19th November 17

“Be patient with your impatience.” – A lesson which I’ve often read or heard spoken, but have rarely managed to follow. I’m a very impatient person. And I don’t mean the sort of impatience which comes with long car journeys or waiting for the last tube – that kind of patience I have in abundance. The thing which I am really, unbelievably impatient with, is life itself. That sounds like a grand generalisation, I know, but bear with me on this one.


Some people are really good at planning for the future, and doing so very far in advance. They’re great at saving money for something which is happening five years down the line, or for planning out a ten year goal for themselves. I, however, have never been that person. I find it difficult to plan for next week, let alone next year. I’m really awful at looking beyond my immediate future, mainly because I can barely handle the stress of planning out the present.


I think my issue with being able to plan things slightly further down the line, lies with my impatience. When I get an idea in my head for something that I want to do or see, or a place which I want to visit, I work it into my brain that I’m failing if I don’t find a way to do that thing right away. I beat myself up if I can’t figure out a way to implement this idea which I’ve had, as soon as possible.


This impatience for fulfilment takes many forms in my life: the need to climb the career ladder immediately, the disappointment in myself for not having travelled the world yet and the lack of understanding that other people, who I constantly compare myself to, are at very different places in their lives and have had much more time to get themselves to where they are than I have.


In my little ol’ brain, I should have already found a way to have road tripped America, lived in Australia, bought a house and got a job which pays 40k a year. At 22 years old, I seem to have convinced myself that I’m running out of time to do all of those things. I know, I’m snickering at my dumb brain too, but these are real stresses which keep me up at night and I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only twenty-something who currently feels this way.


There are probably a huge assortment of things which contribute towards me feeling impatient to do everything in life right away. I know for a fact that the biggest one of these things is comparison. Being at the stage in life where my friends and I have all just graduated uni, we’ve all dispersed in different directions and have started working on new hobbies, jobs or travel plans. And instead of focusing on my own life plans, am I belittling my achievements and comparing myself to every single one of these friends in the process? You bet I am.


I know that there’s no need for me to be comparing myself to people my age who are off seeing the world, moving in with partners or working their dream jobs. I know that we all progress at different rates and that I will have a chance to do all of these things. I also know that we’re probably all in the same boat, all comparing ourselves to each other. The person with the amazing, high paying job is wondering what life would have been like if they’d gone travelling instead. The one exploring the world is questioning whether life would have been easier if they’d opted for the steady income. But regardless, my impatience makes me want all of these things now and I find it difficult when it comes to reminding myself that I have all of the time in the world.


Recently, I’ve pinpointed my issue with impatience and I’m trying to coax myself into getting over it. I think when you’re young, especially when social media is right at your finger tips, life seems to come with this weird level of urgency. It throws at you, this need to be doing everything right now and to not take a second to rest or work on you in between. I have a real issue with looking ahead within my own life beyond the next 6 months. I seem to have it in my head that right now is the only thing that matters. But just like I was told as an impatient child, good things come to those who wait.


So, I’m going to make more of an effort to remind myself of this fact. That not everything needs to be right now. That breaks are important and taking a year to save up money and work on yourself is not a waste of time. That comparing yourself to other people is futile, because they’re all on different journeys to you. I’m going to try, as difficult as it may get, to be patient with my impatience.