Friday, May 17, 2013

on patience (earned)

I used to be an incredibly impatient person. For as long as I could remember, I had always been anxiously awaiting something, anything. It's a stressful and exhausting way to live, honestly. I don't recommend it.

As life progresses and I grow older, I am finding myself capable of patience and acceptance, in ways and in circumstances that my younger self would never have been able to handle. Part of this change stems from a changing perception of time - it's no joke that the older you get, the faster time seems to go by. Sorry to my mom and dad for all the times I rolled my eyes at them when they said that sort of thing to me. 

Another part of this comes from the time and effort I have invested in creating a happy life and healthy environment for myself. The happier and more at peace you are to begin with, the easier it is to maintain that peace and positivity in the face of difficult moments. Prioritizing my own happiness seemed like a selfish and petty thing to do at first. Shouldn't I be more worried about saving the world / changing my community / helping others? Well, I have learned being happy makes it much easier to do all those things; happiness is the root of a good life, it impacts things both great and small. The younger me would have scoffed at my excitement about finding the perfect nail polish color - isn't that such a trivial thing and wouldn't my time be better spent reading ____ or ruminating on the existence of _____? But now I know that, while the nail polish itself isn't important, those little bits of happiness really are. They add up to a well-rounded perspective. Volunteering at the animal shelter brings a different kind of happiness than laying on the grass in the sun at the courthouse; helping others is certainly the more honorable action, but both are important and necessary in their own ways. Life is not exclusively grand gestures and great accomplishments. Neither is love, or happiness. It is the sum of the whole.

(fresh flowers...another little thing I enjoy so much)

The final great contributor to my level of patience is faith. That the journey will never be too long or too hard for me to handle. That life will never be completely without some sort of pain or struggle, and that is okay, because I am stronger than I think. That everything is temporary, nothing is permanent. Things are always changing, and that means that even if things are bad right now, they won't be in the future. I may not know when or how, but I know things will get better. The good and the bad are always changing, always fluctuating, and you either learn to ride those waves and stay afloat or you drown. To me, being patient is choosing to believe that things will be wonderful, maybe not on your own timeframe but that they truly will be...

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