I believe we are all impatient. I once heard it said that we’re not human if we’re not impatient. It’s part of the anxiety that comes with living. Some people are better at hiding their insecurities and putting on a good face while they wait.
I’m currently waiting. I’m waiting for a lot of things, but one thing in particular I have been waiting almost a week on. I knew in the beginning that the answer to this question, to this query, this result would take time.
In the time I have been waiting, I have done a lot of soul searching and put myself through a hell of an experience. I say that I put myself through the experience, because in reality, I’m controlling how I react, even though it doesn’t feel like I am.
It’s a game the mind plays with the soul and the heart of any person stuck waiting. My anxiety tells me to worry and be scared and let this wait consume me. I feel like it’s all that I must focus on and think about. It’s a career thing, this thing I’m waiting on. It’s not the be all and end all if it doesn’t turn out how I’d like it to turn out. The thing is, I have an expectation that this waiting, this fear, this anxiety has me focused on that is hard to erase from my mind.
The facts are that first, I will be fine no matter what the result, and second, I am not losing my entire opportunity for this career if it doesn’t work out. My mind wants me to think otherwise. To feel pained. To fail and keep waiting.
It’s chaotic in my mind when this kind of thing happens, but it’s not the end. It gets better because I can step outside of the waiting and the fear and the feelings that overwhelm me. Just writing all of this, in this moment, makes me feel more relaxed. I’m discovering more about the situation by reflecting on it in this way. (Hey, that was my goal in teaching writing in schools.)
The truth is, we are all always waiting. Waiting can be an impatient process and can drive us to deep levels of madness. I’m learning a lot about myself in this process. I can be impatient, but I’m getting better. I’m trying not to let one thing consume my thoughts and along the way perhaps I’ll become more mindful of how much I matter, and the fact that so many people and places and ideas matter to me, too.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that we should all “adopt the pace of nature” because “her secret is patience.” I look at the birds, the trees, the animals — in general, they’re calm and they are not driven by a 24/7 force that we all face. Even in Emerson’s time, humans moved at what they considered a busy pace. Imagine what Emerson would think of today’s world.
The waiting seems difficult but I know it will change. It will be better, no matter the outcome. Reflect, seek patience, and have hope. That’s what I’m telling myself right now. No matter what.