Patience (well really the adjective "patient" according to Webster):
1 : bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3 : not hasty or impetuous
4 : steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
5 : able or willing to bear
Being patient is not easy. It's something I am not very good at, especially these days. I think my problem with patience stems from my personality trait of being a "planner". From the time I was a little girl, I always looked forward to what was next in life. I think I wanted to grow up and go to college as a kindergartner. Ironically, although I have always been mature for my age, my kindergarten teacher wanted to hold me back a year. Can you imagine...she wanted me to re-do kindergarten! Who gets held back in kindergarten?!? As a little girl I talked baby talk, which I think is the main reason she wanted to hold me back.
Despite the fact that my parents were poor, my sweet dad used his community college graduation money to pay for me to go to summer school. Me, being the school nerd that I am, couldn't get enough of summer school. What kid likes to go to school in the summer? Oh yeah, that would be me. Needless to say I didn't repeat kindergarten. From 1st grade on I was always at the top of my class, far ahead of my peers in maturity and academic vigor. I always identified more with the older kids than my own peer group. I often think about how different my life would be if I had repeated kindergarten. Luckily, Heavenly Father knew what was best and my parents were willing to make a sacrifice so Mrs. Sallup didn't ruin my life.
Examples of my "planner" trait in action are numerous. When I have a trip planned or know I will be going somewhere soon, I want to pack right away. Usually I pull out my suitcase a week before I ever have to leave. I start picking out outfits and essential items to take along as soon as I know about the trip. The week before I have to resist the urge to fill my suitcase and head out the door. Intense anticipation is usually the instigator of my pre-packing syndrome. I get so excited for future events that sometimes I make myself absolutely crazy! I typically want to decorate for holidays far more in advance than normal people. Sarah has had to reel me in with decorating the apartment in seasons past. No Christmas decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving Clarissa. Please wait until February to heart-attack the apartment and splatter pink and red in every corner.
I used to be obsessed with making goals in order to better myself. Lists and lists of goals clutter my life. I still make goals, but not in the slightly neurotic manner of my former self. I ran faster than I had strength. At the age of 19, it caught up with me. Suddenly I couldn't run anymore; I could barely crawl through life. Since that dark time, I have learned lessons in reality, which I have, consequently, applied to my life. Time and experience have taught me to live more in the present; however, I still struggle with patience.
Right now important things I have wanted all my life are right in front of me, but they are still developing; I'm still reaching and working for them. Good things take time to develop. Time, time, time. I have to be patient and have the faith that everything will work out, no matter what happens. I am stepping into the dark and moving forward, but contrary to other times in my life, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I am moving forward with faith and hope, I pray that the light won't burn out....that when I get to my destination the light will still be there waiting for me. I don't want the light to burn out. It's scary to think you could actually obtain what you have always wanted, that right now you are one of the happy ones. Being a "happy one" is a rather new feeling for me. I kinda like it.
I don't know why patience is so hard. All I know is that it's part of life. It's hard to wait for events and moments to happen when you don't know how long you are going to have to hang in there before you reach the end. Most of the time you don't always know if the end will result in happiness or heartbreak. I think it's good not to know the ending. If you knew the end, good or bad, you may never start walking into the dark.
There are always obstacles in the way as you move forward into the light. The important thing is to keep going.