Blah. I was laying sprawled out on our couch feeling blah and puzzling my husband. I had no idea what was wrong, all I knew was I felt frustrated and negative for seemingly no reason…which only causes MORE frustration and negativity!Â
I realized I hadn’t been outside all day so that might help. I walked down to the boardwalk and as soon as I caught sight of the ocean I felt an irresistible urge to head towards it with as much energy and force I had left in me. So I did.Â
I sank down into the sand practically shaking and still so upset and angry that I didn’t know what my problem was. I haven’t felt angst like that since I was a teenager.Â
I just relaxed, stopped analyzing, and watched the lifeguard pace nervously as the surfers caught bigger and bigger waves while the sun began to set. It was a beautiful time for the beach and I just sat back and allowed myself to enjoy just being a part of it.
Then actual, specific frustrations (with real reasons) kicked in so I finally has something legit to think about. They just began hitting me in short phrases with only a second or two between each thought.
I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SURF BY NOW. WHY CAN’T I SURF? I LIVE ON THE BEACH! I’M RETARDED.
I SHOULD HAVE A JOGGING/ EXERCISE ROUTINE BY NOW LIKE THAT LADY WITH 40 YEAR OLD BUNS OF STEEL JOGGING OVER THERE. I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA AND I SHOULD BE ALL HEALTHY AND IN- SHAPE LIKE A TRUE CALIFORNIAN. I’M PATHETIC.
WHY DON’T I HAVE LOTS OF GOOD FRIENDS HERE YET? WHY DOESN’T ANYONE WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME? I MUST BE TOO LAME FOR PEOPLE AROUND HERE.
WHY AREN’T WE BOOKING MANY WEDDINGS/PHOTO SHOOTS IN LA YET? I MUST BE A TERRIBLE PHOTOGRAPHER.
WHY DON’T I ENJOY WHERE I LIVE MORE? I HARDLY EVER GO TO THE BEACH, HANG OUT ON THE BOARDWALK, OR GO TO THE INCREDIBLE RESTAURANTS IN WALKING DISTANCE! I AM SO BORING AND UNGRATEFUL AND I DON’T DESVE TO LIVE HERE.Â
I know, what the hell right?! Talk about negative, Â self- defeating thoughts! Â No wonder I feel depressed! That’s what’s going on in my head that I’m not even aware of?!
That’s when a single word hit me. Â A word that freed me and made me start laughing out loud with relief.Â
Patience!! I just uprooted and changed my life less than 3 weeks ago! Of course I haven’t adjusted to my new lifestyle, location, or relationships! I’ve barely had time to finish the actual physical part of the transitions, not to mention the emotional, mental, spiritual, ad relational parts! Give myself a break, me!!!
Why would I ever believe or expect myself to become an entirely new person in 2 1/2 weeks?! Especially considering I’ve spent that entire time unpacking and catching up on work that moving put me behind on. I’m embarrassed to tell you how a completely unrealistic and unreasonable I was being. What am I, 8?!
Personal growth and change takes time. Lots of time. It can only be done one step at a time. And often, one very slow step at a time.
The reason the word patience gave me freedom was because it IS happening so I can relax. I’ve done my part by taking care of what I can and now I wait. I think my fear takes over and pushes me to try to take control and force things to happen. You can only push so hard before it’s time to just sit back and let time enable your efforts to take root.Â
So just remember as you’re pursuing your rare existence…it does take a long time. There is only so much of it that you can control. Do the work, then take time to sit back and enjoy the process. Just know that it is a process and it is happening. It’s on it’s way, you’ve got it going. Now stop and enjoy the little successes that are happening along the way.
(UPDATE: It has been almost a year since I wrote this and I wanted to let you know that it has now been confirmed to be completely true. I knew I’m always right! I’m not exactly where I want to be yet, but I addressed many of these problems- minus the surfing- one at a time, then gave the changes time to take root, and voila! I have made significant progress in my life! So I’m telling you… there’s totally hope!!)J
P.S. please pray for the health and well being of my adorable quote image (you know, the one you guys are supposed to be sharing on Pinterest?!). He’s been trapped on my computer that got sucked into a time warp where wifi doesn’t exist. Be brave my little yellow friend.