Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On Patience

I've been impatient. Tulips are shooting up all over the place, the daffodils and forsythia blooms are almost past their prime. I'm ready for promising shoots to come bursting up in my life, too. I am waiting to hear back from the Top Choice School about my interview, waiting to hear from Second Choice School Which I Would Happily and Gratefully Attend about whether or not they have any graduate assistant monies for me; waiting to hear from some part time jobs I applied for to see if any of those time parts are for me; waiting to tell my landlord whether or not we will be able to afford this apartment next year; waiting to see if Redbeard gets a job offer; waiting for money to come in; waiting, waiting, waiting.

Last night all the waiting broke me down and I called my wise aunt who listened and murmured sympathetically, which was just exactly what I wanted. And she reminded me that often eventually the universe or the cosmos or whatever eventually makes clear what the course will be. So here I am, waiting for paperwork to go through, waiting for a sign, waiting for them to open the velvet barricades surrounding my next step.

It is frustrating, of course. I want to CONTROL, I want to MANAGE, I want to HANDLE things. I want assurance, I want certainty, I want direction, I want answers!

But these things are doggedly, determinedly, annoyingly unfolding in their own time. And that skill, the skill of waiting, letting go, letting things unfold...is not one that I could say I've mastered yet. I cling to the illusion that there is such a thing as certainty in life, that a certain email or a certain letter will guarantee the things I want: security, stability, a sense of peacefulness about the future, assurance that everything's going to be OK.

On the other hand, that shit probably doesn't actually come via email. It's not something you order off Amazon and track via UPS feverishly until it lands on your doorstep. It's not a letter, it's not a package, it's not a thing at all, and you don't receive it with your eyes or hands.

It arrives without warning (and sometimes goes just as quickly as it came.) But I think there are ways to put yourself in a more receptive mood. Example given: I went for a jog-walk this morning. The sky was an epic blue. All those bulbs planted in fall have fearlessly shot up through people's front yards. The song "I'm Alive" by The Hooters came on the ipod - reminding me that wherever I go it's amazing to know I'm alive.

And I had that familiar feeling where I wake up to the place and time where I actually am, look around and say to myself, "You know what? This is nice."

Peacefulness, a feeling that everything's going to be OK, those don't come from Admissions offices. They comes from within, from knowing thyself and knowing that you can trust yourself to "fall down seven times, stand up eight." Knowing that you can cultivate those activities and thoughts and situations and even people in your life that give you a sense of well-being and rightness in the world...regardless of where you are in your life, where you've been, where you're headed, where you want to go.

These moments come in flashes, and being ready for them and inviting them requires some footwork of us, and it doesn't always work perfectly. But when they do come, they are a gift, and it behooves us to say thank you: Thank you!

PS - While I was typing this post, one of those external, temporary answers did come in over email - I have an interview next Thursday. Go figure.

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