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Lusty Lady

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Patience will never be my virtue

It's 3:13 p.m. I'm sitting at my desk, getting ready to transcribe an interview I conducted, after having just raced down the stairs to get the mail, after hearing it dropped into the mailbox. Every day when I'm home, I eagerly anticipate the moment the mail is delivered. I've always loved snail mail, but being a full-time freelancer has upped the ante. Knowing I may or may not receive a check means I'm all the more eager. I justify checking my email incessantly for news of my royalty statement, for while I'm transitioning away from books as my primary income source, because it's so utterly unpredictable, the amount of that statement will still determine so much about the course of my next few months: what bills I can pay, whether I have disposable income or money to set aside for savings.

For most of my life, I would have chastised myself, usually silently, for being so eager. It's unattractive, something I learned in my single days. The more interest I showed in a potential boyfriend or girlfriend or lover or whatever, most of the time, the less interested they were in me. I never really learned to play it cool, and finally, after some rough times, I just embraced wearing my heart on my sleeve, wrote it big and pretty on my arm to remind myself I was always going to have thin skin and a be a romantic and was never going to manage that cool girl aloofness that seemed so fashionable.

With business, too, I know I should be far less emotionally volatile. Or maybe that should be "should." It's something I strive for, but the truth is that's not me; that's some other girl. Recognizing that I will always only be myself, and not that other girl (whether she actually exists or is just a vision in my mind is unclear), has been challenging. I don't necessarily like my impatience, and certainly in all areas of my life that impatience is boomeranging back on me, taunting me that no matter how impatient I am, I will have to wait for the things that are worth waiting for. That's a large part of my life these days: waiting. Hoping. Working. Learning. The thing is, it feels personal, every time I, say, get my period, or don't hear back about a work project.

It's easy to let my mind roam wildly, to wonder what will happen if X outcome occurs, or Y or Z, and logically I can recognize that this is largely wasted time, until I actually get the outcome on these big life decisions, like parenthood and housing and earnings, and that a better use of my time would be to simply tackle each one to the best of my ability with the current information and resources at hand. So the logical side of me is attempting to do that; I'm cleaning and trying to purge my belongings in case I have to move; I'm trying to eat/be healthier in case I miraculously get knocked up; I'm trying to save money in case my books sales are nil. But I will probably always run to the mailbox. I can't purge the essence of me from myself, but I can learn how to incorporate my less practical impatient side with the reality of adulthood. It's a bit yin and yang, which might look like mornings watching reality TV and afternoons at my desk, or doting on friends' and family members' kids in case I never get to have my own, or whatever. Hopefully it looks like pitching like crazy when I have those freakout financial moments. Mostly, it looks like working toward getting to an internal place where any of the umpteen possible outcomes are okay, because I know I will be okay when that moment I've been so endlessly impatient for finally arrives.


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