Write your story here and press the submit button.

In your waiting story you can also describe how the waiting impacts your daily life, where it is taking place, how long you have been waiting and what you do while you are waiting.

Note: please also mention in which city/town & country your waiting takes place.

All forms of waiting are welcome, whether they are long or short, essential or less essential, as long as it’s your own experience. You can choose whatever language you prefer.

After you submit your waiting story, you can find it at the bottom of the main page.
You are welcome to come back any time to add another experience.

Thank you for visiting our digital waiting space. 

What are you waiting for? is a collective user generated platform that digitally maps and archives the personal waiting experiences of everyone around the world.

Together with you we create a collection of waiting experiences as a statement to voice our moments of waiting and how these moments affect our daily lives. By creating this digital waiting space we can exchange our experiences anonymously and support each other through learning about the waiting situations of others. 

By adding your waiting experience to this archive and reading those of others we hope to create a waiting community of our own and transform the space of waiting into a space of coming together to complain, protest, listen and learn. We want to turn the unconscious, isolated waiting experience into a conscious and collective one.

We want to raise the awareness that our personal waiting situations are often not something we can control and are created by the environments we live in and the lack of support from politics and governmental institutions. When it comes to waiting, the personal is political which is the reason why it’s so important to share our personal experiences.

All forms of waiting are welcome as long as it’s your own experience.

Thank you for sharing!

When we wait we are faced with the fact that we often do not know what will come next. We wait our entire lives for different matters such as housing, medical results, jobs, death, asylum, money, a better life, pregnancy, affirmation, love, people, mail, bureaucracy, recovery, the train, climate change, health or in traffic. Some of these matters are more essential than others  but they all have an impact on how we live our lives and what our possibilities are. 

The issue with waiting for the more essential matters is that we are confronted with the fact that other people are moving forward while we are being put on hold, whether it’s temporary or permanent. Waiting for something we need can prevent us from participating in certain areas of our lives. It can force us to move at a slower pace, to take a break from what we are doing or it can prevent us from moving forward at all. 

This can be extremely painful because of society’s constant expectation that we should be productive and develop our lives at all times next to the fact that we are constantly told that we are responsible for our own situations. Waiting is seen as unproductive, as lost time, as falling behind and as something that puts us outside of a functioning society. A society that we can rejoin once we are back up to speed. 

But the thing with these waiting situations is that we usually have no control over them. This can leave us feeling powerless, frightened, uncertain, impatient, scared, bored or isolated. For example, many people are waiting to find a new house to be able to start a family or move to the next phase in their lives. They are getting stuck in their current lives. The same goes for finding a job, getting medical treatment, receiving your citizenship or waiting to run out of money. 

On this platform we don’t want to look at waiting as standing still or failure. Here we want to emphasize the shared experience of waiting. It’s a place to share, to listen and to stand up for your waiting situation without having the feeling that you are the only one or that it’s your fault.

What are you waiting for? is part of an artistic research project called How to wait together? With this body of work, performance-based artist Merel Smitt researches the impact of waiting in our daily lives as well as different types of waiting in order to emphasize the universal character of this experience. 

For this digital waiting platform Merel Smitt collaborates with Ariane Gros and Maisa Imamovic. All three of us wait for essential things as well as less essential things. We have experiences with waiting that we would love to share with you through a short introduction.

Merel Smitt (artist)

  1. Currently my biggest wait is waiting for prices of housing and utilities to go down. I currently live with the big uncertainty of running out of money and not knowing how long I can afford to live in the house that I’m living in. The rent and utility costs are increasing on a yearly basis while my income is not at all increasing. I’m waiting for things to become steady and secure. 
  2. I’m waiting for a different government, one that is able to listen to its citizens and is able to take action to protect precarious living situations. As long as this is not happening I’m standing still because a lot of the decisions liberal politics makes is not improving my living situation at all. It has an impact on my daily life causing passiveness, stress, anxiety and prevents me from thinking about the future. 
  3. Last year I got stuck waiting for a miscarriage. I waited for two weeks for the miscarriage to start and was not able to leave the house fearing that the miscarriage would start while I was not home. During those two weeks I wondered what other women were doing during this waiting time. I sought support online to exchange situations and experiences and to find people to wait together with. I learned a lot from the stories of others, especially that I was not alone, that it was okay to take this loss seriously and that it happens a lot. It also gave me ideas on how to process my loss and which rituals can help for closure.
  4. Often when I wait in the doctor’s office or dental office I use my waiting time to recharge by doing nothing, just breathing. I try to not look for distracting ways to bypass the waiting time but instead claim it as my own. I really like doing that and it offers unscheduled and unexpected time and peace in the middle of a busy day.

Ariane Gros (dramaturg)

“There is nothing to do now but wait.” I heard this sentence very often in very different situations. Whether it be the result of a trial I was engaged in, the death of a relative or responses from applications, my relationship with waiting has always become more complicated when I had no control nor agency over the outcome of the wait. In 2019, this appeared to me even more clearly as I was waiting for the judge’s deliberation in a trial that was engaging my future. The formality of this waiting was separating time and space between the waiting bodies from the deciding ones. While the judges were deciding for hours in the privacy of another room, the court hearing, lawyers and defendants were all waiting in this eerie disciplined way, surrendered by the policemen placed at strategic points in the hearing room. As I was standing still, processing in my body the emotions of what had happened, they were sharing jokes and anecdotes to pass the time and forget the panic and fear the judiciary system can cause. I remember someone reading a book called “poo and pee on capitalism”. I think it is in this waiting time that we are maybe the most aware of who is empowered and enabled to act or not -especially upon our lives. And to what extent the romanticisation of this time is a privilege.


Maisa Imamović (web design and development)

In Bosnian, we say: “Ko čeka dočeka” - which is hard to translate without having a long discussion about it. The closest I got to is: “It comes to those who wait.” It can be anything in this case, but in the Bosnian case, it is always one step closer to a better life - a visa for the future or sorts.

I must admit that this **mantra** has subconsciously followed me throughout the years -- I did sigh from relief in the moments when I felt like it was in the air.

In November 2021, I sighed the deepest. An act resulting from the end of an eight-year-old waiting for my permanent residence permit in The Netherlands(type II). One might assume that heavy sighs come from the hardest pains but actually, the overall experience of my waiting was somehow light. I think that's because I spent most of my time training myself to forget about having to wait, but without losing a grip on it. Were I to write a book about it, it'd be called: “7 years + 11 months of domesticated waiting, 1 month of raging”. — Rage caused by not knowing what I’m waiting for.

When one knows in one’s moments of waiting that there is an end to this static experience (i.e. in my experience: the decision date), one finds ways to occupy oneself with favorite distractions (education, skills, hobbies, fears, swimming). Whatever we choose to fill the gaps of waiting with(and we're lucky if we can), makes clear that waiting is all there is to our existence. Waiting for official bureaucratic recognition in order to obtain ++rights in this country was my biggest waiting challenge so far. Now that I'm not waiting for that specific subject anymore, it's hard not to immediately jump on the next big wait. 

When adding your waiting experience to this archive you are completely anonymous and we do not collect or save any data. You don’t have to sign up or leave your information and none of these entries will be used anywhere else except for on this website. 

If you have made an entry that you would like to have deleted please send an email to info@merelsmitt.nl and your entry will be deleted. 

We also monitor the entries on a regular basis to prevent people from misusing the website's possibilities.

If you would like to contact the maker of this platform or have made an entry that you would like to have deleted please send an e-mail to merel@merelsmitt.nl
If you want to know more about the maker you can visit www.merelsmitt.com

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These videos were shot by different people during their waiting situations in their everyday lives. We will update this collection whenever we receive new videos. This means you can send us yours!

If you like to share footage of your own waiting situation, you can send your video via e-mail to merel@merelsmitt.nl or via WhatsApp, Signal, iMessage or Messenger to +31 6 13 10 75 25 and we will include your video in this collection.

Please make sure your video is shot horizontally.

I am waiting to see if I am good at something, because I have to wait to do this something, to know if I am good at it. I can’t do anything in order to know now if i am good at it or not, I can’t do anything to make it come earlier so that I can know if i am good at it or not. I’m waiting to know if I am good at something. I’m waiting impatiently because once I know if i’m good at it or not, I will be able to predict if I should do it more often or not. So i’m waiting to know if I am good at something to know, if i can do it again afterwards. Once I know that,
 I will be able to wait again to know if I’ll be good at that same thing, the next time I have to do it. I’m basically waiting to know if I am good at something, In order to be found waiting again the next time I’ll have to do it. I’m waiting to realise, that i’ll never know if I am good at that thing, or not.

I’m constantly waiting to reach the final version of mine. This idea of being “finished” as an adult human keeps me existential, at the same time it’s my everyday mirror for self-reflectiveness. The fuel to my recklessness and anxiety. I guess it keeps me rolling, thinking that certain achievements in life should be accomplished sooner or later. thanks for the social pressure! Where is the waiting taking place: It\'s all in my head I\'m waiting since they asked me in Primary school at first: What would you like to be when you grow up? That\'s about 22 years by now.

1 - There is a word in German describing the phase of waiting for an exciting moment, the anticipation, it’s called Vorfreude (‘pre-happiness’). This is a feeling that occurs mostly before a big positive event, and used to be felt a lot more often as a child. I have a clear memory of blindly feeling it before going to the amusement parc in the car and seeing the shapes of the geometrical enormous attractions. The joy was about to be so huge that my excitement (my Vorfreude) took more space than the rational projection of actually having to wait in queue the whole day. I dont remember clearly, but maybe actually it was more meta than how I see it today. Maybe and probably the Vorfreude was felt in the car but also in the queue. An exponential ecstatic waiting moment. As an adult, the Vorfreude is much more rational, because it’s easier to project what might happen, therefor the ‘surprise’ layer of the Vorfreude vanishes. My friend said it’s more ‘gratitude’ about the coming moment. Gratitude is the new Vorfreude. 2 - Someone said : I feel very brave when I enjoy queuing on my own. 3 - There is a feeling I love the most when online. It can sound a bit outdated, but I still happen to feel it: it’s the moment of excitement to browse a website when you can’t access it straight away. When someone narrates about a particular web experience, the mental imagery occurs and you start projecting - now you have to wait before the online moment. How is the website going to be? You have to wait patiently to type the URL and see the website loading. Sometimes, the excitement can be so strong that mistakes appear when typing the URL, leading to dead or wrong websites. This feeling was more common when internet was not everywhere at any time. I also observe a similar reaction when a website seems not made or really carefully thought of on mobile devices. The elements are not centred nor aligned to the phone screen, and you have to zoom in, scroll to the right and so on. Or some navigation elements just don’t work. Then you must patiently wait to stand in front of your laptop to go through the proper experience. I can’t blame the bad responsive design because myself, I don’t really affectionate creating mobile versions. I find the mobile format very limiting, it’s narrowed and long, whilst on the desktop it’s wide and deep. When learning to code we learn first on the desktop screen - maybe one day we will code directly on mobiles, maybe it is already the case. The desktop always seems more like the proper reference device, the reel website size.

I am an artist… at least that\'s written in my diploma.  But can someone\'s mind be defined by a single, academic title? Especially when applies to the arts? Every time I meet someone new (which happens often since I just moved to a new city) and get asked what I do for living - my voice trembles and I have difficulties explaining what I actually do… Well, I say. I do a lot of things…I studied art…I guess from the moment I left the safe (but at times, very uncomfortable) walls of the art academy, I am struggling to underset what to do with the strangely inapplicable knowledge I received there. I am waiting for a moment when with confidence in my voice, I can tell that I am an artist without listing all the things that keep me busy. Apart from that, I am waiting to find a way how to make a rather comfortable living without having to give up on my art and the stuff I find important…basically how to make money by being creative but without selling my soul to the capitalistic monster. 

Ik wacht elke 2 á 3 weken tot de chemo in mijn infuusarm is gelopen. Ik heb endeldarmkanker met uitzaaiingen. En middels chemobehandelingen proberen we zo lang mogelijk mijn leven te stabiliseren en te verlengen. Ik zit een stoel met anderen in een ruimte in het ziekenhuis en dit wachten wordt steeds vervelender: het duurt lang, je deelt niks met anderen dan hooguit een praatje. Liever wachten en lezen of slapen, dan praten over ziekte en kanker. Tijdens het infuus wacht je tot de bijwerkingen beginnen en je weet wat er gaat komen. Het heeft een grote impact op mijn leven. Ik moet altijd rekening houden met de bijwerkingen die mijn leven beperken en wachten op betere dagen en momenten. Die er overigens volop zijn. Dat maakt het wachten draaglijker. Ik wacht elke 3 maanden op de uitslag van een scan. Dit doe ik al 4 ½ jaar. Dit is spannend en uitputtend. Wordt het wachten beloond door een goed uitslag en daarmee dragelijk of wordt het wachten lastiger en minder draaglijk. Onzekerheid, soms angst, gelatenheid en blijheid wisselen elkaar af. Wachten is een raar begrip geworden in mijn leven. Wachten op uitslagen, wachten op goed nieuws, wachten tijdens behandeltrajecten en wachten op kwaliteit van leven. Wachten ook op nieuwe behandelingen.

I find myself waiting for others to move. My child, my husband. I wait for them to act before i act myself. I notice i do so, but that doesn\\\'t make it easier to stop waiting and just go for things myself. I just get frustrated and urge them to act faster/sooner.

Ok, I think I am waiting for more private time because it is so out of balance with the time I spent on work and others. This battle has been going on for years and I am at an age to where I have to confess that I am waiting while working. And the work does not encourage what I am waiting for - more time for myself - so it\\\'s a circle I have difficulty to escape. I wait not by doing nothing but by doing too much...

I have been in this room for a long time now. It feels like an hour but I cannot perceive how much time has passed since I am here. I don’t wear a watch and my phone is out of reach atm. No idea wassup. My visa was in check. Double checked with the embassy before leaving, double checked with the Institute I’m invited by before leaving too. This situation is weird. It’s not valid they say. Wait, what? Double checked by several bureaucratic bodies. One individual at the border has decided it is invalid and I am according to their views, illegal here. 1 day too early they say I arrive. (Lol, bullshit) I am waiting alone in this room without windows. Four walls. They left me without explaining what is happening until a third person enters behind them. They have found a translator. First name, last name, date of birth, passport number, the reason(s) why am I here. Who are my contact(s). Why do I want to do what I have to do here. I understand that the questions aren’t about what I am doing, I am being scan from head to toe. Checked, and double checked, and triple checked. Is this all about how I look? I am sweating, I feel anxious and stressed. They are constantly looking at my piercings. A “Jewelry rack” as my mom like to define my taste. They look at me, they are still three. I look at them. I don’t understand shit about what they say. We look at each other. I feel in an atemporel space. I still have no idea what time is it. What am I doing here and why. Someone is supposed to wait for me at the arrivals. I told them that. They don’t seem to care. Are they still going to wait for me? I have to communicate again. First name, last name, date of birth, passport number, reason of my entry, why am I here. Who do I know here. Are they gonna ask all the border patrol available to come ask me the same questions? Im losing my calm and ask the reasons why am I here. No answer. I wait again, alone in that shitty room. They come back, one of them is different. I’m about to loose my calm. I dropped a name. The name of the founder of that space I am invited to do my work. I remember they are connected with the actual political body of that country. Silence. They all turned nervously towards me. They look at me. No sounds. Did something unlocked? They leave the room but come back faster. From there, the time accelerates. I get back my passport, my phone, my coat, my sweater, my bag-pack, my suitcase. They tell me I am allowed to go now. Stamp on my visa. Checked.

I can’t stand delays. It brings a lot of insatisfactions. I like my schedule tight. No need to wait I just go through from one environment to another. With a timer in my mind, in my head, I like it smooth. If something disrupts the natural flow I initiated, I get frustrated. Don’t break my drive. It’s a carefully designed auto-pilot. Butterfly-effect it delays every single activities planned with time ahead and the whole day is fucked. I keep pushing and accelerate or even suppress what is not a priority. Faster Faster F A S T E R Sleep is overrated. And, One day I crashed. Forced pause. Everything was moving too fast. My mind was out of order, my body immobilized. Even waiting was tiring. Body shuts down and I am frustrated. I have to wait and I can’t stand it. My body doesn’t respond. It cannot move. And it’s unbearable.

I’m waiting for his text Ain’t coming I see he saw the message. It’s marked “Lu” He responded an hour later, Sorry, too busy. Then excuses flooded. I switched off my phone I was pissed. The next day, he doesn’t even look at the message. Or maybe he “saw” it but doesn’t open the app that allows that instant gratification of being seen, being “Lu” True fact is: He constantly is on his phone. Gaming Socializing Instagramming Meme therapy But doesn’t make space and time to reply to one single question. From that moment I switched off notifications. It’s gonna be according to my time, If I am willing to open that shitty app, And then I will see if I want to reply. Silence. I didn’t exchanged with him ever since I sent my last message. He neither did. We still occupy the same workspace tho But Interaction is inexistant. I avoid his look, I don’t see him, he don’t exist. So stupid, What a waste of my time.

I am waiting for my allowance to arrive in my bank account because now I cannot buy my groceries anymore.

I am waiting for a package that was sent by my mother two weeks ago. It contains memories from my home so that we feel together even apart. I spend more time at home while waiting in case I miss it.

I am waiting for my medication to arrive. I have asthma so I need to have the inhaler in the morning and in the evening to avoid coughing fits.

As a woman, waiting for the bus at night is always an experience that is unpleasant. Back home, I would wait for at least 30 minutes in the dark and alone, and I always somehow feel threatened or at risk.

I am waiting for the house prices to go down so that I am able to buy a house. I have been waiting for this for a long time.

I am waiting to go home…. Just kidding. I am now typing and thinking about this waiting time. Because for me times flies very fast. Especially when Corona started. That we are now here after around two year… crazy times…. But these are my thoughts now and when I think about waiting I am mostly waiting at the train of metro stations or even when somebody is talking to someone else and I don’t know what they are saying or they talk about something That doesn’t relate to me. They you wait when they are finished.

I like to have time so I sometimes choose not to call it waiting. But I did experience waiting when someone had to give me an answer to a question or to know the result of a test. In those situations I was not able to turn into extra time, as if the other party owned the time. Then waiting is hard.

Ik wacht op verantwoordelijkheid van de regering, de mensen met macht in ons land. Dat er verantwoordelijkheid wordt genomen om ons klimaat te redden. Verantwoordelijkheid nemen over de fouten die er worden gemaakt en daarop de juiste consequenties toepassen, daarbij denk ik aan de toeslagenaffaire, de fouten in het leenstelsel, de vreselijke huizenmarkt en fouten die er zijn gemaakt tijdens de coronacrisis. Ik ben het wachten zo zat. Mijn generatie heeft, op deze manier, helemaal niks aan onze leiders. Ze laten ons stikken is co2-uitstoot en verdrinken in schulden. Ik wacht al jaren. En ik ben er bang voor dat ik nog veel langer moet wachten. (Rotterdam, Nederland)

thuis in Rotterdam Nog steeds niet geschreven. Waar wacht ik op? een beter moment? Of is het gewoon uitstellen. Ja Zo...

Bij Studio Nieuw Luxor in Rotterdam Na de warming up wachten op inspiratie bij de dans. Contact maken met de de muur de vloer, je danspartner. Wat gaan we doen. Hou het simpel, herhaal en vertaag of versnel. Presenteer aan de groep. Wachten op feedback, reactie.

Dag Merel Wachten is ‘tijd voor mezelf’. Ik hoef niets, niets en niemand vult die tijd. Ik hou van wachten, ik ga graag vroeg naar een afspraak, dan is er tijd om te wachten. Terugkijkend op mijn werkzame leven was er toen geen tijd om te wachten, alle tijd werd ingevuld, er was altijd een lijst met klussen die nog gedaan moesten worden. Nu pensioen, tijd om te wachten, niet op iets of iemand, maar wachten op wat misschien gebeurt, wat in me opkomt, om me heen gebeurt. Kijken, horen, voelen, denken. Verrassing Hillie van de Peppel Rekken

rotterdam ik wacht op inspiratie om een recensie te schrijven. nog niet eerder gedaan. een geval van overmoedig reageren. het boek LUCHT van Eveline van Putten.

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