What’s The Hurry?
Patience! It’s one of life’s lessons that I am still learning. I am better now than I was even 5 years ago. I know that I have wished huge chunks of my life away through lack of patience. I remember a teacher telling me, when I was around 8 or 9 years old, to be more patient. I was carving a woodwork head and had proudly declared that I had finished before everyone else. I was ready for the next task. My teacher, rightly, made me go back to the project and give it more time. Ever since then, I have realised that patience is not a strong point of mine. The question is why?
Bullied and Unhappy
I don’t remember my school years particularly fondly. I was bullied from the age of 7, labelled Gay Lord and other such names. At the time, I didn’t even know what it meant. I certainly did by my teenage years. I decided when I was 14 that I would like a career in medicine, probably nursing. During the first assembly of the new school year, when I was beginning my 2-year GCSE programme, I sat there and dreamt of starting my chosen profession. I wished that the time would disappear, so that I could start nursing and that I would escape the torment of my bulliers. I couldn’t think of the good things that I would experience during those 2 years. All I could foresee stretched ahead of me was misery and loneliness. This lack of patience slowly started to manifest itself as part of my psyche.
My Formative Years
I didn’t go into nursing but catering instead. I did leave my school at the earliest opportunity, but unfortunately the name-calling continued, even as I started college. As a result, more of my life was wished away, desperate for the course to finish so that I could escape to a better life. By now, I was starting to face up to my sexuality but I wasn’t ready to openly admit it. Finally, I finished my course and that part of my life ended. I decided to go into higher education and enrolled on an HND in Birmingham. It was a life changing experience for so many reasons but the main one was that the bullying stopped. Finally, people were accepting me for being who I am and for the first time in my life, I felt that I was popular and well liked. I had more friends than I had ever had before. By the end of the course, I was comfortable and confident enough to come out and the support was overwhelming.
The Impact of Experience
So what does this all have to do with patience? It had become such a part of me that it was an automatic reaction to challenges in my life. I started to build a mental dream board but the vision wasn’t coming to life. I slipped into a dream world, fantasising about what I wanted. I would think about where I would be this time next year. I wasn’t living for the here and now nor appreciating the experiences that I was having, only looking to the future. I started to suffer from depression and was sinking into debt, feeling that nothing was going right for me, no matter what I put my hand to. Rushing through things, constantly hoping that my life would improve, when in fact it was passing me by.
I passed my driving test at the age of 24 and my impatience appeared straight away. For years, I would get frustrated every time I got behind the wheel. Every red traffic light, traffic jams, slow drivers, lack of parking spaces, people parking where I wanted to park and so on. The only person who seemed to be suffering was me.
Light Bulb Moments
At the age of 43, I am learning to unravel some of life’s lessons and mysteries. Patience is definitely a priority for me. During the last 10 years, my patience has been tested in many ways. I am slowly beginning to understand my traits and where they come from. This year has been a particularly challenging one. In February I wrote about silver linings. We were without a car for 4 months earlier this year. The experience did bring it’s own silver lining. I realised just how much I took having a car for granted and vowed that once I got behind the wheel again, I would stop being such an impatient driver! Once back on the road, I was true to my word by sticking to the speed limit and if caught in traffic, learning to enjoy the moment by tuning into the music playing, or making mental notes from one of my many personal development audios. As for those red traffic lights….a recent light bulb switched on in my head. I have decided that every time I have to stop at a red light, it is a perfect opportunity to practice gratitude, something we should all be doing daily.
Life is full of lessons and whilst learning can be difficult it is always worth the effort!
About the author: Stuart Dickson’s passion for personal development began in September 2013, when he joined a Network Marketing Company. Part of his development is increasing his spirituality and the many ways of doing this. His first blog, Happy Monday People was born from a project that came about from his personal development journey facebook.com/Happylifepeople
‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’