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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 months ago from USA

      Elise, let me try this again.

      Elise, the use of the phrase “As if …..” is to be avoided as your skill, depth and self-reflection develop. Personally, if I hear this phrase, I immediately conclude the writer lacks experience. The purpose of the phrase is to indicate a “metaphorical” statement. A good story, well told, reveals itself without explicitly telling the reader what to believe or think. As you continue to develop as a writer, you will trust yourself and your readers more. Don’t push your reader, let him fall. Hence: “If I attempt to move forward and evolve – I struggle and sink faster in this quick sand. I am restless and unhappy with my current place in time. This life of mine, frozen….. weights tied to my ankles."

      Also, cadence and rhythm are important. Hence

      “I kick and scream. I wrestle the water trying to reach the shore. I fall further back. My arms and legs, weak. The pain in my chest. I gasp for air. The world turns. Hope bleeds into the darkness. Closing my eyes, the water envelopes me.” Notice, the short sentences invoke struggle. A swimmer as she pounds on the water frantically for survival. If you have a strong statement Elise, a desperate statement, don’t be afraid to have it out.

      Writing, especially creative writing, is a process of bouncing thoughts off yourself and other people. Make sure you are clear who the narrator is and who is speaking. Since you are both, this can be tricky. If you are quoting your own thoughts use quotation marks. Thus, “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. My days draining away- Irreplaceable. “

      Elise, as you get closer to an emotional climax, please spend extra time and care removing all possible clutter. Purity and focus are needed as the emotional tempo increases. Thus you can distill: “To preserve my happiness- My life, I am forced to calm down, grab the nearest log, my head against the bark, floating, frozen. The most helpless feeling; to know that life is passing with so many opportunities and chances. To stay alive, I must let it go.”

      Yes, sometimes to gain, one must give up. And now you face the truth, but you must be stronger: “Let the days pass. I will watch them as they go. Clinging to my life raft, my breath returns. Someday, these weights about my arms and legs will fall and I will swim again.” Someday I will make it to shore - just not today. I will wait. I can wait!”

      But now, perhaps your mood turns. It is getting dark and your legs are burning with fatigue: “The day turns to night. I am drunk with fatigue. The water, thick and warm. My mind, seeks release from the struggle: “Patience and faith. Shortly, you’ll be able to move again. Your time will come again.

      And that is what keeps me up at night, that treacherous thought: “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.”

      Finally Elise, I suggest you condense the 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.”

      Elise, in total we have:

      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 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 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. My days draining away- Irreplaceable.

      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. I am restless and unhappy with my current place in time. This life of mine, frozen. These weights tied to my ankles.

      I kick and scream. I wrestle the water trying to reach the shore. I fall further back. My arms and legs, weak. The pain in my chest. I gasp for air. The world turns. Hope bleeds into the darkness. Closing my eyes, the water envelopes me.

      To preserve my happiness- My life, I am forced to calm down, grab the nearest log, my head against the bark, floating, frozen. The most helpless feeling; to know that life is passing with so many opportunities and chances. To stay alive, I must let it go.

      But then I think, “Let the days pass. I will watch them as they go!” Clinging to my life raft, my breath returns. “Someday, these weights about my arms and legs will fall and I will swim again.” “Someday, I will make it to shore - just not today. I will wait. I can wait!”

      My day turns to night. I am drunk with fatigue. The water, thick and warm. My mind, seeks release from the struggle: “Patience and faith. Shortly, you’ll be able to move again. Your time will come.”

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

      So extremely perilous, since there is so little time left to waste.

      Peace be with you Elise. I look forward to your next piece. It has been a my honor and my pleasure!

      Take care of yourself Elise.

    • Namelessintheeast profile image

      Nameless in the east 

      11 months 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 

      11 months ago from Los Angeles

      Beautiful honesty.

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