Patience will achieve more than force – Edmund Burke
The art of patience was always a mystery to me. I walked through this life expecting immediate answers and quick action. I never thought of it as impatience, to me, this was responsible, dependable and what was expected. If you got instant results you were successful, and you were on the best path for you. It took a whole lot of life to teach me my philosophy was dead wrong.
I was, and I’m really working on, not being the most impatient person that walks the earth. No joke, I watch for the water to boil, or check my email a hundred times, and refresh a hundred and one. I have always felt I had to have instant results, instant response, instant reaction. Then, if I didn’t get what I was waiting for in that timeframe, I would get anxious and angry and the conversation in my head would swirl with doubt and disappointment. Most of the time these moments would involve me putting myself out there for interviews, publication, critique or grades, but sometimes my anxiety would sprinkle a little fun on my already impatient mind and take my worry to a whole new level.
I can still hear it now “what if they didn’t get what I was trying to say”, “what if they don’t like me”, “what if I offended them, oh god, what if I offended them”, “what if something is wrong”, “maybe I was wrong”, “what if they’re hurt, or worse”, “maybe I’m not good enough”, and as time ticked by the anger would turn to sadness, and the conversation went more like “yeah, I definitely wasn’t good enough”, “I suck at everything, I’m never gonna make it”, “I’m just not pretty, or cute or fun or nice or sweet, or worth it…..”. My impatience turned into so much more than watching water boil and I sabotaged myself before I gave myself or anyone, for that matter, a chance and I’d give up, pretend I didn’t care and quit.
You see, my impatience was not just irritation at red lights, or slow check out lines, my impatience ran to a deeper level, the level of acceptance by others. It needed to be instant, or I was panicked with doubt, and it took a long time to realize that the more patient I was with others and with me, the quicker I got where or what I was looking for.
Ironically, I began this next paragraph several days ago completely different than I am today. The point I’m attempting to make with this post and the evidence to back it, finally came to me in such an unexpected way. This evening I went digging around in my old papers looking for quotes I jotted down years ago when I first acknowledged my love of writing. Within those papers were unfinished stories, a first and last chapter of a biography, tales of my kids and pages and pages of ideas and notes. If I told you I found my passion back in 2006 it may come as a surprise or it may not, but the fact is, these papers just prove that patience is key. I did not have these notes handy the day I began this blog or my project of Finding Happy, One Day at a Time. These notes pictured were boxed away in 2009, but its clear evidence to me that if we were meant to journey down a path, we will, you just need a little patience.
Patience allowed me to soften to the possibilities of life, love, happiness and most recently, purpose. By stepping away from my keyboard I had the opportunity to reflect and discover what I may not have to finish this post, and on a bigger scale, patience has allowed me to pursue my dream without haste, which has shown to be most rewarding, follow my heart without urgency, and find my purpose in this life. What we desire and the purpose for which we live may not be revealed to us in the timeframe we believe it should, but it does not mean it fails to exist. If we are just little more patient with the process and with ourselves, where we are meant to be, and what we are meant to do, will be disclosed to us quicker than we can imagine.