For theatric auditions I do a monologue from Women of Manhattan, where Rhonda is trying desperately to get her friends to understand that she isn’t okay and she doesn’t want to be okay right now. My favorite line from the whole thing is: I’m waiting for me. And I may take awhile.

The first time I read through this little nugget of a phrase I didn’t really understand why I connected so much with it. I’d spent a lot of time waiting on things. Waiting on my body to heal. Waiting for the move back to Austin. Waiting for life to sound okay again. But what I think “I’m waiting for me” made me realize was that sometimes we hide ourselves so deep down inside of ourselves that it takes awhile to emerge from underneath the wreckage.

In Rhonda’s case, she was buried beneath a relationship. In my case, I was buried beneath years of lies mascarading as religion, a major depression, and old ideas of self that were clinging on for dear life. While I was stuck inside as a hermit, I truly believe that I was playing a waiting game of inching closer and closer to my true self. Every series that I burned through on Netflix, all the books that took me twice as long to read, every attempt at working again as a secretary or a manager, or whatever else I thought would pass the time – those were all ways for me to wait out the part of me I knew still existed somewhere.

Back in the day I used to have every five year plan that existed. I always knew what I wanted out of the month, the year, my life in general. If there’s any quality I can ascribe to the waiting period of my life, it’s the intense lack of direction. Now that I’m more settled into the person I want to be, I can say with confidence that we can’t find our true North until we find who we were created to be. I was waiting for something, anything, to be the right answer to the upheaval. But no answer can be the right one when we’re searching from somebody else’s point of view.

So I guess my advice from all of this is wait for you. Whatever has gotten you buried, a failed relationship, the wrong career path, or just simply forgetting to honor your true desires for too long – carve it out of your life as swiftly as you can and then be patient. Your little slow but sure ascent may look different than mine. Now that I know I was heading back toward acting, it makes more sense that TV and movies helped me find my way while I was waiting. Yours may be a book that strikes you. Or a person. Or a place. Or a hobby. Whatever it is, let yourself enjoy the process and watch what emerges.

The life you build from a place where you truly have found yourself is a life that’s sustainable. It’s a life that can make you happy. So don’t worry right now if you don’t know where you’re headed. When the truest parts of you come back to life, it will be worth the wait.