I’ve been thinking about patience lately. Patience is not my strong suit. And, between you and me, I’m a slow learner when it comes getting a handle on that virtue. Of course, the Universe has a way of giving you plenty of opportunities to (clears throat) practice.
Lately, one of those opportunities has come in the form of a painful shoulder injury. It’s preventing me from, among other things, properly training for my next black belt test. When I told my instructor that I was thinking about taking some time off, he said he’d rather have me keep coming to class and just do what I can, even if it wasn’t much for now.
“I hate coming to class and having to sit some things out, though,” I complained.
My master smiled and said, “That’s ego talking.”
He was right.
Ego is what tells me I “should be at the same level as everyone else” and “you’re being a slacker for taking time off.”
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. My ego tells me the same kinds of thing when it comes to my writing: you should be further along in your career, you should be a much better writer, you should go back to what you’re good at instead of trying something new, you should have an agent by now.
The thing is, being good, being “further along” or whatever, takes time. Success doesn’t come easily for most of us.
It took me many years and tears to get where I am in my writing. I’m much better than I once was but not as good as I’ll be someday. I guess I just have to keep showing up and doing what I can, even if it doesn’t seem like much.
In the mean time, I’ll try to remember: Patience, Grasshopper. Patience.