The “right time”

by ninameetscafe

Perfect! It was totally 11:11 when I started writing this post. You know about that, right? You make rapidspeed wishes/prayers at 11:11 because it’s the only time that lines up so perfectly like that. This kind of thinking gets restrictive, though…

A testament to the obsessive-compulsive part of me (which I swear we all have a bit of – it just depends on the subject), these perfect-date/time/number/happenstances have always meant too much to me. I read into the numbers. For instance, it’s still blowing my mind that I bought the domain “ninameetscafe” exactly (exactly!) one (one!) year after I launched NinaMeetsCafe[2010] blog. And I was seriously thinking of not doing anything with this site until February 8 (tomorrow), since 2 and 8 are my lucky numbers (arbitrarily decided at a summer camp 10 years ago with a friend). I just love constructing the situational symbols that somehow reveal a clockwork-run world, or a certain meant-to-be.

This perfectionist view of the world sounds extreme, but, actually, we’re all really good at it. After all, no one can deny how familiar this sounds:

“I was just waiting for the right time…”


  • tell them the truth
  • break up with them
  • do that thing
  • escape that situation

…To do something that is clearly being held until an indefinite future time. But when is the “right time”? What does that even mean? Is it when suddenly all the stars align and the world’s problems momentarily patch themselves up? Is it when suddenly all potential awkwardness we feel disappears? Or is it when we suddenly, finally, realize that we ourselves are the only ones who make the time, appointment, meeting, phone call…?

As a student, I know what procrastinating is. (I did it for a good portion of this past weekend.) But as a person growing up[-ish] in society, I’m realizing that “waiting for the right time” is just the grown-up[-ish] phrase for procrastination. In the former, though, it’s usually not schoolwork hanging in limbo – it’s probably something much more significant. Ultimately, something that has to get done is not getting done… and may never get done. The “right time” is, implicitly, an awaited perfect time that apparently arises outside of our planning. But that doesn’t make any sense. The world has never been perfect, people are no longer prophets, and the weather conditions for all future situations are, simply, up in the air. So what makes later any better than now?

I’ve waited too many times for the “right time” to say something important to someone important. It often became obvious that my pointless main accomplishment was to waste precious time. And, of course, on the other side, I’ve had friends who have waited for the “right time” to say something to me. In that case, too, I was deprived of information I would’ve wanted so much sooner than that much later.

They say time changes everything. But most of us know through experience that between now and the “right time,” time doesn’t change too much. So for whatever it is, whatever we’re putting on hold – I’d say the right time is now.

[Yes, think Nike.]