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Not So Simply Waiting

Updated on November 3, 2017

The thought of death frightens me, it keeps me up at night – trembling, gasping for air, helpless and silent.

I do not fear the act of dying; I fear failing to live.

I fear being in a state of constantly waiting to begin.

I find myself afraid of never starting.

I fear living to appease others – never living for myself.

I fear running out of time and dying before I have truly lived.

My nightmare is spending my only years on Earth on everything except me.

Milestone after milestone, I think now my life begins. After this, I will finally be able to do what I want. Once I finish this, then I will get going. And as I hope for the future, I watch the days pass by so quickly and effortlessly.

Meanwhile, I sit and wait stagnant and unchanging.

If I attempt to move forward and evolve – I struggle and sink faster in this quick sand. My mind becomes restless, stressed and unhappy with my current place in time. As if I am struggling to stay afloat with weights tied to my ankles.

I kick and scream, I wrestle the water with the aim of making it to shore. Instead, I fall further back, my arms and legs become weak and as I gasp for air my hope is lost in the darkness of the water around me.

In order to preserve whatever life I have, my emotional and mental happiness. I’m forced to calm down, I grab a nearby log and float. I sit in the sand pit and become as still as possible.

It is the most helpless feeling; to know that life is passing by so rapidly with so many opportunities and chances, and the only way to stay alive is let it happen.

Let them pass, watch them as they go, desperately holding on to my life raft. Hoping that my weights will fall off and I will be able to swim again.

I think, someday I will make it to shore - just not today. I am involuntary forced to wait, I must become satisfied to sit and linger.

I reluctantly watch days turn into nights filled with hope that shortly I’ll be able to move again.

And that is what keeps me up at night, that treacherous thought of “yes, it is ok to wait”. The thought, “I can sit and wait for my time”.

So extremely perilous since there isn’t much time left to waste.

© 2017 Elise Reed


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    • Namelessintheeast profile image

      Nameless in the east 8 days ago from USA

      Elise, again this is very well written. The illusion- A log in a pond, is very apt and the image captures the mood and carries the reader into your piece.

      This is also interesting in that much of your writing involves symbols and metaphors which carry the reader through and leave a memorable image and anchor: A boat, statue, tossing and swirling leaves, rain, a hole filled with darkness and now, a log in a bog. You do, I think, have a proper balance between images and explicit description. If one picks the right images from the start, one need not waste time with minute description. Pick the image first ……..

      The only thing I might suggest is to condense the first sprinkling of sentences at the beginning and group the ideas together. One idea is living for others, the other is not living at all:

      “I do not fear the act of dying; I fear constantly waiting to begin, of never starting. I fear running out of time and dying before I have truly lived.

      My nightmare: To spend my only years on Earth for everything except me. Living to appease others – never living for myself. My life, as a living death.”

      I sincerely hope you will continue writing as you sail forth in life and begin new projects. I look forward to your next piece.

      I wish you peace of mind, good company, strength, satisfaction and the care of those around you.

      Good day Elise (keep warm!!!)


      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

      Courage to change the things I can,

      And wisdom to know the difference.

      Reinhold Niebuhr

    • Namelessintheeast profile image

      Nameless in the east 8 weeks ago from USA

      Elise, I have been wanting to write a thorough comment on your piece here-But, it will have to wait. Let me just say, your writing is tight, precise and your emotions strong.

      Your deployment will be over soon. Please, for all those that care, be good to yourself, be kind.......

    • JP Silva profile image

      Silva 2 months ago from Los Angeles

      Beautiful honesty.