Years ago someone told me a story about their best friend. In this story the best friend (from here on out known as The Woman) was madly in love with a guy.
Over time my memory of the story and what I pictured has merged so I’m going to tell it like I pictured it, it may not be exact and I am going to call it creative license or avoiding libel – take your pick.
So the woman is madly in love. She is young, 19 and stunningly beautiful. Tall with long dark hair and wide set blue eyes. The man she is in love with is a bit of a bad boy. When I imagine him back then I picture someone a little like one of the guys from The Outsiders, rough and slicked back hair and maybe he wears a leather jacket and rides a motorcycle. They dated for a long time and she really wanted to marry him. But he didn’t seem like he was ever going to propose so she decided to call his bluff. She left him. Let’s take a second to applaud this woman for leaving someone who wasn’t giving her what she wanted or needed from life. This is very hard when you love someone.
Shortly after she found another man and he proposed and she accepted. Now here is the part that is sad. She thought the Outsider was going to stop her. In the weeks leading up to the wedding she expected he would roll up on his motorcycle and confess his love. She believed he would realise that he was letting this amazing, funny, beautiful woman just slip through his fingers and say, “I love you. Pick me.” Because that is what all women really want (and probably men too) – to be chosen. Day after day.
Right up to the wedding, as she was saying her vows she completely expected the Outsider to turn up, bust down the doors of the church and announce his objection. When the ceremony ended with no sign of him she couldn’t believe it. She was shocked and desperately heartbroken that he had let her go without a second thought.
This story has a happy ending because the woman was actually very happy with her husband, they had kids, travelled, lived life and loved each other until the very end. But that is not how it began and that is not the point. It could just as easily have gone the other way and she walk out of there miserable and stuck until one of them realised they needed a divorce.
So the point is, many people have spent too long waiting for something or someone to show up. Have spent days that spiralled out into weeks or months or years even waiting for their Outsider to come and change their life. I do it all the time, I make promises to myself that if this one thing happens then I will do this. I wait for other people to change their mind. I wait for someone else to tell me I’m valuable, wanted, loved, worth it. You cannot hinge your life on hope. Hope is a valuable ingredient in life, essential in fact, but it’s a lot like flour…unless you add in some eggs and milk and sugar, you ain’t never going to have a cake, baby. Stop looking for your Outsider to come save you.