Patience is a virtue


Map

So I may have mentioned that at the end of February, I’M LEAVING MY JOB! AND GOING TRAVELING! AND STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS! (Phew! Fist pump! Exhale!)

The point of this musing is not to ramble about my various new directions, but to talk about patience. Because I have another few weeks at my job before I leave. And if I succumb to the enormous impatience that is periodically raging and swelling inside of me, then I ain’t gonna be a very pleasant person to be around for the next few weeks.

It is no coincidence that the first self-growthy goal that I am tackling for the new year is meditation. And I consider this pursuit somewhat of a community service (big of me, I know!). I am embracing meditation and the calm, centred, peaceful feeling that it brings, hoping that it will balance out the insane levels of burbling excitement that occasionally threaten to spill over and consume both me and everyone around me.

Not that I think that there’s anything wrong with excitement and anticipation. In their way, they can be totally delicious. The last few days before my boyfriend and I are reunited each time he comes home from his fly-in-fly-out job are sometimes really quite sacred moments of heightened awareness and love. (Sometimes, however, they are just freaking frustrating.)

And I am really grateful to have so many things in my life at the moment that I am looking forward to. It is an amazing, amazing time, and I haven’t felt this excited for I don’t know how long.

But this excitement and anticipation also makes me kind of wary. John Demartini talks in a few of his books about every feeling, by necessity, and by their essence, having an opposite. What goes up, must come down. You can’t experience joy without sorrow, bravery without meekness, elation without despair.

And I suppose I would really like to be experiencing these insanely exciting times without being quite so attached or emotionally heightened. Because I am so excited right now that I am a little bit scared that I might just burst or bottom out or blow up. I’d like to have just a little more of the ‘observer’ in me and be a little less of the fully-succumb-to-every-fleeting-emotion-like-a-crazy-hormonal-teenager type gal.

Hence the meditation.

Hence the practical action steps that I am trying to tie myself to, in order to sink my energies into actually achieving travel-related things rather than just swirling in an excited thought-vortex. You know, like ‘book train ticket from Girona to Paris’. And ‘buy a camera’. And ‘decide how many pairs of undies you’ll actually need for three months, noting that you’re not great at doing laundry’.

And hence the recognition that patience is necessary. And it is necessary to practice presence now. And that I do indeed believe that presence takes practice. And the word ‘practice’ implies that there will be ups and downs, fanfares and failings in the process. And it’s all okay.

I think that if I don’t start flexing the patience-slash-presence muscle now, I may find myself in Paris yearning to already be in Rome, or to be home, or to be in the arms of my boy, when I have spent the preceding three months longing for nothing but chocolate croissants and real champagne and cheesy-cheesy pizza.

What I am saying, my sweets, is that if I’m not frickin’ careful, I may end up spending the next four months not being where I am.

Which is less than ideal, to say the least. Especially when there are croissants to be savoured and schnapps to be sampled and pizzas that I have not yet met.

Really, I wish to be exactly where I am, wherever that may be. That is my wish for me.

I want to savour these last few weeks at work in all their frustrating glory. It is because of those feelings of frustration that I finally had the courage to make this book-a-ticket-and-leave, consequences-be-damned decision. I want to marinate in those feelings and bottle them up. Then I can unstopper them during the inevitable moments of frustration in my new working life and remind myself why I made my decision.

Travel

And I definitely want to be where I am on my travels. Be it at an airport waiting lounge or the Eiffel Tower or mid-mouthful of flaky chocolate pastry. Because to not be exactly where I am would be an unfortunate missing-of-the-point. A wasted opportunity. A cause of regret somewhere down the line.

And I am reminded of this:

‘No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.’ (Barbara Brown Taylor)

I don’t need to go anywhere, none of us do.

Traveling is super exciting and definitely important and crazy growth-inducing.

But all of this is also true of standing still…

4 Responses to “Patience is a virtue”

  1. Elle

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! And you soooooo struck a cord with me. Darn patience, so hard to cope with yet so necessary for life. I can’t wait to do what you are doing (although I DO have to wait). Cheers to patience and following our dreams!

  2. Erin @ Lemongrass Love

    Beautiful. I adore that quote by Barbara Brown Taylor!
    I seriously just love reading your blog entries. Enjoy your last few weeks, especially your time with your man, and keep us updated along your journey. It’s going to be phenomenal, I promise.x

  3. rachel

    Love that quote. It’s one of my fav’s, stuck above my computer, just hanging there waiting to be remembered.

  4. Miche

    Wonderful observation. Particularly the bit in the middle about practice. Life takes practice and all the bits and bobs that make up our lives are part of that practice. Dealing with excitement, love, disappointment, frustration and chocolate are what makes us who we are.

    Don’t worry about your excitement consuming others, we can vicariously live through your experiences and remember our own excitement again. Sure we will be envious, but perhaps it will stir us to do something we had meant to do or wanted to do, but so far haven’t. Be excited Jess, the world needs more excited people.