One of the biggest things I struggle with is patience. I’ve always heard the phrase, “patience is a virtue”, but for me patience is a form of anxiety. It’s like when I want something, I want it right then and there. At least that’s how it was when I was a child. When a new WWE video game came out, my mom got it for me. Anytime I would go to the store with my mom and see a WWE action figure that I wanted, my mom would buy it. That continued all the way into my teenage years. When MetroPCS released a new phone every year, my mom would buy it for me. I never really had to wait for the things I wanted. Now that I’m an adult, things don’t come as easy. In order to get something that I want, I have to put in some work and wait.
When I sit and evaluate things, I realize all of my symptoms of impatience. Many times when I am talking, I speed through what I am saying just to quickly get the point across or to get to the end of the conversation. When I slow down, it feels awkward. If I am explaining something to someone and they don’t understand immediately, I sometimes get frustrated or irritable. If someone is speaking to me and something interesting pops in my head, I sometimes cut them off and say what’s on my mind due to a lack of patience.
I remember enrolling in counseling services at my college because of my lack of patience. I told my counselor about my fear of the future. This was the exact conversation we had:
Counselor: “So tell me what brings you in here today?”
Me: (Sighs) “I don’t know. I Just feel like I’m not where I want to be in life.”
Counselor: “How old are you?”
Counselor: “Where exactly do you expect to be at age 23?”
Me: “Well, I expect to have a degree, working in my career field, living in my own apartment, and at least saving up for a house.”
Counselor: “You do realize that you are literally 5 years into adulthood? A lot of the things you mentioned are things that people typically don’t accomplish as early as 23. When you rush things, you end up stressing yourself out causing unnecessary stress and possible depression. Take your time in life and live in the moment”.
This spoke volumes to me. Many of us (especially 20-somethings) think that our lives should be “fully together” by a certain age or time frame. This is an unrealistic train of thought. There is no blueprint or no manual that says that your life should be at a certain point by the time you are a certain age. Your time will come when you least expect it. Comparing your journey with someone else’s journey will only hold you back and make you feel unaccomplished. Always remember to just live in the moment and let whatever happen, happens.