Nov 19, 2009

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

Nov 16, 2009

It Happens And Its Okay

Everyone knows…
If a bird craps on you at the beach–its good luck
If it rains on your wedding day–its good luck

But I never bought this idea of icky good luck. The reality is…this is NOT good luck. If a bird craps on you at the beach– its gross, slimy and down-right uncomfortable. If it rains on your wedding day– its gloomy, wet and inconvenient. That’s the reality. That’s the truth and the reason why we make up these little white lies that make us feel better.

So what about the saying “Failure is the mother of success” Is this just another socially acceptable white lie that we use to make ourselves feel better? I’m not sure…so I did what everyone in 2009 does…I “google-ed” it. :) Google lead me to calls this an expression an idiom– “a peculiar kind of speech that has a double meaning.” is correct, this is definitely peculiar. If failure is the mother of success, then this “family” is practicing tough love. This child (success) will undoubtedly and definitely be seeking counseling for Mommy issues.

But tough love is a reality. Tough love is not winning every game or always coming out on top. Tough love is the “real world.” (Insert depression music) Dun Dun Dun……

The REAL WORLD, not be confused with the ever popular MTV show. No, not that real world. I’m talking about the REAL “real world.” You know, that smug response, “welcome to the real world kid.” The one that people refer to when you’ve lucked out, lost or failed.

But wait you ask...what about that quote that says “Failure is not an option?” Well, the sad truth is, that quote left a part out. Although failure may not be an option… it is inevitable. People are imperfect and in the not-so-pleasant “real world,” at some point were going to fail. In order to be successful you have to fail…it’s the truth that is omitted when you are encouraged to “follow your dreams.”

Saying “follow your dreams” is much more inspirational than the truth. The truth is scary and unpleasant. Just coming out and saying,

“strap your seat belts on kids, the road ahead is littered with multiple disappointments, heartache, hard work, occasional self doubt and some well deserved pity parties...all on the quest to achieve your dreams.”

No one tells you that. Instead we cut out the middle, which makes for a much more optimistic approach- thus “Follow your dreams.”

And for those of us who have heard the less popular expression “Failure is the mother of success,” we know that this is true. This is not some silly saying about bird crap and soggy weddings. Instead it’s the truth.

But do not be alarmed…there is another truth, another secret that no one is sharing. That is that it’s okay to fail at some thing. (Take note of the word SOMETHING.) I want to reiterate that it is NOT okay to fail at everything. We have to be participating members of society. But failing at some things is okay. Failing at some things is natural. It’s how we discover our strengths and weakness’s. It’s how we discover what we like to do, what comes natural and what we have to work at.

Failure really is the mother of success. To be successful we have to weed out what were unsuccessful at. So let’s just leave the silly bull-shit one liners out of it, and accept the truth that failure really isn’t so scary. Were going to mess up, were going to fail at something at some point. It’s inevitable and its okay.

You cannot be good at everything, and you will not be good at everything. Everything will not be perfect because this is not a fairy tale...its life. This realization should not be scary but comforting. So lets just chill out and accept the inevitable. Shit happens and failure happens....and Its all okay. :)


"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail" -Ralph Waldo Emerson