At Your Own Speed
I believe that from birth we’re all set at different speeds. Some of us are mired in inertia, some are slow to take on new things and some are out of the gate as soon as an inkling becomes a thought. This makes for interesting life challenges when you live with someone working at a different speed than yours.
The best scenario to explain what I’m talking about is this: a friend is out of work and you keep giving her ideas, contacts and advice. When you realize she isn’t following through, you start to resent the fact that she isn’t taking action and then you start to nag. You know how this works. We all have expectations for our spouses, our children and even our parents and if they aren’t moving along at our speed, it’s infuriating.
When I was in my twenties, I quit my job, borrowed money and took off for Europe for nine months. By the time I returned I was broke, jobless and probably, in everyone else’s eyes, lost. But in my mind I knew what I wanted and there was no reason to run around in circles chasing after all those other things. There was one job I wanted and I was willing to wait, which I did for nine months.
This whole ordeal drove my parents crazy. I “should be out there looking for a job, any job”. They said I was lazy. How could I sit around and do nothing? Granted, I was living at home and they were taking care of me. I’m sure it wasn’t what they had planned on by the time I reached my mid-twenties, but there I was. In my mind I knew I was going to get the job I wanted and I was willing to wait.
The tortoise and the hare. I be the tortoise.
My “operating speed” drives some people crazy
but if I trust it, it works for me. This is in the front of my mind right now because I have been ready for the next phase of my life for the last 30 months. I slide, I drift, I worry, I fret, I doubt, I don’t know. But it has taken me that amount of time because that’s the way I process things.
If you are in a situation with someone in the midst of making life changes, make a point of talking about it rather than giving advice. It’s possible he or she knows exactly what they want and they’re waiting for it to happen. I know this is hard, but you have to allow people the time to process, move, and settle at their own speed.
Have a good week and we’ll talk soon.