What Are You Waiting For?

I have an issue I’m going to raise today with a phrase that we all hear, and declare much too often when there is something we need, or are wanting, to do. It goes something along the lines of:

“I will do it. I’m just waiting for the right time.”

Newsflash: You are not waiting for the right time. You are just waiting…or rather, wasting time.

‘Waiting for the right time’ is what I call DISCLAIMER TALK for ‘Wasting away the time.’

What mystical power has been bestowed upon you that will give notice as to the ‘right time?’ Has the horoscope in the tabloids instructed you to wait until 5:16pm on September 24th? Are you waiting for a bird to poo poo on your head? I am thrilled to announce: THE TIME HAS COME. Technically, this means the time has already arrived, and it’s actually ahead of you. It will always be ahead of you if you are waiting for it which, I understand is a contradiction, but it does brings me to my point that time is actually waiting for you.

The age old phrase goes: ‘Time flies by’ and the last time I checked, things that fly go pretty darn fast. Those seconds aren’t stopping for anyone. So why do we use up so many of them hesitating?

Something else that dawned on me is that for many people, the question isn’t ‘What are you waiting for?’ but rather, ‘what are you AFRAID OF?’ (Most probably) something, or someone, is holding us back; stopping us from leaping towards what it is we know we want a taste of. We may need to invest some time into realizing what it is that is making us hesitate, and then politely advise it to ‘MOVE BITCH, GET OUT DA WAY’. If it is someone’s negative words or energy, then you need to relieve them of their duties in a similar – but perhaps less profane – way. You can either make them aware of their negativity, or just cut them loose. I know that sounds really harsh, but there are a lot of emotional vampires out there that need to go cold turkey from the happiness of others. Think of it as doing your bit for society.

Another thing to consider (don’t hate me please, I’m sure you knew this was coming): That ‘someone’ could in fact be yourself. Your own fears and doubts preventing you from hitting that task head on. This world is full to the brim with demons, but it often feels like the biggest, meanest and most cynical ones are inside of us; armed with fantastic excuses and warnings to plant in our minds. Cutting these out can be a bit harder as you’ve probably been living with them for a very long time. They may be deeply rooted from events in childhood, or years of repressed feelings. It could be the simple fact that you are afraid to fail. And who isn’t? But here is the beautiful part: You may indeed fail. But you have to try, to fail. In all honesty, there is a great probability that you will fail. The difference is that your efforts were not a waste of time. This is because you were making active steps towards your goal rather than passively expecting the steps to make themselves. Your efforts would have taught you the way not to do something. So that when you do try again, it will be with greater wisdom.

Now I personally am a long-standing member of the High Committee of Procrastination. For example, about 2 years ago, I said I wanted to DJ, alongside working as an actress. Nearly two years later, I was yet to spin any decks outside my bedroom (unless you count a gig in the garden for my Dad’s 50th. But even I won’t let myself off on that). Two months ago now, I went to New York City for a workshop and ended up in a bar one weekend. My friends and I were having a great time; great shapes were being made, when I decided to chat with the DJ. I don’t know whether it was the significant amount of Bud Light flowing through my bloodstream, giving me fresh Dutch Courage (I’m African, but hey ho), my new acid-wash hot pants, or just the feeling New York City gives you that you’re invincible, but I went up there. We got talking and I noticed that he had a more advanced version of the decks I’d been ‘tearing up’ my bedroom floor with. So I asked if I could have a fool around for 5 minutes.

Luckily for me, the DJ was a lovely man and let me go ahead. I’m sure in another time and place I may have been not so discretely escorted from the bar. So I took the headphones, stood over the mixer and just started to go for it. An hour and a half later, I was still there. It was so exhilarating. Being in control of the mood of the night, as well as being in my favorite city in the world. It was sublime. The DJ even asked me to come back the next night and play. I know that if I had that kind of approach to everything in life; to just go for it, I’d be a different person. But knowing that this person is inside me has given me a renewed lease on many aspects of my life. And I believe everyone has a similar Sasha Fierce/Ziggy Stardust/Meat-Covered Gaga they can tap into (without the need for alcohol!). But that force of nature might be hidden under years of being just a bit frightened to go for it.

Friends, Romans, Trojans and Countrymen, it is with this that I urge you to just get on with it. Whatever it is that you are ‘waiting’ for: DON’T. It’s not taking a leisurely stroll towards your lap. The power is right inside of you, and it’s waiting for YOU to pounce. And if you’ve got to cut out some negativity from your life first, get hacking! I now have a huge list of those things I’ve been ‘waiting’ to do: Record a demo, learn Spanish, get my second holes pierced…and so on, and so forth. And I’m well aware that most of these things can’t be done in a day. But I’m going to tackle them with the belief that they will be done.

A word of caution: It is important to find a balance with time. So that you don’t feel like you’re wasting it doing nothing, but at the same time, you’re not in that manic ‘I-need-to-achieve-everything-by-a-certain-age-or-date-or-else-I’m-a-failure’ zone. That extreme is just as unhelpful. Finding a way in which we can ride with time is the key to actually enjoying the ride.

The RIGHT TIME is the moment you make a start. And – a bold but proved statement – I guarantee that when you do begin, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so any sooner. But after spending so much time waiting, let’s not squander any more looking back on decisions we didn’t make earlier. This is not the time for regret; this is the time for action.

So charge on!



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