‘I live by this mantra, “If I Say imma do something I do it” ~ Eminem, ‘Not Afraid’ So it really pisses me off when…..(insert any and everything)’
~ Classic ‘Tolz’ Quote
Patience is a virtue. I know we’ve all heard the saying but have you truly thought about what it means? I know I hadn’t. From when I was young, I’d been a worrier. At the tender age of 5 I remember a teacher telling my Mum that she should tell me to worry less. To be very honest, when the moment passes I myself am quite confused as to what all the anxiety was about. I don’t know whether I thrive off of it or whether it’s what gives me the stamina to work harder. Either way it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s a pretty warped way of doing things.
I learnt this very quickly upon my move to Rome.
So I love travel and adventure and spontaneity (to an extent, once a planner always a planner 💪🏾). I had always decided that my years at any University would have to involve a year spent abroad because I wanted that experience, that independence, that opportunity to appreciate and be part of a new culture I’d never been exposed to. So when Warwick offered Rome as an option (anyone who knows me well enough knows I’ve always said, ‘Imma get married in Rome’) OF COURSE I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know the process to get here and furthermore the culture here would be very un-Tolz like.
Like the quote above says, if I say I’m gonna do something I’d like to believe that it will get done as quickly as I can do it.
So when I feel like this mentality isn’t being held by other people I fraternise with, I won’t lie it truly pisses me off.
So it all began with the the process of getting my visa.
Why can’t there just be a universal visa ? Firstly, I’ve never really been a fan of getting a visa. It’s long & it baffles me how certain anomalies have created a preconceived notion about Nigerians so the green passport can almost seem like a death sentence at times…Anyhow, I have amazing parents who are pros at the process but as a young 20 year old of course I wanted to be as involved as I could be. The test of my patience here began when we finally thought we got everything in order. I got there and as the lady began to find one issue, then another then another my spirit was not only deflated but had reached a very high level of irritation. I legitimately felt like those cartoon characters with steam coming out of their ears. I was livid. I simply felt, if you want certain things – put that information clearly on your website or whichever platform because it’s quite disheartening to come with what you think is everything and more and be told ‘actually it was meant to be like blahblahblah’…Guys, if not for my mum I swear I would’ve allowed this irritation become anger and with anger, there’s no knowing what could happen, it’s that place of no return to be very honest. Eventually the issues were sorted – as God always comes through and I ended up feeling really stupid & really bad for emitting such negative vibes towards those ladies who in actual fact were exhibiting such patience and kindness.
Why can’t people just be organised? Okay so I love my country, but realistically things do not function as quickly as they do in the U.K. – it’s an unfortunate fact that our generation can by God’s grace change for the better. So living in the U.K. for the past 6 years has rubbed off on me, I know that if I set up a meeting, the onus will definitely be on me to get there on time because punctuality is such a huge deal. However, moving to Rome I felt like I was back home in Nigeria – now this is both a really good but also really bad thing for an impatient chick like me. Because it simply means that things that should take about 30 minutes to complete would take nothing less than an hour. I experienced this in every single aspect of getting settled. From getting my university registration sorted, to my hospital registration – everything had ‘STRESS’ attached to it to the point where I could see it was truly affecting my mood negatively. I was in Rome, but I wasn’t in Rome. My mind was far away in that land of worry that my childhood teacher had warned my mum to keep me far away from. I think I’d have to give a short anecdote for y’all to understand where I’m coming from:
So I’m an International Student, so as much as being under the Erasmus programme provides a lot of perks (that sweet grant that entered my account the other day made my day can’t lie) I’m still International and was required to go through various procedures to ensure I wasn’t deported before the semester even began. The main thing was ensuring I received a Resident Permit Card. So we had all the documents and truly believed it would be a quick and easy process – LOL. The hilarity in that assumption. We were told to visit the Immigration Office by a group of Policemen who worked at some important headquarters hence I trusted these guys knew what I was talking about. So we took an hour+ drive to this office, catching the z’s I had had to forfeit on the way there. As we got there we were directed to a stand where this man – clearly not in the mood to try and speak ‘Inglese’ basically told us we had wasted our time and money coming all the way as we were in the wrong place. Chai, at this point we were confused. (Where I refer to ‘we’, I’m talking about myself, my mum and my sister.) We were told to visit a post office to receive some ‘kit’ that would explain the process. Thankfully there was a post office nearby and we received this kit. Everything should be Gucci by now right? LMAO, far from it – the whole kit was in Italian. Cue confusion part 2. At this point I was truly fed up and just needed food to console me. I could tell my growing irritation was rubbing off on my sister and mum and I have to give them props because when I’m in that state, I really am the worst person to be around. They are both the most logical people I know so without them, this confusion might still have lingered till now. I thank God for their minds and ability to network on their feet because before I knew it my mum had received a structured list as to how we should go about completing the process. And the rest is history…
So as much as the story is short and not very detailed because I won’t lie after that point everything is a blur, God used my mum and sister as vessels and they really took over the situation on my behalf; I want to highlight a few things from it.
- I was stagnant in thought due to my Impatience: I was unable to solve what was truly my own problem to solve and ended up giving up, in essence lacking foresight as to how God would turn the situation around.
- I could no longer see God’s hand in everything nor did I want to: impatience for me quickly turns into irritation and irritation blurs everything. It means my connection with my spirit mind where God speaks clearly for me might as well be severed. I end up relying on myself for answers and when I am unable to give those answers – because as I’m human, I never can; I feel empty.
- I was indirectly affecting others around me and deadening the energy and spirit: I really was not a lovely person to be around. I was not radiating any sort of perseverance or hope and hence it made 10x more difficult for my mum and sister to do so. If not for the love God has placed in their hearts for me, then I truly cannot predict how things would have turned out.
Patience is a tranquilliser.
It is that element of someone’s personality that calms them down without an extraneous sources and as a result you’re guaranteed to live a more stress-free lifestyle. I wish I could remember that whenever I’m met with situations that get on my nerves. It’s possibly one of the hardest things to do for me personally but I’m reminded that:
“all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose..” ~ Romans 8:28
This verse has been a lifesaver during my time here. It reminds me to remain calm, to know that God sees the bigger picture and even when I can’t see it which is 99% of the time, I need to have faith that he has everything under control. I swear even typing this I’m like – that sounds easy enough but mate, it’s not. As I sit here, I have a Case Presentation in the next hour and though I no longer feel fear, that uncertainty still lingers about whether I will be able to answer their questions, whether I’ll be clear enough etc etc. And this presentation had already reduced me to tears yesterday – I felt so overwhelmed with work but God came through and before I knew it, I had blinked and had finished it. This verse has become FACT in my life now, because as much as the motivational speakers rely on the fact that ‘everything will be okay’, ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’ which in essence purport the same ideal as this verse; to me, this verse holds a sense of POWER, a sense of ASSURANCE, a SPECIAL INGREDIENT – and that is Jesus. The fact that He knows me by name and has called me to complete a specific purpose for His kingdom means that He will never let my foot slip, He will never let me fail, He will go before me and prepare a table for me. He is patience personified and I strive every day to let him take control and impart this level of patience to me.
My prayer for you is that you will stop and wait today, stop and let God take control, directing and guiding you in every single aspect of your life. Trust me it’s hard but
so. fricking. worth. it.
A journey not a race,