Patience is a difficult lesson

I remember hearing once that we are presented with the same lesson over and over until we really get it. If this is true, my current lesson is definitely related to patience and progress. Maybe that’s what I get for questioning the old saying, patience is a virtue. I still stand by the idea that sometimes it’s good not to be patient. However, this season of my life seems to be all about patience. Patience with my writing, patience with my teaching, patience with myself.

My love for writing has not waned, but my belief in myself wavers all the time. The description of my book is an eternal work in progress. I tweak a little here, a little there, a little better throughout time, but still not what it needs to be. Expecting Happiness also deserves a revisit with what I have learned in the past couple months. Naga (my NaNoWriMo project) was off to a good start but now I’m questioning whether my foray into fantasy was just that, a temporary adventure. I get that every word is progress, it just feels unbearably slow sometimes.

Teaching. Is. Hard. I was telling Alex last night that I feel like a big part of my job is improv. Sure I plan my lessons, but when it comes down to it, no script is ever going to work. Real life is messy. Kids are messy. Their ingenious questions redirect my plans all the time. Yes I’m getting better, but teaching is not something you just work hard at and then are instantly great. In fact, it was the first thing in my life where the correlation between hard work and success wasn’t immediate. Then you add in a pilot teacher evaluation system where I am graded on rubric after rubric and I start to feel a little less than stellar. I know it will pay off, but the progress is much slower than I’d like.

Me. Patience with myself is harder to define here, open to the world. There are just certain aspects of my life that I expected to be different by 30. No, 30 isn’t here, but it feels like it’s knocking on my door.

The lesson in all of this, progress takes time, little by little, bit by bit, day by day, hour by hour… The important part is continuing to put in the work that will eventually get me wherever it is I am headed. But here’s the best part. Thanks to this blog, I don’t feel alone in this. From my heart, I appreciate each and every one of you that is accompanying me on this sometimes slow journey, from friends and family in real life to friends on the other side of a computer screen. Thank you.

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12 thoughts on “Patience is a difficult lesson

  1. As for school, my dear….this time of year is always a struggle for me. I need a break so desperately, more than a normal weekend. I am sure you are still delivering great lessons and making great strides but these next few weeks will feel like you are pulling teeth and somedays you just plain won’t like going to work. It’s ok. 🙂

  2. Kozo says:

    Olivia, in regards to the writing, I think it may be that time of the month–sorry, bad choice of words. We are half way through NaMoWriMo and I am feeling the same ennui. Words are not flowing with enthusiasm like they were in the first week. I feel like I am forcing the plot. I feel insecure about my main character–will the reader like him, or will he bore the reader?

    We are in a writing marathon. Just keep going. We can worry about the details when this month is over. You are right about not being alone. It feels so good to be able to read and communicate with others while we write. Thank you for your honesty and insight.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Interesting point– I hadn’t really thought of it as part of the process… Last year it was so new and exciting, I didn’t hit any roadblocks. Beginners enthusiasm, I guess. I will take your advice and keep going, I know you’re right. Helps to know I’m not the only one!

  3. You write beautifully. If your novels are anything like what you post in your blogs than it would be foolish for someone to not want to publish what you have written. Write with a Pure Heart and do not be mindful of those who tell you what you write isn’t selling. Trust me the Universe is large and somewhere, out there, is someone who will resonate with what you have written. It may take a while, maybe years, but at least in the end you will respect yourself for staying the course. Never…ever…give up. This lesson is invaluable to those younger than you and as for the numbers…. they are just numbers to mark time. They mean nothing if you do not give them power. I’m rooting for you! Peace.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. I won’t give up, I just sometimes wish things would move a little faster 😉 I have to remind myself that even slow progress is progress. Your words help, thank you.

  4. Seb says:

    Yes. patience is usually something you want RIGHT NOW!

  5. jeffo says:

    I know exactly how you feel about the book thing – my first was completed and started the querying process last April; seven months later, here I am re-reading it and revising it and rebuilding queries and loglines, etc. Tough sledding, this writing stuff.

    Someone (I don’t know who) once said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Definitely requires patience. And flexibility. Hang in there!

  6. I can relate. I struggle with patience more as I get older. Thank you for being so honest!

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