Without a doubt, my worst quality is my impatience. Not when it comes to lines or restaurants or events, necessarily, but primarily with other people. When I reach a place of realization or decision-making, I get fidgety when others don’t match my pace. My impatience manifests as my attempting to push or pull people along with me. I over-explain, I frantically attempt to fix, I don’t allow space for anyone to reach realizations and decisions at their own speed. This pattern has played out countless times throughout my adult life, including dating. It often leaves me feeling frustrated, and I’m pretty sure that those closest to me have experienced their fair share of mutual frustration. No one enjoys being strong-armed into a decision by someone chomping at the bit to move forward. It’s pretty damn annoying, yet I often find myself doing it anyway or fighting against the urge to do it.
While there are some unhealthy patterns in my life that I have identified and taken steps to fix, this particular issue has evaded the grasp of self-improvement. I hardly know how to fix it except to practice holding my tongue and making space for others (as an extremely extroverted extrovert, I am inherently bad at both those things). Unfortunately, the catch-22 is that addressing this issue appears to require the very patience I lack. Pair that with my tendency to procrastinate and my perpetual struggle with follow-through, and I feel doomed to battle impatience for the rest of my life.
However, if the first step toward change is acknowledging that something is a problem, then one would think that I’d be well on my way toward dealing with this. The extent of my struggle has recently come into sharp relief in my interactions with The Voyeur. As friends, the speed with which he approached vulnerability wasn’t a huge concern for me. It’s easy to be patient when there’s nothing at stake personally. But now that things between us are muddled by both romantic feelings and trust issues, I’m (you guessed it) impatient to smooth things out, restore my old “safe” status, and understand why my feelings threw us into such chaos. I want to get to the bottom of it all, but his unwillingness (or inability) to engage in the process is extremely vexing. I find myself prodding at him, attempting to initiate discussions that will lead to healing. And I fail every time. And I’m forced to do the thing I’m terrible at: quietly wait. And I fucking hate it…because it may be exactly what I need.