And Now You Wait…

When I was a kid and I would act ornery and impatient my mother would tell me to wait. Then she would repeat this silly little phrase. “Patience is a virtue, and virtue is a grace and grace is a little girl with jelly on her face.” I would smile because it was so ridiculous and the thought of poor Grace without a napkin was a momentary distraction.

I wish I could Blog about the truth behind that phrase. Deconstruct it. Find the secret message behind it. But here I sit, 24 years old and I don't have the slightest idea how Grace and her jelly is supposed to help me understand patience.

The thing about your 20’s is that life is very transitory. Were figuring out...
Who we are
What we want
Where we want to go
Where we want to avoid
Who we want to go with us
Who we want to leave behind
Who we need to remember, and finally...
Who we need to forget.

It’s a whirl wind of questions and risks. It’s the unknown, taking the leap of faith and hoping it was the right leap for you.

It can all be very exciting, new leaps of faith are when big things can happen. When your quandary becomes an answer or a mission. When we figure out where we want go or who we want beside us. That is the fruits of the transition- Learning about ourselves and figuring the questions out.

The Journey on the other hand, is where things get mulled up. The journey is said to be the most important part. Its where we “stop and smell the roses” and where we “learn to appreciate the small stuff.” The journey is the learning experience. The long road that takes us to our answers. Unfortunately, that long road, that journey, is not always exciting.

Let me explain…
Have you ever watched a good movie, television show, or read a book that had the famous subscript “2 weeks later” or” 2 months later” or sometimes “2 years later.” Yea, you know what I’m talking about. Its that little italicized line that lets us know...
Hey, nothing monumental happened during this time frame, so were going to skip ahead and get to the good stuff.
Usually when we see that little italicized line were happy. Truth is, no one wants to read a book, see a movie, or watch a show when its dragging on and on right? Right.

The problem is that in life, you can’t just insert that italicized line and skip ahead to the glamorous good stuff. Nope. In real life, you have got to just stick it out and WAIT. Even worse you don’t know the length of the newest uneventful period of time.

So, while we trudge through our normal routine, this element of not-knowing when things will "break" makes waiting to hear from; admissions to a school, an answer to a job interview, the result of a test, or a response from a crush; down-right torturous.

Recently, I had a moment where I wished I could insert the convenient italicized “2 weeks later.” I was waiting on an answer from a job, after a second interview, I asked my grandfather what I should do while waiting.

Now, let me tell you something about my grandfather. He is 81 years old, lived through the depression, is a WWII veteran, currently works full-time, walks a mile everyday and accomplishes more before 9a.m. than most people do during their entire day. He is a force to be reckoned with and has a boat load of life experience. Thus, I thought that he would be the perfect person to shed some wisdom onto me. So I asked.

"Pop, I haven’t heard from this job yet, what should I do?”
He nonchalantly answered. “Lan, there is nothing you can do, now you wait.”

Well this was the most absurd thing I had every heard. Completely unorthodox! I cannot just sit around and WAIT. I don’t even know how to wait! I needed something more.

“Come on, Pop what kind of advice is that, give me something I can work with.”
He just smiled “Hey listen, I didn’t make the rules, this is just the way it goes.”

Unfortunately he’s right. This is the way it goes. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it! Maybe it’s because we are from a generation of people who can’t leave home without a cell phone, and yet use the phone to text more than we call out. Yes, I know texting is faster- I’m guilty of it too. And when you have something lengthy to say, forget text use email. In fact, in our generation, the norm is to have multiple emails; one for work, one for personal, one for school. We are able to DVR television shows so we can fast-forward the commercials. We can watch these shows and movies from our iPods and cell phones.

We are a generation that is productive and fast paced. We expect instant gratification in almost every realm of life. We are a generation of multi-taskers. We can’t relax because there is always something more for us to be doing; texting, messaging, posting, emailing, blogging, tweeting and updating.

So it’s easy to see why we have a major problem with patience and waiting. It’s really not our fault that we want to skip ahead, that we don’t want to wait, that we want instant gratification. We were programmed this way. I don’t intend to blame us 20something’s for not having an iota of a clue what is meant by “patience is a virtue.”

Patience for us… is lost in translation.

Waiting is hard, actually it's a pain in the ass. At some point, we all wish we could slap on a “2 weeks later” tag and get on to the good stuff. I just hope that with time I will begin to understand and find patience. However, I'm sad to report that my patience is may be offically MIA. :)

Just keep in mind, next time you sit in waiting, your not the only one who doesn’t understand the virtue of patience.


"The waiting is the hardest part" - Tom Petty


  1. Lana, I am loving reading your stuff. You are quite the writer, not only do you entertain, but your thought invoking...hoping that is correct english there, lol. What I like about your blog is getting to now a 20 somthing in a real way. You help me know you better, but also my son and the relationship quandries we may have now and then. Keep your words flowing cause you are touching us.


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