The Art Of Being Patient

I find it hard to write these days. It’s a writer’s block. No. Who am I kidding? It’s not a writer’s block. It’s a life block. There are things in my life that I haven’t made up my mind about. There are things that I have to wait to know the answers for. Waiting — without getting negative — isn’t easy. In fact, waiting and happily doing nothing about it is very, very hard. It requires a huge amount of mental power to consciously divert your thoughts elsewhere, to engage in activities you wouldn’t naturally be in the mood for, to continue with your daily life as though there wasn’t anything to be waiting for, and especially to ignore the anxiety of knowing the outcome might be absolutely shit. It takes a great deal of self-control and discipline. It takes a strong character.

I’m extremely chill about most things but when it comes to personal relationships and my own progress in life, I get impatient easily. My instinct urges me to do something to ease my anxiety. But my instinct can be a dumb, short-sighted (though well-meaning) bitch. I’ve learned to not listen to my instinct. If you’re like me and suffer from intense anxiety, I advise you first to not listen to your instinct, second to NOT act hastily upon this instinct, and third to buy rubber bands. Sounds random? Not at all. Wear it on your wrist. Snap it when the panic is about to kick in. Remove yourself from the situation. Breathe. Breathe some more. Then wait. You must learn to wait. You must learn to stay still and focus on your present. There’s no real danger (99% of the time).

The last few months (or few years?) I have found myself plenty of times getting impatient and reactive. You couldn’t imagine the amount of shame I felt every time this happened. As a result, I was incredibly hard on myself. People say shame is ugly and useless. But that’s the only way I could learn. When I was younger, I tried to prove myself to my family, my friends, and the boys I dated. At this stage of life, none of those opinions matters that much (as long as my family is happy about me, which they are). I wake up every day and I ask myself what’s important? What would mean something? Whose opinions would matter? Then I realise that my opinions of myself ultimately matter the most and I want to make myself proud. Making myself proud would make me feel the best. Being patient is one of the ways.

I’m convinced being patient is wise. I’ve seen firsthand the consequences of being impatient, and what sucks the most is the fact that you only have yourself to blame. I’ve had enough of this shitty feeling. I aspire to be a calm and patient person and I will be one. Well, I know at the core I already am. In no scenario of my vibe and in no version of my identity being impatient fits. It’s just off-brand and uncool. It doesn’t suit me. I’m an emotional person at heart and I will keep expressing myself freely but it doesn’t mean it has to be at the expense of my composure. To me, being patient is a challenge of growth. Being patient is the characteristic of a quality person. Being patient is to not get fixated on the outcome and enjoy the process. It’s like saying, I want this but never enough to rob myself of my precious present. I want this but I don’t have to have it right now. I want this but I’m okay without it.

It’s very important to want something and be okay without it. If you can’t be okay without having something, there’s no real joy in getting it and the chances are you won’t be able to get it at all. So learn to wait. Learn to be okay. Learn to focus inward when it matters. Learn to be still. Learn to love your life as is. It’s a great source of personal power and it will help others too. When anxiety is out of the picture and when patience is practiced, every action is a deliberate, weighed choice. I want you and it’s entirely about you and not my insecurities or my fear — what’s more flattering than that? If you’re smart, then be patient. Stick to the plan.

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