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  • Erika Nichols-Frazer

The Waiting Game


My home office, the land of waiting

I am not a patient person. This seems ironic, given the careers I've chosen. First, as a paralegal at an immigration law firm, I had to wait months or even years for petitions and applications to be adjudicated. Then, in nonprofit management, I am constantly waiting on grant decisions. And, as a writer, I send my stories, poems, and essays out into the void and wait. And wait. And wait. And, finally, get rejected, then start all over again.


I've been feeling anxious about all this waiting, so I did what I do when I'm feeling anxious - I made a list. I wrote down all the things I'm waiting to hear back on. Jobs, payments, writers conference applications, edits on essays that will be published (stay tuned for those), and 31 stories and poems currently out at literary journals.


I don't like feeling powerless (who does?), and yet, I find myself in this position regularly. There's nothing I can do after submitting a story but wait. And wait some more. I'm trying to learn patience, but it feels like a losing battle sometimes. Patience with myself has always been hard for me. It's a mantra I frequently say to myself in the shower, "May I have loving kindness, may I have patience towards myself and others." In the meantime, I'll be here, waiting.

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