I’ve always had a type A personality, even as a little girl. I liked being the best, being on top of things 100% of the time, and being in complete control. Growing up, this manifested as perfect grades. I slaved over homework in order to have the perfect report card. I was perfectionistic in other ways too. I never wanted to compete in sports because I knew I couldn’t win. If I was bad at sports, why bother trying? I avoided anything I knew I couldn’t completely succeed in.
With this perfectionism came a great deal of impatience. I think the two often go hand in hand. I was easily impatient with others, as my mom can probably attest to. But most of all, I was impatient with myself and with my own life.
Right before the start of my freshman year of high school, I fell off my bike and broke my right arm. Instead of having compassion on myself, I was just mad. I had to start off my year asking others to help me open my locker, having my mom help me shampoo my hair, and asking my English teacher for extra time to write an in-class essay because I had trouble holding a pencil. All I wanted was to get back to normal but, instead, I had to give myself time to heal. “Giving myself time to heal” meant waiting. I hated waiting for anything.
Fast forward ten plus years and I’m not too different from my freshman-self. I don’t have a broken arm, but I often feel broken in more ways than one. (Broken=not perfect.) Feeling broken especially comes into play when I’m dealing with my mental illness. I’m still impatient when I feel like I’m not living up to my standards—wanting a perfect job and a published book and nothing to do with anxiety and depression. More than anything though, I still hate waiting.
But now I find myself in a time of life where I have to do just that: wait. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why I’m waiting like I am, but suffice it to say that God has me in a time of transition that requires more waiting than I’d normally want.
My perfectionism urges me to hurry through this time.
Get to the next thing already.
Why are you still here?
Why aren’t you moving?
Go, go, go!
I tend to focus on the future instead of the present. Let’s just say that “living in the moment” does not come easily to me.
The thing is, when I want to hurry through the waiting process, I may miss out on what God is trying to teach me now. God can use times of transition and waiting to prepare us for the next stage of life. I know that. So why do I have such a hard time with it?
Maybe it’s because I don’t yet know what God is teaching me. I have an idea of what He is preparing me for, but I don’t have a clue as to how He is preparing me. I even try to hurry God. Okay, God, teach me something already. Hello? Hurry up!
I wrote this post as a reminder myself to be patient in this time of waiting. God is working. God is moving. He is using this stage for my benefit. In what may feel like inactivity, He is still active.
I am now going to try to embrace the waiting. This means–enter scary music here–learning patience and making the decision to set my perfectionism aside.