Wait It Out

In which I talk about grad school and recommend my doctor.

This blog’s been silent for nearly 3 weeks, which I think is actually unprecedented since it started. There’s a few reasons for that–we just had a long conversation post on the Apple/FBI case at the start of the month; I spent a week looking over my grad school admissions; and I spent the last week in bed with some awful virus.

Even now, having missed several days of work, I am still fighting this thing off.

On Friday, my fourth day off, I sent a message to the doctor asking what was going on and what I should do. Her response:

Wait it out.

That’s what I’ve been doing, I thought irritably. Waiting so I can go back to work. So I can get back to writing. So I can get back to planning my life–I have to move soon. So I can stop doing nothing.

This has actually been my problem for the first couple months of the year–I finished my grad school applications, and then my status in life equated to “waiting to hear back.” It wasn’t even an anxious waiting, it was an annoyed waiting–wasn’t I doing something, instead of waiting for someone else to make the next move?

Now that patience seems to have been rewarded this last week–I got into several grad programs, including my top choice–and I am, it seems, all set. But already my patience has worn thin. When do I move on? When do I get to travel? When do I get to stop living in my bed?

To some people I seem the patient type. Mom knows better.

“You should learn to sit quietly and do nothing,” she would tell me in a restaurant, when I was a kid. Which sounded ridiculous.

“Patience is a virtue,” she said more eloquently while waiting for the plane to take off.

It’s a lesson I forget more and more often these days, usually because the challenges are different. My patience is not innate; it has been built over the years. And I have to re-learn it all the time.

My doc said more about my illness. “It’s a virus. Your body will get rid of it on its own.”

That’s what I like about my doctor–she’s blunt and never recommends medication unless it’s obviously needed. But the simplicity of the answer still grated on my ears.

My pastor said something similar, referring to Isaiah about waiting–“But those who wait on the Lord / Shall renew their strength.” I heard this sermon Sunday, but it’s taken until today to actually grasp it. My prayers so far have more or less amounted to, Can I be better now?

I’m not unique in thinking that the timing of everything is off, that the next part of life ought to happen now. But I have reassurances from what I’ve been told and what past patience has brought me. I ought to feel a little better waiting it out.


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