*Sigh* Patience is a Virtue…

My birthday is December 7th (yes, Pearl Harbor Day).  This date absolutely plagued me as a little girl.  My little brother’s birthday is  in June while my little(er) sister’s birthday is in April.  Now, I was a smart little girl but the whole idea of a year really messed with my head.  I was absolutely 110% positive that it took significantly longer to get to my birthday than to my brother and sister’s birthdays.  As much as my mom begged to disagree, the calendar did not lie.  You start at the beginning… January, February, March, APRIL!!!  It only took 4 month’s to get to Elizabeth’s birthday!!  Continue on: May, JUNE!!!  Only 2 more months and it was Nick’s!!!!!!  Get ready because it was going to take some seriously flipping to get to mine… July, August, September (I’m about half dead at this point), October, November (it may never come… oh wait….) DECEMBER!!  I had 11 long months to wait until we even got to my month.  Every year, every year I waited the longest.  Now my mom tried her very best to show me that both Nick and Elizabeth also had to wait 12 months, just in a different order but I wasn’t buying it.  No sir-ee.  You couldn’t fool me – the calendar does not lie.

As time passed, I finally understood the concept that a year was a year was a year. It didn’t matter what date you started on, it would take 365 days (not counting leap year of course) to get back to that date whether it be in April, June or, God forbid, even December.  Finally, I realized that not every one’s calendar looked the same as mine.  My glory month was December because it meant presents and fun galore but my brother had a fondness for June and my sister seemed to be fixated on April.  We were all looking at the same calendar but it looked different to each of us.  This wasn’t an easy lesson to learn… and somehow, somehow I feel like I still haven’t quite gotten the grasp of it yet.

Calendars are a funny thing but (in a broader sense) time lines are even funnier. I’ve had my life planned since I was about 4 years old.  Grow up, go to college, buy a pink convertible, become a Broadway singer, fall in love with Ken (remember, I was four) and live happily ever after.

I drive a silver Toyota Corolla, have been riding a relationship roller coaster for the past  few years and haven’t been to New York City (where they keep Broadway in case you’ve forgotten) in about three years  if that’s any clue to how well the plans have worked out. For a long time, every time “the plan” didn’t work out, I lost it.  Emotionally, I was a wreck.  Unrealistic plans I made before I could drive, vote or even reach the freezer to get my own bowl of ice cream had been running my life.  Every time a friend got engaged, some one made more money than I did or one of my relationships ended, I was devastated.  Waiting for my life to follow my plan had become a lot like waiting for my December birthday all over again…. Mine took the longest.

Lucky for me, I have three very talented, beautiful and smart friends.  Recently, they (calmly) reminded me that perhaps my time line was a load of crap (my friends are also brutally honest and hilarious).  I was living so much for my time line that I was missing the wonderful life I had.  I was impatient for my plans to come to fruition in the exact time line I had laid out while playing with Barbies that I was having an extremely hard time dealing with my very real life not matching up at all with my very fake plans.  My life that I had not planned was filled with great friends, a wonderful family, a great job and hilarious experiences that I never could have planned in.

So, my mission lately has been to let go of the plans and gain some patience.  Every one’s life happens at a different pace in different ways and I have very little, if any, control over it.  At times letting go of “the plan” seems next to impossible while at other times, it’s absolutely liberating.  I do find, however, when I finally let even a little bit of “the plan” fly away in the wind, what waits for me is even better than I ever could have imagined.  After all, as I was kindly reminded lately, patience is a virtue and if you’re constantly living your life according to someone else’s plan, even if that some one else is you at age 4, you’ll miss all of the great scenery along this crazy journey called life.

-Caitlin

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~ by caitlinludwig on June 22, 2010.

2 Responses to “*Sigh* Patience is a Virtue…”

  1. What a great post, Caitlin — you echoed so many of my own thoughts. Sometimes it’s so hard to reconcile the life you thought you wanted to live and the life you’re currently living. I know the hardest thing for me has been to find a way to create my own definitions for success instead of looking to others to tell me if I’m successful. I’ve been surprised at how hard that really is to do. Thanks for saying out loud what many of us are thinking but are maybe too scared to say!

  2. This post made me laugh, get a little teary and feel wonderfully honored to be your friend!

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