Dear First Gen,
Have you always been told to be patient? I’m betting the answer to that question is a resounding YES!
Do you often have to tell others to have patience? Again, probably a YES!
Are you good at exercising patience? Well, that may be a different story!
Tell me: How do you exercise patience?
Gulasheen Jabbar was featured earlier this month and she talked a lot about patience. I was moved by her journey in general, but I particularly admired her ability to be a good steward of patience. Amazing!
Patience continues to be a struggle for me on a weekly, or even daily, basis. The most recent time I can recall being patient is when I was studying for the Maryland Bar Exam in 2012. Weird, right? It’s supposed to be one of the most stressful times in my life. Let me explain.
The Maryland Bar Exam is a two-day examination for eligible law school graduates or attorneys seeking admission to practice law in the State of Maryland. Many test takers do not pass the exam on their first attempt. I was fortunate enough (and happy!) to take this test only once, but it took a lot of discipline to study from 7 a.m. until midnight every day (OK, the weekend shift was more like 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. A girl's gotta have a life outside of the books.)
In my opinion, I was very patient with the process because it was guaranteed to end, and it was a mandatory step before I could be a licensed attorney, which was my ultimate goal. There was no way around it but to do it and succeed. Everyone I knew graduating law school was doing the same thing, so who was I to argue?
However, I occasionally reached a breaking point back in school when I was number two or three on a waitlisted course. Cue the jumping around in frustration or eating sweets. There were plenty of sleepless nights and checking in to see if anyone had dropped the course. When I was a semi-finalist for an award and the judges took weeks to decide the finalist? I flipped open my phone (I loved my Sidekick or Nextel) to dial the office number or used my laptop to draft an email that started with "Dear Committee." I usually found someone to dissuade me in time. It all worked out in the end, but as a student I had to have what I sought…and quickly.
These days, I find myself growing impatient when I am applying and interviewing for jobs. I have a list of goals I want to achieve—don't we all? If you’re lucky, you can accomplish your goals in one job or with one employer by rising in rank. But as a staffer, there is a constant desire to pursue a new position in an industry, non-profit, or government agency, and build upon those advocacy skills on behalf of a specific population. Each year that I have been with the Senator, I have developed new skills and knowledge, and been exposed to a different population that I find myself wanting to serve.
When I have a strong feeling about an organization or business, I initially just consider applying. Once I finally convince myself to apply, there’s nothing but crickets on the other end. Or I have made it past many steps in the interview process and fall short of the offer. I replay the conversations in my head, temporarily dismayed, but my spirits are lifted after I read a few inspirational quotes on patience (see below). I’ve discovered that patience is key on my journey because I am always given a new opportunity that was not initially on my radar.
And sometimes, when that patience just won't come on its own, I like to distract myself by cleaning or watching movies. I LOVE MOVIES!
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