Girl Talk: Let Me Be Patient
“You are in danger of rushing something that needs to be taken slowly. Yes, okay, you may have slipped behind a bit in your schedule but is it really that important? Probably not. Take your time and get it right.” — My horoscope (Scorpio) on Sunday October 24th
I’m not always the most patient person. On Sunday, the day that I read the horoscope above — which I then photographed with my iPhone for safe keeping because it resonated that much — I made butternut squash soup and adapted the recipe to include caramelized onions. If you’ve ever attempted to make caramelized onions, you know they take an insane amount of patience. When you’ve gotten to the point where you think they’re done, that they’ve reached the ultimate level of sweet brown deliciousness, chances are, they need another 10 minutes more. I never ever give them enough time.
In addition to cooking, there are two others things I’m really impatient about: creativity and love. I’m not a fussy writer. I’ve read through this essay twice. Once as I was writing it. And a second time to check if there were any spelling or grammatical errors. My gut instinct types for me. Blogging has been a godsend, because time is of the essence and speed is my forte. Unfortunately, while laboring over an essay like this is unnecessary, I am attempting to write a book proposal, and apparently, book proposals take an insane amount of time and labor. I hate it.
In college, the third guy I slept with — the first of the three that I “felt” anything for — I fell in love with instantly. Oxytocin flooded my brain and I leaped from “nice guy from my college newspaper staff” to “future OMG husband” with no room for getting to know each other in between. I’ve repeated that pattern more times than I can count. My ex-fiance and I moved more slowly than any relationship I’ve ever had, yet we still moved in together after five months. My last boyfriend and I spent four nights in a row together after we met, texting sweet-nothings in between. And yet the passion, while so burning hot at first, always, without fail, dies out, partially because we haven’t, I haven’t, really taken the time to get to know the other person in true depth.
The truth is, for whatever reason, I don’t like the uncertainly between those first few moments of meeting someone and liking them and then, after a period of time, discovering that you’re in love.
I love to be in love and to be loved back. I’ve never allowed myself to enjoy the “falling.” I look for signs that the onions are brown enough, so that I can turn off the flame and reap the rewards.
Recently, I met someone who I like. And I have a good feeling about him. But he’s not like me. It’s not in his nature to skip ahead to the “good” part. He takes his time and, I’m discovering, he’s the kind of person you want to take your time with. At the same time that I’ve been getting to know him, I’ve been working on the first sample chapter to go along with my book proposal. It’s been more work — emotionally and physically — than I ever could have thought. I want this chapter to be done, so I can feel the satisfaction of completing something and have the hard part be over, so I can move on to the next step. Just like I want to know if this guy is going to mean as much as my instincts are telling me he’s going to.
Even though I had decided I would send my first chapter to my agent this week, no matter what, I realized it wasn’t at that point yet. Yes, I had passed my deadline. But I’ve missed other deadlines too. If I had married my ex, if things had gone “as planned,” I would probably have a baby right now. When I think about that — when I really think about it — I feel an ache because it is so what I wanted, it is so the plan I wanted to follow, but the components — he and I — were wrong.
For once, I am going to force myself to take my time. To be patient. To pass through the moment, however uncertain it may be, until I come out on the other side, confident that I’ve actually gotten it right.