Waiting is not one of my strongest points. All keeping to myself, I rant, I overthink and sometimes devise ten ways to put to perpetual agony the person who’s been late, composing a hundred counter-arguments against the excuses for being late.
I am not good with waiting. The feeling irks me. Restlessness and recklessness are the twins of impatience with no good, satisfying ending. It feels as if something is being wasted, escapes my grasp. It feels as if I’m missing an opportunity. It feels as if nothing is happening, that nothing is coming.
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But life teaches us in the most awkward ways. To learn how to wait, to learn patience, one must be found in situations for waiting—lines, routines, applications, dates. And in this fast-paced, instant, quickie culture that we have been so accustomed to, waiting has been considered as a game, a pain, a necessary inconvenience.
The Elements of Waiting include the person who waits, the object of the wait, the place of waiting, and Time. Of these, we can only control one: that is ourselves, being the one who waits. The act of waiting and the other three elements make it all the more a seemingly uncomfortable, daunting task. Life means for us to be patient for our own good.
Limited by the forces outside our own devices, it is tempting to grumble and give up. We are too focused on the object of our wait that we sometimes forget when our desire to acquire gets the better of us, it twists us, disconnects us from the purpose of our wait, and makes our attitudes bad.
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Impatience is selfish, the bloated sense of ego, an arrogance that knows no bounds. It hurts people. It hurts ourselves. It hurts the object of our wait. If allowed to remain, it will eventually destroy, rob us of what we are waiting for. So many quarrels have ensued, so many opportunities missed, so many causes for celebration aborted because of the foulness of our moods and fickleness of our feelings. We overthink to our destruction and so we lose the right words and the right actions that should have been key allies in the long wait.
Patience means to wait without complaint and frustration—even if it means having to stay in an uncomfortable place and enduring the unpredictable pace.
Waiting shapes our sense of self. The long wait reveals to us our capacity for endurance, our capacity to give, our capacity to love, our capacity to transcend the negative side of ourselves. For waiting demands selflessness to accommodate and adapt to the changes and inconveniences that are outside our control. It also reveals to us the value of what or who we are waiting for. The more valuable the object of our wait is, the more likely are we to be more mindful of what we say and do. By waiting, we prepare ourselves to receive what we have always been waiting for. It refines our character, it makes us more giving, more understanding.
To you who’s still pursuing the career or place you’ve always been looking forward to, focus on preparing yourself for the bigger and better responsibilities. Sharpen your skills. Master them. Some delays are not denials. And some denials are not delays. They are detours to help you become better, well-suited for the new place and role.
And to you, who are still waiting for someone, take this time as an opportunity to prove how important that person is to you and to that person by doing the right acts and saying the right words. Waiting defines and refines our feelings and intentions. If s/he is important, you can wait. You will wait. Because when love is true, it finds a way. And because Love is patient.
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So while you are waiting, work on yourself, don’t allow the hunger of desire to overtake you. Take your time to prepare because your time will definitely come. For all things are made beautiful in their proper time.
Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.