I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and it’s becoming very clear to me that I’m just not a patient person.
Big shock, right? I imagine a lot of people aren’t very patient, and some of you, my readers, might even consider yourselves among them. Some of you, though, probably consider yourselves to be very patient people, and that’s where I would have pegged myself before I started really thinking about it. But there are a lot of things I’ve noticed lately that have all kind of added up. While I am not always impatient, there are areas of my life where I am – and some of them are very damaging, and even though I know about it, I don’t know that I can stop.
One of the things that first kind of tipped me off was recently in a game. I play a lot of video games, and some of them – MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), tend to have something of a black market. Nothing illegal, but technically a violation of the End-User License Agreement you implicitly agree to when you start playing. You can, with some services, pay actual money in order for in-game money or items. This essentially skips having to gather the in-game money or items yourself, which is often a significant time-sink – and often something that frustrates me to no end. I play games to be a part of a story, to do cool things, to be generally awesome – not to waste my time doing endlessly repetitive tasks that serve only to make me spend longer in the game. So that gold-buying service is awfully tempting, and in the past I’ve given in to that. I won’t say when, because there’s a possibility I’ll go back to that game, but it’s definitely an instance of impatience, especially because I have friends who would be willing to do the work in a game to earn their in-game money and items legitimately.
Another area where my impatience manifests itself which has come up more recently is involving the area of my health and weight loss. Now, I have always disliked exercise; it’s almost never enjoyable for me, and the few instances where it was, I was exercising in the company of a friend, and it was that company which both made the activity something resembling enjoyable and gave me the motivation to do it in the first place. I’m overweight, so you can see how this might be a problem – when exercising isn’t painful, it’s just boring, and I can’t distract myself from the total boredom. But Diet is also an important part of weight loss, and that’s something I keep trying to work on, with varying degrees of success. I tried doing the diet routine at a local place called MyFit Foods, and while I could handle doing it, it was almost like withdrawal not being able to eat the kinds of food I enjoy eating. I last through their 21-day challenge, and lost some weight, but I just couldn’t keep at it; I didn’t have the patience or the discipline. I went back to eating the way I used to, and the weight came back. Then a little while ago I tried out the Nutrisystem diet, and it was brutal – I’ve written about it before, and while again, I lost some weight, it was just too uncomfortable to keep with it. Now I’m thinking of trying something different, which largely involves a less strict diet, but mostly just cutting out carbs and sugars, and the diet definitely allows me access to more of the foods I enjoy – but I worry that I won’t have the patience for this, too.
It is a stumbling block in my personal life, too. I don’t make friends easily; as I’ve noted in the past; I have a lot of defenses, and my introversion doesn’t help out there. But once I let people past the defenses, I tend to just give them an all-access pass – I don’t have the patience or the inclination to do a more gradual reveal. For the most part, this policy hasn’t done too much bad for me, but it did severely contribute to messing up a possible relationship; while I didn’t push things physically, I think I pushed too hard emotionally, and when I start to care for someone in a more-than-friendship way, I can get impatient. I ask a lot of questions – some of them hard or intrusive – and I want answers fast, because I want to get to know the other person better as quickly as I can. My patience with general communication can get really impatient, too; where with other friends I might wait hours or days for a response to a call, e-mail, or text, that time can get condensed down to minutes with someone I care about, because (at least iin my mind) they must want to communicate just as quickly, right? And if they don’t what does it mean? I want answers, and I want them now – and that inability to wait, to give the other person time to think about what they are thinking and feeling, can put a lot of really uncomfortable pressure on. It’s both a feature of my attachment style and of my impatient nature.
Honestly, I have no idea what this means, or if it is something I can work on – or if, annoyingly, my impatience will mean I am too impatient to actual do any meaningful work on it. It took me a lot of thought and consideration to get this far, and even recognizing it, I don’t have the first idea of what to do – is this something I can work on? Is this something I should work on, or am I looking too hard? If I can work on it, where do I start? I’d say the faster I know what to do, the faster I can start doing it, but that is, itself, being impatient. So right now, I think the place to start is just to sit and think about this, and if anybody has any thoughts on the matter, let me know.