Seven hours ago, my fourth day of work ends. I'm waiting for the elevator. Stephanie, one of the Jed Foundation staff members, walks up to wait with me:
Stephanie: "This elevator is so slow. You take your time to say goodbye to everyone in the office, leave, and end up seeing them again seconds later because the elevator still hasn't moved."
Me: "Yeah...yeah...haha...it's slow. I don't know, I'm used to it by now. Doesn't really bother me."
Stephanie: "Yeah you seem like you're pretty patient."
Me: "Eh you know..." (smiles shyly)
Maybe you don't. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not that bad at this "9-to-5" thing! Patience is not a trait that would apply to me in every situation, but yeah, I suppose I can be pretty darn patient in a good amount of circumstances.
For the past four days, I've been sitting at a desk for ~8 hours straight, typing at a computer with RAM that has allowed me to complete assignments 20 times slower than I should, and without a personal water bottle or lip balm (I KEEP forgetting to purchase these items to help myself out) ! I've been working on a weak computer with a dry mouth and rough lips. Yeah...YEAH! I must be patient! Maybe that's what Stephanie was referring to.
Then again, I'm only doing this for a week. And then there's the fact that I don't know if my habits (not just at work) this week have to do with patience at all. When I think of patience, I immediately think of waiting. Patient people are good at waiting. What are we waiting for? Why are we waiting? Is it because we don't like our current situation and we want something better to come along?
That was a little bit of my transparent brain for you.
I've been thinking about the job, and my time in New York. I really like that I have always had an assignment to work on this week. There's been no hesitation to ask for another task because I've finished another assignment shortly after it's been given to me. Each task has taken me some time, and I feel accomplished after doing them. There hasn't been one time this week where I haven't felt as if I was useful, and that's really kept my focus and confidence up.
On the other hand, while I've been productive at work, I've been finding it hard to do anything after work, something I touched on in my last post. I feel done with the day after 6pm. I really like sleeping, which is a big temptation for me after a full day at the desk. A big temptation, and a big no-no when living in "The City that never sleeps!"
I believe the major problem I've had this week is that I've put pressure on myself to "live it up" here in a way that other people can understand, when I've been so very happy in my own way. On my way to and from the B&C each day, I stop from time to time to listen to someone playing their instrument on the street/subway.
I stop at the park to watch a bunch of kids play a soccer game.
I stop and observe Anne's ethnically diverse group of friends while at a bar, and how a lot of the other friend groups I've seen around town are the same way. I then grin uncontrollably. Frankly, I'm not used to seeing this sort of thing so frequently.
I stop to eat at a good pizzeria (I believe people have forgiven me for the McDonald's by now), meet someone new, and end up hearing a part of his life story:
I stop and take a deep breath. The air isn't always good over here (chuckle), but I'm happy to be breathing.
I realize that I can do these things anywhere in the world, but that's what I like about the week I'm spending here in New York City. I've been doing these simple things (instead of going to every historical joint) in new, amazing places, but I find that beautiful. The City feeds me back something fresh, in its own language, and I hear it, I FEEL it loud and clearly. I get to just "be" in a new place. There's no pressure when I'm being me. Now don't get me wrong, if I were in a more flexible position job-wise and was subjected to more peer-pressure, I'd probably be doing a few more touristy things.
But I'm just trying to conclude something here. I don't think I'm patient at all. I'm not in a hurry either. I just feel happy. I feel happy to be doing what I'm doing, and to be alive. Grateful. I feel grateful. I'm not waiting for anything (the perfect job, the perfect time, the perfect place), so no, I'm not really patient. I'm just living. Trying to make the best of where I am as much as I can, with what I've got. That's all.
Am I making any sense? I hope so. Either way, let's talk more about this next time...got work soon! Had to talk this out.
Thanks so much for listening. It helped.