20 Nov

I am exceedingly impatient.

I always have been — instant gratification is my forte. In second grade, I would trade in each gold star I received on my spelling tests for a first tier prize, usually some sort of sticker, rather than saving them until the end of the week for a third-tier smelly-eraser. In ninth grade, I started dating my (ill-compatible) best-friend because I knew him already and could skip all of the boring, get-to-know-you talk.

There was an undergrad course I took – senior year, working on my English Degree, called Canterbury Tales. I slacked off royally for the entire class – during which we learned how to speak Middle English, and dove into the most interesting and eventually influential book I have ever gotten my hands on.

But I skated by, for an entire semester, much to the dismay of my professor and advisor. I barely tried; I was already heading to grad school and my English grades wouldn’t get me very far as far as Medical School was concerned. In my senior year, I was concerned with partying; with my friends; with that boy.  Throughout the course, the professor tried to push me; I was having none of it. She eventually gave up, I think – many cases of senioritis are irreversible. And then, finals came around – and all the material suddenly clicked that we’d been working on all semester. I handed in my final in-class essay, extremely confident with the results. A week into December break, she told me that “was the best final Canterbury Tales essay she’d ever read.”

The potential is there; with enough pressure, we’ve got ourselves a shiny diamond. But the discipline; the patience to quietly hammer out the details and iron out the wrinkles; that’s what’s lacking. The perfectionist quality many have … well, ‘good enough’ has always worked for me. Passionate and sloppy is my trademark. And, once in awhile, the hours of training click in and everything falls right into place.

I’ve always known that being ‘passionate and sloppy’ stem from always wanting to get done as much as humanly possible in as little time as possible; stretched to my limit, just barely being able to get everything done, ‘good-enough’ is what I settle for in order to be this all-encompassing, extraordinarily well-rounded person. A jack-of-all-trades.

And my impatience stems from an overwhelming desire to constantly be in control.

It’s not about settling, as you implied, oh study partner of mine. I’m not settling into these casual relationships with boys because I don’t believe myself worthy of something better – because I don’t want to be rejected by someone “better”. You say that I am settling for them, but that is simply not the case.

I am not settling for these boys, because in truth many of them are leagues above me; they are kind, and generous and sweet and vulnerable and I am none of these things and I will never be any of these things. But these relationships are ones that I am in control of. I am not a tongue-tied fool when they talk to me; my stomach is not fluttering when their hands brush my shoulder blades. I do not fumble over simple questions and make awkward comments when they are around. My lips don’t smile without me fully intending them to do so; my heart rate doesn’t bounce around in my chest when he sits next to me in lecture.

I am in control. I am impatient, and passionate and a bit bored and undeserving of the attention that I do get because of my lack of investment in it. But here, having the upper hand, is and always will be where I will be the most confident.


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