When I was little, I remember being told that I was a very patient little girl. I can remember getting praised for patiently waiting to open a present, or I remember being rewarded for sitting quietly at the doctor’s office. I feel like patience flowed effortlessly through my person…until I got married. I don’t think marriage itself was the catalyst that made my patience disappear. Instead, I believe that adulthood rocked me and changed my perception of patience.
When I was younger, so much of my life revolved around school. I was a good student, and it was easy to plan every single detail of my day. Even through college, I would rehearse my next day’s activities, and I would sleep well, knowing that everything was accounted for and planned for. I feel like long-term patience sometimes came into play–I often wondered if a boy would ever like me, or I felt like I would never get through a particular college course. But, in general, my daily patience served me well, and I felt like life was in control.
But, adulthood is a totally different animal than academic life. It’s been almost five years since I graduated from college, and I feel like I am still trying (and failing miserably) to stay patient in so many areas of life. It’s really hard to continually remind myself that one day, Danny’s student loans will be paid, and we will never have to think of them. It’s hard to think that someday, I might have some sort of career that makes sense, and I will view my teaching years as a time of learning and growth. It’s hard to stay positive and think that someday, if we just work hard enough and wait patiently, Danny and I might own a home and raise a family. When faced with the prospect of all of the details in life that I am just consistently waiting on, I often fell overwhelmed and hopeless. It’s hard to think of the light at the end of the tunnel when you have been slogging through the deep end for a long time.
I think the thing that is the hardest, patience wise, is not being assured that the things that I wish for and wait for will ever come to fruition. There’s no guarantee that I will find a job that pays well and makes me feel fulfilled. There isn’t a promise that Danny and I will find a dream house to play in and make our own. And, there certainly isn’t a guarantee that we will ever feel financially safe and comfortable. Because I don’t have any guarantees, I feel sad and overwhelmed.
In the past, I’ve tried really hard to find joy in the present day. I will find joy in a bouquet of flowers or a book I am reading. But today, I stand here and think that while finding that bit of joy in the day to day is worthwhile, for me, right now, it’s not cutting it.
So, right now, in my thoughts about patience, I admit that if patience were a person, I would try to round-house kick it in the face. I would yell at patience and tell it that it’s not my friend and it’s not fun to have around. I would cry and tell it that I wish it had never been invented.
In this time of feeling like all I do is wait, I wish for action. But, for now, there’s nothing to be done. So, I will continue to wait and continue to wrestle with my ability to be patient. And, I will continue to fight through those feelings of hopelessness, even when they don’t feel conquerable.
I know tomorrow will be a brighter day–even if it continues to rain and our backyard continues to fill up with water. I hope tomorrow finds you feeling a little bit brighter as well.