My friend (er…at least I THINK we’re friends…we talk, so…) and fellow writer, Matthew Eaton posted this week on his blog something that got me thinking (shocking, I know): In his post titled Embrace Uncertainty and Find Peace in Silence Matt talked about the personal growth that can result from being uncertain and uncomfortable, and how to find comfort in uncertainty and the silence sometimes required by patiently WAITING for a response from people or from life. Reading this, I squirmed and hunched my shoulders in DISCOMFORT.
But, interest peeked, I read the entire post. It was very insightful. Humans are not the most patient of creatures. (Funny enough, I don’t think Matt once mentioned the word “patience” – and yes, I did reread his post, just to be sure. But that’s what kept jumping out at me: PATIENCE.) Perhaps you, Dear Reader, ARE a patient person. (Kudos to you!) Patience IS NOT one of my more admirable qualities. I realize this about myself, and when I’m impatient about something, I TRY to play it cool…distracting myself with another activity to pass the time…like sleeping…and often, I’m still unsuccessful…but the learning continues…
Most of our lives involve waiting. In the midst of sharing with Matt my thoughts on his post, I had an epiphany: If we could do EVERYTHING in our own time, at our own will, then perhaps those things we most want out of life – or ourselves – wouldn’t be so important to us upon the procuring. Almost as if the waiting, the anticipation of being able to finally have what we want, makes it all the more valuable and appreciated.
Okay, maybe you, Dear Reader, had this epiphany at a young age. But I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer (*cough* hard-headed *cough*), so this “epiphany” hasn’t ever presented itself to me in such a positive, obvious manner before. It’s always been more like, “What?! I have to wait?? BUT WHY??!!” Just ask my mother what my favorite phrase was from a young age.
Go on ask her. I’ll wait right here.
*Checks watch, hums and taps fingernails on the desk*
Never mind. I can’t wait that long. I’ll tell you myself. It was: “But I WANT it!” Even a very young Wendy hated to wait. When we’re impatient, we make mistakes…often, those mistakes are life-altering. And this brings up an unpleasant memory: 4-year-old me, tempted with chocolate by a 12-year-old boy who touched her in places and in ways he had no business violating and penetrating. Afterward telling her not to tell anyone. Which of course she did. And I wonder, was that the greed and impatience of a little girl for a sweet? Or merely an innocent lured by an older “friend,” someone she trusted and who knew better, someone who should’ve protected her? I don’t blame myself anymore. But sometimes…
This impatience led me to: 1) date a lovely boy who was emotionally abusive (lovely to look at, not such a lovely personality when he didn’t get his way); 2) a failed marriage (because I married a different physically lovely man who wasn’t good for me – not abusive, just neglectful and apathetic; abusive in its own way) and single-parenthood; not realizing my dream of being published IN PRINT until last year…though that one may have been more a matter of procrastination and low self-confidence than impatience. Just to name a few examples.
So fast-forward several decades (that makes me sound older than I usually feel!) to now. At 41, I’m still as impatient as ever. But I like to think I channel it, control it better than I did in my youth and 20s. For one thing, I’m finally beginning to reach some of the goals I set for myself way back when. In addition to being a published writer/author, I’m also being paid to READ!!! How awesome is THAT!! 🙂 It’s an honor to put to good use those years of education and experience editing and proofreading fellow authors’ manuscripts in preparation for publication. (I can now cross that off my bucket list.) And I have a good, bill-paying, day job as a Crime Analyst in county government. (Another tick off the ole bucket list.)
My years as a single parent (impatiently waiting for him to GROW UP ALREADY!…JK…no really, grow up, son!!) are starting to pay off: my kiddo is a tall, handsome, brilliant (smart-mouthed, frustrating, opinionated…umm, er…*ahem*) affectionate, 14-year-old young man, on the cusp of manhood. And high school (*groan*). And though parenthood never ends, he’s becoming more independent (like fixing his own food…sometimes! YAY!) and capable of great things. Everything I could’ve wanted for him…the ADHD and Asperger’s mix is just one aspect of his charming personality.
So. What do I wait for now? I’m glad you asked. Now I wait (and work toward) financial independence (and all that comes with it), student loan debt forgiveness (meanwhile, paying them down), an intimate, adventurous relationship with a lovely man (read: SEX!…if it’s in the cards), the time and means to travel the world attending Book Fairs, haunting bookstores, meeting IRL (for you non-techies, that means “In Real Life”) friends I’ve made through the vehicle of social media, and my publisher, Booktrope.
And while I wait, I’m determined to put my time to good use. Growing in experience and proficiency as an analyst, continuing to (voraciously) read, edit, proofread, write, build my brand, save money, and cultivate friendships. Oh, and, work to not be so impatient. 😉