Impatience is a virtue, too.

Impatience

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They say that good things come to those who wait. The problem with that logic is that some people wait all their lives and I’m not sure they get any more answers than those who reach the end of their patience tether, grab their backpacks, and stomp out into the world demanding answers, searching for them, finding them– whether ugly or pretty, pleasantly or unpleasantly unexpected– and tripping and falling over things, pulling themselves up by sheer force of will, burning out, recharging, and occasionally sulking through forced periods of waiting and patience. I’ll bet the impatient have some kick-*ss adventures while they’re getting their answers.

The thing about impatience is that life can become too much. You do tend to bite off more than you can chew, you do tend to go clawing for things before you’re ready for them, you tend to experience experience as the thing you get just after you need it, and your highs are soaring and your lows are devastating. But you’ll clock up one hell of an adventure.

Of course, Leon Brown is right. Life tends to unfold itself and reveal its answers gracefully, softly, and at its own time. People have a lot of those compensatory, soothing, adages like, “the experience will present itself when you are ready”, or “when the student is ready, the teacher will come”, or “everything happens for a reason and at its own time”, and I’m sure there is some truth to that. But I do think that sometimes we just say these things to justify not getting something we need or want, or perhaps not getting something that we are too afraid to ask for or feel we don’t deserve, or something we don’t know how to get, or something we’re not even sure yet if we want, or even something that we want so much that we can’t bear the possibility of being told, “no, you can’t have it.”

But there is truth in it. Answers do tend to come in the moments of silence between storms, in the forced or taken moments of stillness and reflection, when we find words to describe and colours to paint the earned experiences and wisdom, package them, and then fit and slot them into the puzzle-like spaces and gaps in our hearts and minds and souls and cells.

I am not a patient person at all. At my most impatient, fellow pedestrians morph into those orange witches hats around which I need to skirt, occasionally knocking a few over as I storm past to pack as much into the day as I can. But I’m grateful both for impatience and patience. The first tests your limits of stamina, and the second tests your limits of endurance, and what is life but the testing and stretching and filling and giving of ourselves?

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