This post originally appeared on Bed Crumbs.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older,
And we wouldn’t have to wait so long?
Patience. The word confronts me on a daily basis. Have patience. Have patience. Have patience. I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve been told that by others, how many times I’ve told myself that. Patience is a virtue, one I clearly do not have.
A few months ago, I wrote a series of articles about heroes of mine who weren’t the successful, inspiring, accomplished women they are today when they were my age. It’s okay to not have everything just yet, I wrote. It’s okay to maybe not know what exactly it is you’re doing. These women turned out pretty okay; you will too.
And yet. Do as I say, not as I do, I guess.
Feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt seem to plague me more than I care to admit. Can I do this? I ask myself. Can I become the woman I believe I am meant to be? Does anyone even know I exist? Is my work good enough? Have I done nothing with my life? Why is everything taking so long?
Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
This is what I want to believe: that (mostly) hard work and (a little) wishing and hoping and praying will work out for me, preferably sooner rather than later. I want to believe that following my passion and unbridled ambition relentlessly will work out in my favor.
This is what I know: that I am often tired and frustrated that “nothing” has happened already. That I often wish I could skip ahead a few years, to when I’m a “real adult,” one with more money and more accomplishments and more friends and more fun. A “real adult” making moves in the world, kicking ass and taking names. A “real adult” who is doing what she loves and being acknowledged for it.
This is also what I know: that my impatience is what drives me forward, what keeps me from being complacent with what I have done so far.
Every time I feel like I have accomplished nothing in my life, like everything I want is so close and yet so far away, every time I question that my life is forever going to be the way it is right now, I let that word, patience, confront me. Breathe. You’re only 23.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year. For a moment, I thought nothing much had happened. I was wrong. I got promoted. I went out on stupid dates that ended up giving me material to work with. I made new friends — best friends. I went to concerts and ran up a credit card bill, but God, it was worth every penny, because I truly felt alive.
I wrote. A lot. I had things published. I wrote about my favorite things, about people and music and issues that inspired, moved, and bothered me, and people read them. People liked them.
A friend of mine recently dug up an old photo of me on Facebook. It’s four years old. Four years seems like a lifetime ago. I can’t get over how young I look.
“Story time!” my friend commented. I’m 19 years old, posing with Alexa Chung after a New York Fashion Week show. I went on to recount my escapades as a fashion writer and editor, all these things I had done before I turned 21. And then it hit me. When you take a step back, a lot has happened. It’s easy to forget what you have accomplished and instead focus on what you have not.
Have patience. I have to remember to live in the now, to accept and celebrate what has happened to me now, rather than lament the things that are yet to be.
In my journal from this past year, I talked a lot about destiny, about how the events in my life have shaped up so far. I was so worried that nothing was happening, when in hindsight, life was happening, exactly when and where it was supposed to.