The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

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I don’t know about you, but sitting around and waiting for something to happen is my least favorite thing on this earth to have to do. Some people love it – they are obviously in no hurry; some people don’t mind too much, but would rather rip off the proverbial band-aid if given the choice; and some people, like myself, mind it a lot. It just makes me feel like I can’t get much else done until the thing that I’m waiting for finally happens – and try as I may to fill the time with productive activities, there is only so much you can accomplish when you are preoccupied with the outcome of a given situation. Whether it’s waiting to find out if you are finally getting that promotion you deserve, or waiting for your boyfriend of 5 years to finally propose, or waiting for the girl you *wish* was your girlfriend to finally notice you – whatever the particulars of your preoccupation, I feel for you. And I’m not the only one. There are many great songs our there that beautifully capture the various emotions people can feel when faced with a wait.

My favorite (and the inspiration for the title of this post) is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “The Waiting” – never has anyone described (in song or not) so eloquently and succinctly the way waiting can make a person feel:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

Brilliance! And if that wasn’t enough, he really drives it home with:

Oh, don’t let it kill you, baby, don’t let it get to you
Don’t let it kill you, baby, don’t let it get to you
I’ll be your bleedin’ heart, I’ll be your cryin’ fool
Don’t let this go too far, don’t let it get to you

How spot on is that? Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in something that it really does get to you – it takes over and becomes crippling. But Tom – who came up with this brilliant gem back in 1981 – is so right. It’s the best advice I’ve ever been given about how to handle any situation where waiting was involved.

On to another favorite… well, admittedly not a favorite anymore, but it was for a short period in my life when I was 13 years old. My young mind and heart were preoccupied at the time by a single unknown: how long it would be before I would see my first “boyfriend” again. (Boyfriend is in quotes because, well, I was 13 and he lived very far away – I was in NYC and he was in Toronto.) So there would be lots of waiting between the time I first kissed him and the time I would get to see him again. Since I couldn’t exactly get to Toronto on my own, I was beholden to the next yet-to-be-scheduled family trip to visit our relatives up there. And the artist who seemed to know exactly how I was feeling at the time was – and I cannot believe I am about to admit this publicly – Richard Marx. Yep, “Right Here Waiting” was my go to song to get me through many lonely nights when I’d sit in my room and wonder if I’d ever get to see the cute boy with whom I shared my first kiss ever again. Go ahead, have a laugh, but there is nothing funny about these lyrics:

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

I wonder how we can survive
This romance
But in the end if I’m with you
I’ll take the chance

I mean, sappy? Maybe. On point? Definitely. If you love somebody, no amount of time or space should prevent you from ending up together. Funnily enough, while that philosophy didn’t end up applying to that particular boy (again, I was only 13), it did hold true for a relationship many years later in my life with the man who ultimately became my husband. So there you have it – while waiting is hard, it can certainly be worth the wait.

And lastly, there’s the perspective of those who aren’t all that willing to wait around at all… enter The Kinks circa 1965 and their Brit rock hit, “Tired of Waiting for You.” Simple, to the point, and oddly a lot sweeter melodically than the title and lyrics would suggest:

I’m so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep-a me waiting
Please don’t keep-a me waiting

If you haven’t heard the song, you might be expecting angry, gritty vocals backed by distorted guitars and aggressive drums – but instead you get:

No matter what your take on waiting, sometimes we all do simply get tired of it. Here’s hoping that all your “wait”s will come to an end sooner than later. I sure hope mine does.

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these songs about waiting is your favorite.

Right Here Waiting
Tired Of Waiting for You
The Waiting

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