Sometimes, when we’re in the thick of something unpleasant, we are completely incapable of seeing beyond the walls holding us in that ugly place. Remember last month when I wrote a post that sounded like a potential death wish written by a sociopathic creature? Yeah, me too. That was intense, huh? Well, surprise! I’ve begun to de-Eeyore myself. No longer do I feel like I signed up for something I was wildly unprepared for, or that I made a horrible mistake. The smell of trash when it’s 92 degrees out isn’t that bad, I swear. Well, it’s not usually so traumatizing that the Doo-wop group on the F train can’t remedy the situation fairly quickly. And to think, a month ago, I didn’t know what the F train even was. Life is good, guys. It is. And what have I learned in the past month to come to this realization? I’ve learned to chill. To be patient. To ride out each storm because they do eventually end.
But what is patience, you ask? Technically (and by technically, I mean the Internet says) patience is: “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I am often upset. I’m rarely capable of tolerating delay. I’m always begging my friends and family to make me feel better. Suffering and trouble? Forget it; I’m a lost puppy. So… nowhere there do I sense any “capacity” for me to “accept” much of anything other than glitter and baby duckies. But like, let’s give ourselves a little bit of credit here. No one should be good at being miserable. There is no science or calculation to “making things not suck sometimes.” There may be a bit of an art to it, though. And, since I’ve finally found myself in a new job that tickles my creative pickle, I’m going to go with the “art” angle. Calling patience an art insinuates that practice, royally fucking up, focus, and experimentation are involved. It also means that settling for something less than what is beautifully your own is unacceptable. Until the precise aesthetic desire is met, there will be no quitting. Playing things by ear and “seeing how they feel” is crucial to accelerating progress. It means that some days you’re going going to get mad at your wash & fold lady for losing one of your socks, and it means that some days you’re going to laugh your ass off at the homeless man wearing a blinged out necklace reading, “Trust No Bitches” (yes, this happened to me…today, in fact).
Evolution took time. Like, a lot of time. And being in a new place with a new routine, a new diet, new people, and new surroundings forces you to evolve in your own mental, physical, and emotional way. Strangers are exhausting. Seeing how small your IM chat list at your new office is disheartening. Google mapping your walk to happy hour is embarrassing. Where do I go for a run? Like, just 1 mile, that’s all I want! Nothing happens over night. Well, a lot of creepy things happen over night. And I sleep at night, so I guess that’s also something that happens at night. Those two things are mutually exclusive so don’t feel weird now, please. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, you can’t rush your own personal ability to evolve no matter what the circumstances are asking of you. That’s probably why the dinosaurs are extinct. They were likely anxiety-ridden worry warts and died out before their little T-Rex arms could get longer.
Sometimes, even though you’re literally bursting at the seams with frustration or the anticipation of feeling better, the payoff of sticking it out is significantly more powerful. Yesterday I said, “we” when referring to the state of New York. My brain has finally accepted that this is home for now. And that that’s okay. I’m no longer fighting with myself to embrace this city and experience.
In Boston, I used to make announcements to my friends when I was having a moment of overwhelming joy. “Guys, it’s happening again. I’m so happy right now, I might pass out.” And Jill, I did that the other night, didn’t I? Good just feels that much gooder-er when the bad naturally comes to an end. When you know that the gnarly part of the storm has blown over. When you wake up refreshed and alive, and your mind is quiet. Let the tough part of your journey be what it is. Every day gets a little better. Every day streets look more familiar. Every day more people will notice you. Every day you’ll feel the weight on your chest lose a little bit of its strength and power over you. And, in no time, you’ll be a regular at your neighborhood dive, and you’ll be ready to tackle your next adventure.