the art of waiting…

Ready, set…wait! That’s pretty much been the theme of my life for the past year and a half. The year before I came to Indonesia was full of waiting–I was waiting for official approval to come to Indonesia, waiting for funding to come through, waiting for my visa…and so on. When I got to Jakarta I thought that the waiting would be over—I was finally here! But I was  actually quite wrong…Indonesia is also full of waiting—just a different kind of waiting. Here I wait for the bus, wait in traffic, wait to hear back from people…well you get the picture.

The other day I was walking to get coffee with an Indonesian friend, and I was apparently speed walking towards the coffee shop. He mentioned that it was so funny how Westerners seemed to always be in a hurry, even when they were just hanging out. At the moment I just chuckled a little, slowed down and didn’t think too much of it. It wasn’t until later that week, when I was in the car stuck in traffic, that I realized that waiting is an art. It’s a process. Though I knew it before, I truly realized that life is not about getting from one destination to the other; it’s about being fully present where you are—even if that means being stuck in the car in traffic for two hours.

I have learned a lot from my Indonesian friends this past year, but I think the art of waiting is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. If you’re always rushed, if you’re always frustrated that things don’t happen right away, you will live a frustrated life. It’s so much better to embrace the waiting. I must say that I am still working on this—because my type A “get things done quickly” mentality kicks in quite often, but I really am trying to learn the art of waiting…

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