There are many difficult things to find in life, but patience is one of the most difficult to come by. I confess, I have been extremely impatient of late. I keep waiting for things to happen that I can’t even really rely on. Things never quite go the way you expect them to and rarely go the way you want them to.
So you fall into the waiting game.
You know, that stupid game your parents made you play when you had to wait for something. It has no rules and no prizes and was really just a ploy to make you sit still and shut up so you’d stop bugging them.
The waiting game is tedious, difficult, and the time it lasts is often indefinite. In fact, a lot of times it drives me crazy. And anything could be on the other side of the waiting: disappointment, celebration, a surprise, a doctor appointment, the end of school, a broken heart, etc. A lot of times, the result of waiting is entirely uncertain. That’s another thing that makes the waiting game so hard to win: uncertainty.
The best way to win the game is to trust that, even if the result isn’t what you expect or want, it will be for the best. This isn’t easy either. It also usually involves even more waiting. Once you finish waiting to receive the results, you have to wait to see how it will be for the best.
Okay, waiting sucks. But it’s a necessary part of life. The only thing that makes it much easier is to trust. Things do work out when given time. Sometimes a lot of time. But the waiting game does eventually pay off.
When I met my best friend in the world, the first thing I noticed was how perfect her teeth were. Turned out, we had a ton in common: we were both huge nerds. She was the artist to my author, the perfect friend. Ten years later, and we are still best friends, without question.
This is particularly amazing considering we have both moved several times over the years and now we find ourselves on complete opposite sides of the state. The distance didn’t matter, we just keep up on the phone and visit each other whenever we get a chance.
I encountered the same thing when my high school friends and I parted ways for college. They almost expected to lose touch and I was the only one who refused to let that happen. Because that’s what it boils down to: lasting friendships are a choice.
Sure, distance makes communication difficult. Busyness makes it hard to find time to spend together. Hardship stirs conflict, even between the best of friends. But if both parties are willing to maintain a friendship, nothing can come between them.
Friends can spend time away or not see each other for years, but if they are open-minded they can reconnect as if the time had been mere days. Friends can choose to keep a small link open: texts here and there, Facebook wall posts, a voicemail, even when it’s not possible to converse. Friends can face huge conflict that would tear people apart but if each is willing to communicate and forgive, the conflicts can be overcome. The open-mindedness, the willingness, the effort are all choices. Things can be worked out. Friendships can last.
My mom used to have a throw pillow that said “Friends Are Flowers That Never Fade.” As a child, it was one of my favorite quotes. Now, it only means that much more. I am blessed to have many valued friends and I never want to let them fade.