I’m calm enough that I often trick people into thinking I’m really patient, though few things could be further from the truth. I’m actually so impatient that I have trouble sitting still sometimes and often force conclusions just because I need closure. I need a decision to be made and the next move to be known. When things end, I move on immediately.
My general impatience is not something I really wish to fix; it means I have momentum and I’m excited about the future. Sitting still is overrated anyway.
But sometimes impatience is more of a defense mechanism than a character trait. It’s a way of avoiding my feelings. A way of making myself untouchable. You can’t hurt me, because I’ve already moved on. And it’s pretty effective until everything you’re running from inevitably catches up with you.
Some feelings demand to be felt, and the strange thing is that the more you avoid them, the bigger and scarier they become. I know this. It was a point made in the documentary, This Emotional Life. I watched it on April 30, 2010, and wrote this in my journal, “This is the paradox of emotions. The feelings you don’t want to feel you actually feel more intensely. As soon as you let yourself feel those feelings, they begin to diminish.”
If just feeling your feelings was an easy thing to do, then I wouldn’t have any defense mechanisms. I wouldn’t always have one foot out the door. The intellectual part of knowing what I should do was important, but it took a lot more than that to get myself to actually do it. Nothing I can point to easily. Some combination of getting older and having spent years trying to figure this stuff out. I only know that a thing happened and I didn’t run. Possibly because I had nowhere to go.
I want to say something ridiculous, like I’ve been communing with my feelings. But, truly, it kind of feels that way. We’ve been sitting together and going to work every day and having tea in the afternoons. Sometimes we go for walks and listen to Peter Gabriel. That guy really knows feelings.
I decided to take all the time I needed. And I discovered that it’s true what they say: when you actually face your feelings, they lose a lot of their intensity. Communing and drinking tea stands in contrast to the normal mind-spinning, angst-ridden way I handle my feelings.
Despite lessons learned, death has a way of forcing perspective, and I saw June coming and thought, “I need to let go of everything–I mean everything–and move on.” Then I had some more tea and realized that was stupid. So I am a bit weighed down by life right now, but I’m okay and I am moving forward. I’m just taking my time.