I’ve never been a patient person. I related to Veruca Salt a little too much when watching “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as a kid. Plus I coveted that red dress.
I’ve been working on my patience the past few years because otherwise I would be a terrible parent. Time slows way down with babies and toddlers, and now that we have entered the stage of my kiddo learning and wanting to do everything himself, I have to literally count backwards from 100 to prevent myself jumping in and doing it for him.
But this is patience I can deal with. There is ultimately reward. My kid’s shining eyes when he gets his shoes on himself, the delighted pride on his face when he gets both arms in his sleeves on the first try. No matter how long it takes, we get out the door eventually and on our way. It’s good and wonderful and by virtue of slowing down for him, I get to savor these sweet moments myself.
Maintaining patience for the bigger stuff, the life stuff, is a horse of a different color. It takes perspective and a scope of understanding that I struggle with to no end. Especially with writing.
I’ll get to a place of zen with my writing, where I feel like there is a bigger plan, that no good comes from rushing it and I am really quite pleased with my pace. Then something happens, and that bratty voice comes back to me telling me I’m not doing enough, fast enough.
While I’ve been posting here infrequently, I’ve actually been writing constantly and submitting pieces all over in the hope that something will stick. It’s an exciting process until you refresh your inbox seventeen times in a night waiting for some sort of news that will never come.
This is just the life of a freelancer, and definitely the life of a writer trying to get their work out there. Waiting for inspiration to strike, waiting for the final result, then waiting for feedback.
It’s not the process that bothers me, it’s my own internal rush to put the cart before the horse. Because I have a maddening desire to know if it’s all going to work out before it’s possible to know. I yearn to be present to the process, to stay grounded instead of airily floating past all the work in hopes that could bring me the same results, but I just struggle with it.
I recently heard someone say that the only place you’ll see success before work is in the dictionary. Love this. Of course it’s true, but also? I hate it and kind of wish it wasn’t. Not because that would be better for my character, my growth, my journey, or my purpose, but certainly because I can be lazy and entitled and want things now a lot of the time. (See above: Veruca Salt).
I don’t let these traits rule me, but I certainly still have them and they require a little unpacking every once in awhile. My impatience with myself and with my progress has lead to a years-long restlessness I’m just learning how to tame. The only antidote to restlessness, is to act with passion, faith, and conviction, even when I don’t want to.
This is not to say I won’t work and I won’t wait, but it is to say that Tom Petty had it right all along; the waiting really is the hardest part.
Photo Credit: Pexels User Photo by Nikolay Draganov