I think I’m liking how this Weekly Sip series is going. I didn’t expect to go as deep as I have, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you want to catch up, check out my past Weekly Sip posts about trying something new and spending time alone.
This week, I’m tackling two virtues that can be tough to practice, especially as a millennial: patience and positivity.
Patience and positivity are two of the most essential qualities in a person, yet seem to play more as vices than virtues.
Have you ever been in a rut? Feeling like you’re not moving forward or getting anywhere? Feeling like you’re losing your patience and positivity?
A few days ago, I visited Mean Mug Coffeehouse on the Southside, one morning before work. It wasn’t a place I really frequented before, as it’s not super close to my work and to be honest, sometimes I kind of forgot about it. But my coworkers always rave about it, and I had a lunch meeting there before the holidays, so I’ve added it to my rotation a bit more.
Mean Mug is a bit quirky; on the weekends, it’s a workspace for a lot of creatives in the city. It has an amazing menu, with coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch offerings. I can 100% vouch for the prosciutto biscuit. That morning, I opted for some peppermint black tea and a blueberry scone. If you didn’t know, peppermint tea has a ton of health benefits: decongestant, anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressant, mood booster, among many more.
So you could say that tea was a perfect way to get my brain going before heading in to work.
We live in a world of instant gratification. When we want something, we want it right now. The Internet and technology in general make it easier to make that happen. If we can’t get whatever we want as soon as we want it, then it’s a disaster. The struggles of being a millennial, right?
Life after college–especially in the first six months following graduation–is a whirlwind. Everyone takes seemingly different paths and goes in a hundred directions: grad school, new job in a new city, new job, living at home, traveling around the world, working for the Peace Corps, Teach for America… you name it, I knew someone from college doing it.
There’s a funny thing that happens after college: everyone starts comparing their lives to other people’s lives. We’re all guilty of it. How did that person get that job? Why did that work for them and not for me? Why can’t I get a job like that? Why am I still living at home like a loser? Ugh, that person is traveling Europe and teaching English and I’m stuck at this lame desk job in a cubicle.
Then there’s the weddings and engagements and relationships. When I finished college, I was in a steady relationship and we stayed together through my year in grad school. I moved to Chattanooga partially to be closer to him. On the outside, my life looked pretty good. New job, new city, good boyfriend.
No one saw the struggles I went through, except my closest friends. It wasn’t always like my perfectly curated and edited Instagram photos. But I digress. As time went on, I watched my friends and former classmates get engaged and married and wondered when my turn was coming.
Patience and positivity aren’t everyone’s virtues. For some of us, they’re more like vices.
Sometimes I think that people expect life to just fall in place and be perfect and easy at a certain point. It doesn’t always happen that way. Instant gratification isn’t always as instant as we’d like it to be. But if life were easy, we’d never grow and learn. If everything happened so quickly, we’d never take the time to enjoy life’s little moments.
To be fair, it’s hard to be patient when you really want something, when you’ve been working and waiting for that something for a long time. It’s hard to stay positive and remind yourself that you’ll get there. It’s hard to see other people moving up and onward while you’re seemingly stuck in one place.
I’m not a perfect Christian, but my faith is a huge part of my outlook on life and how I choose to live. I was raised to believe in a loving God who knows, cares for and loves each and every one of us and has a plan for everyone. It’s that belief that guides me through difficult chapters in my life, and it’s these specific verses that help me stay grounded during those times:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. (Matthew 6:34)
Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit (Galataians 22). God has a plan. What’s meant to be will find its way. Smile and have faith that everything is going to be okay and work out. Stop worrying about what’s not happening or what you’re not doing. Have faith that what’s meant to be will find its way. Life isn’t meant to be fulfilled and lived all in your 20s. Save some of the fun for your 30s, 40s, 50s.
Okay, this post got a little long and took a direction I didn’t expect to take. But that’s the beauty of this series — to just let my words come and see where they take me.
How do you practice patience and positivity when life gets tough?