We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For


By Jillian Stacia

I’ve spent my entire life waiting to become.

When I was a little girl, I thought I would have it figured out by the time I was 16. I glorified 16. It sounded like such a fun and sophisticated age. I would have a boyfriend and a job and a car. I would know what I was doing. I’d be confident and capable and fun and smart. By 16, surely, I would’ve arrived. I would’ve already become.

When that didn’t happen, I’d assume it would occur after I graduated college. I thought I would be ready for the real world. I thought I would be prepared. I thought I’d be a plot of solid ground. When I called my mom crying after my first day of work, I was more frustrated with my own fragility than anything else. Why were things so hard? Why was I falling short? Shouldn’t things be easy by now?

I resisted turning 25 because to me, 25 symbolized adulthood. You can’t borrow money from your parents at 25. You should know what a 401K is. You should probably have some idea how to cook a roast chicken. You should certainly be able to paint your toenails. I wasn’t ready yet. I still wasn’t there. I had yet to become the woman I knew I was meant to be. I was still a work in process. I didn’t want to fall behind.

I had this fantasy that somewhere, somehow, the growing and the pain and the life part of living would be over and I was going to magically arrive. I imagined these milestone moments as the beginning of a new chapter, a fresh start. One where I have an idea about who I am and what I’m here to do. One that is rooted and sturdy and strong and not plagued with self-doubt. One where I’d finally stop flailing and start really living.

It took me awhile, but I finally learned that there is no arrival. There is no ending point. We never really become. Adulthood doesn’t mean things stop getting hard. It doesn’t mean no self-doubt. It doesn’t mean sturdy ground. It means getting up every day and going out there, regardless. It means doing what needs to be done.

Even though I keep learning this lesson again and again, part of me is still waiting for the moment when life stops feeling like a game of dress up. When adulthood no longer feels like pretend. I want the imposter syndrome to go away. Against my better judgment, I’m still waiting to for something to click and the sturdiness to take over.

That’s how it feels today, in this political minefield we’re all desperately trying to navigate. I feel like I can’t act, because I’m not ready. I’m not there yet. I’m waiting for perfect. I’m waiting for someone else to show up, to show me how to do it, to lead with elegance and grace and poise that I myself am not yet capable of. I’m waiting for an adult. I’m waiting for someone who’s made it.

But she’s not coming.

She’s not coming because she’s not real. Because no one has made it. Because we’re all flawed and we’re all scared and we’re all wondering whether we’ve got what it takes. We’re all at home looking in the mirror wondering if we can handle the weight of our own hearts.

We’ve all got stuff. Buckets of it. There is no perfect one among us. There is no flawless leader here to save us. There is no iconic feminist ready to lead us to moral victory.

It’s just us.

And you know what? We can do it. We can show up for this. We can be scared and paranoid and neurotic and show up anyway. We can call our Senators even if our voice shakes. We can attend protests and swallow the lump in our throats. We can sign petitions and attend meetings and organize and inspire. We can hold the hand of the woman next to us and call her our sister. We can show up just as we are: flawed, imperfect, and scared.

We can do this.  We have to do this. There is no one else coming. There is no white knight. There is no grand plan. There’s only us. A bunch of women suffering from imposter syndrome, wondering if we can make a difference. Wondering if our voice matters. Wondering if it’s worth having the awkward conversations or engaging in the dialogue that seems to go nowhere or calling your Representative when it seems like nothing we can do will make a difference.

It’s worth it. It’s so worth it. Because change has been made by people like you and me since the dawn of time. There is no perfect hero, there is no perfect person. There’s just a bunch of imperfect people striving to make this world better.

And we’re changing. Don’t you feel it? This process is changing us. We’re standing up straighter. Smiling brighter. We’re taking up more space. We are becoming the women we were always meant to be. We are becoming the women we were all along, underneath all this fear and the desire to be perfect.

Our time is now. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}

2 thoughts on “We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

  1. lifestyleforyoureyes says:

    Wow! Great job, I truly enjoyed reading this as I find it so relatable to how I think and feel day in and out. Very similar to yourself, while I was younger I have always set goals and expectations for myself to meet at a certain age and at that time it seemed like for sure by such and such age I would no doubt have a great job, a place to call my own, perhaps even married. It has been quite frustrating and even at times painful when I think I have now reached this age that I believed I would have everything going for me but somehow at this age I feel even more lost as I lack those things I said I would have had. I held myself accountable for achieving something so far in the future at such a young age that I really did not understand at that time how tough life can get and things usually do not go as planned…Life is not as simple as 1, 2, 3 unfortunately. I have definitely moved forward and not backwards so progress is being made just not to the extent that I had seen years back, I think we need to give ourselves a break sometimes and truly appreciate where we were and how far we have come. Thanks for sharing this, it is like you took the thoughts right out of my mind! I wanted to write about something like this just, could not find the right words to put it down so thank you! =)


  2. themeganerdblog says:

    I loved this! I just turned 25 a few days ago, and I always wonder why I don’t feel like more of an “adult.” Why I still don’t know what I want to do, or who I want to be, or why the thought of doing taxes on my own gives me a stomachache. But I feel better knowing I’m not alone, and that there are so many of us in this weird life together!


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