Words by Mallory Paige
We spend our entire lives getting ready. From the moment we wake up, we are in the process of readying ourselves for the day. Education is the constant cycle of becoming more prepared for the next stage in life: further education, a new job, a promotion. Relationships have layers upon layers that cannot be entered until both sides feel ready; and we work towards that by spending time together, building trust, and getting to know each other. We live in a cycle of being told that in order to move to what is next, we must first be ready.
What a lie we have let ourselves believe! Hugh Laurie said it better than I can when he said:
"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now."
If we truly waited until we were ready to do anything, we would never begin. The concept of being ready is a false standard that we were never designed to live up to. Readiness indicates an end goal, a finished product. But we are growing humans, constantly changing and becoming a better version of ourselves. How then, can we ever be truly ready?
Furthermore, readiness also alludes to the idea that perhaps we know what comes next. And sometimes we do. Sometimes we know and plan for the future. We know that we will graduate college, start a career, move to a new city. And while we can be tangibly ready for that, we can never be 100% prepared for what that next experience brings. We can budget the finances, order the books, and iron the business casual outfit. But those actions do not encompass the full idea of readiness. How can we ever prepare mentally and emotionally for what is next - both the known and unknown? If we can't make ourselves fully ready for the plans we know are coming, then we definitely cannot become ready for the unexpected.
You will never be ready for the job loss or the death of a family member or the heartache from the broken relationship. You cannot ready yourself for the burden of depression, the sting of rejection, or the heaviness of a sickness that cannot be healed. There is no such thing as being ready for those things, especially when we were never designed to experience them in the first place.
We take the false goal of readiness and determine that we cannot move forward until we are "ready". We create walls for ourselves and trap ourselves where we are because we don't feel ready to move forward. The reality is, we're scared and we don't like change. We fear the uncertainty and risk of something new and use the excuse of readiness to put off something great.
I had a friend who could not move forward in relationships because they felt they were not ready. They were desperately searching for closure from old hurts, and clung to the shield of not being ready to protect them from future disappointments. How many relationships and friendships and stories did they miss out on by refusing to just jump? The closure they craved would never make them more ready to move forward. Perhaps, being ready means choosing to step out into the unknown, fully aware that the unexpected is about to happen.
The reality is we are ready to begin right now. We are ready, not because we are prepared or equipped or fully know what is to come. No, we are ready because we were designed for change. We are ready because our human nature demands growth and craves something new. We are ready the moment we let go of the restraints of needing to be fully ready, because we become free to take life as it comes, learning and adapting to circumstances we could never predict.
We're ready to begin, whether we know it or not.
Mallory is a twenty something graduate student currently living in Nashville, TN. She has called many places home, with the most recent being Denver, CO. She also holds an Australian and US passport, loves to travel, and is a follower of Jesus.