According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of patience is the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset. The ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or with difficult people.
Someone used to tell me that I had the patience of Job from the bible. I took it as a compliment because this person used to make bad choices that were harmful to both themselves and others connected to them because they could not be patient and had the habit of jumping first and asking questions later.
It is not as if patience is something that comes easy for me. For a long time, I exercised patience because I had no choice in the matter. Certain things did not happen to me until it was time for them to happen. There were times my patience ran out, and I tried to make things happen for myself, which reaped disastrous results.
I must admit that patience does not always give me the outcomes I desire. For years, I waited patiently for my ex-husband and me to have children, but that want never happened when I was married. I waited patiently for my dream of us being homeowners to happen, but again that was another no. In those moments, I experienced a lot of disappointment and pain. Now that I am older and a little wiser, I understand everything I wanted in life may not have been good for me at the time. Like having a house, chances are how we handled our finances; we would have lost it within the first few years of purchase. It would have been a dream crushed.
I have a vision board on my wall, and yet again, I dare to dream about being a homeowner someday. The difference this time around is I want to be ready for it. That will require me being patient and getting things in my life in order first. I am okay with that. I think about living through this pandemic and the amount of patience it has required to stay sane. This time last year, there was buzzing about my job, possibly shutting down for a few weeks. When we did shut down, it was not a few weeks but five months. It took patience to weather that storm. Even now. Today the weather is lovely, and I would love to be out and about without worrying if the person next to me has covid or if I have covid and can infect someone else.
I have learned that life experiences can either help strengthen or weaken a person’s ability to be patient. When I was in middle school, high top Reeboks were in style. It seemed like most of the girls had a nice crisp white pair they wore with scrunchy shocks. I wanted some but was not in a financial situation to afford a pair of these shoes. Back then, in the ’80s, they were around $60. The closest I got was the knock offs from Payless called Pro Wings. I got seriously clowned for wearing them to school, by the way. It sucked to be a kid with no money.
So, here I am, 48 years old and guess what? About a month ago, I went on Amazon and ordered myself a pair of classic women’s high-top Reeboks. I have not worn them yet because my first time wearing them will not be to the dang grocery store or Walmart. I am wearing them somewhere special. Why? Because I have wanted those shoes for over 36 years, and I want it to be a special moment. For some, it may seem like something trivial, but that is the thing about us all as individuals. Patience for the right moment in my life has placed me at this moment. Those shoes in my closest are a reminder that my struggles from the past are over, my ability to pause and take my time to move forward is setting me in a position to have the life I have wanted since I was “learning to be a patient girl in middle school”.