intolerable? Typical pieces of art and photography show waiting as a human being looking out across open landscapes, windows or the sea. They indicate a phase of uncertainty—both in time and outcome. But aside from the uncertainty of waiting, there is another interpretation: that waiting indicates that the world outside is indifferent to us. That the importance we attach to our every step is not felt universally and that outside of our own checkpoints we make for ourselves, there is an empty, waiting space threatening to crush us.
But what if waiting could be reinterpreted as a positive, life affirming force? One that people do not go out of their way to avoid, but see as a looking outwards—a movement outside of our own pre-conceptions. The empty space in images of waiting represent the mind as emptiness—it is an interlude where something else can take over—something better.
When we think of waiting it’s not just for a train or bus, it could be a fundamental period of change in your life: waiting for the one; for a good job; for inspiration. Waiting is inescapable even if we don’t realise it. Yet it is how we deal with waiting that really changes whether waiting is positive for us or not. If when waiting for the love of your life you go out of your way to avoid the feeling of waiting by dating lots of partners who are not really what you want, you’ll spend your waiting in a negative way. Rather than using your energy to self-develop, meet new friends and expand your mind, you’ll become fearful of waiting— seeing your bad experiences with men/women as negative. But if you do choose to wait without fear, you’ll eventually meet someone who is better than you would’ve found before your wait. He/she will find all the friends you made, places you travelled to, and your newfound independence beautiful.
Even if you are stuck (like me) in a pretty grey job that makes Monday to Friday a little soul destroying to say the least, we never have to be stagnant when waiting for something we really want. We have to accept our waiting and have faith that if we can wait and use our time as productively as possible, we will come out of our waiting better. Maybe like J.K. Rowling we will find our own Harry Potter moments by doing something tedious like sitting on a train.