Patience is a Virtue
I’m a relatively high-strung person. It’s not like I’m constantly bouncing off the walls or talking a mile a minute, but I do have some decidedly impatient quirks. Sit with me for more than five minutes and my constant leg tapping will probably drive you insane. Better yet, make me sit with my back to the door at a restaurant or coffee shop. Then watch as I spend the next hour in agony, awkwardly turning my head every three minutes to check the entrance.
In high school, I’d constantly fix the strings on my friend’s hoodies so that they were even. Seeing them just the slightest bit skewed made me feel unbalanced. In university, I always sat in the same seat in my lecture halls, and when I was a skater, I always, ALWAYS put the right skate on first. OCD you say? Nah, I’m just a creature of habit. Antsy. Anticipating something… what, I have no idea, but I’m always expecting it to happen. Waiting for the other shoe to fall, for the shit to hit the fan, for the moment to end.
A few weeks ago, a friend told me to relax and live in the now. It sounds so easy. Just quiet the voices in your head, take a deep breathe, and actually pay attention to what you’re experiencing this instant. You can’t change what happened yesterday, and you have no idea what the world has in store for you tomorrow. But right now? Right now, you’re ok. Sure, there’s crap happening in your life. You’ve got overdue bills, your relationship is on the rocks, and you have no idea what you’re eating for dinner.
But that’s all irrelevant right now.
When my friend told me to stop and breathe, it caught me off guard. One of the reasons I decided to take a life sabbatical on the west coast was specifically so I could learn to chill the hell out. I wanted to drink good beer and listen to better music; get lost on city streets, stare at mountains, and bury my feet in the sand. The plan was to forget who I was so I could finally become the person I was meant to be.
Except old habits die hard.
While my intentions were to let go, I couldn’t resist setting some parameters – purposefully pushing myself off balance before I even had the chance to get my footing. Two months, I said. You have two months to forget your past, get over your insecurities, and finally figure your shit out.
Sixty days to self discovery. What could possibly go wrong?
I’ve got two weeks left. And yes, I’ve drank a ton of good beer (tip o’ the hat to my roommate); I’ve listened to a handful of great bands, spent hours on the beach, and have blisters on my feet from wandering around the city. I’ve stared at the mountains and even had the painful pleasure of hiking to the top of one. I’ve met some great people, and for the first time in a long time, I’m not just going through the motions or running from my pile of problems.
But I need more time. There’s no way I’m meeting this deadline.
The knots in my shoulders are still there; my own little mountains of frustration. And I’m still waiting. Like a love letter with no signature, or a song with an unfinished refrain; I’m left with more questions than answers, and my back is still facing the door.
Except this time, I don’t have the urge to turn around.