Patience is a (Learned) Virtue

We all know the saying, “Patience is a virtue”. Unfortunately, it’s not a virtue that comes naturally to me. I am impatient to a fault. Being late and waiting both give me serious anxiety. I prefer not making plans vs. making them and being late or having to cancel/push them off. That being said, this journey of building the bus and preparing for departure has been a serious lesson in patience for me. It’s shown me that it is something I truly, immensely need to work on and has forced me to face my impatient anxieties head-on.

When we started this project in October, we casually set our departure goal for Christmas time. I was eager to see my family, and we wanted to hit the road before the weather got too bad. As we started building and taking a closer look at our work obligations, we realized that goal was a bit lofty and set our sites on the end of January. The weather got bad, the holidays got in the way, and the end of January grew nearer and nearer. On my birthday, January 28th, we put the finishing touches on the bus, and the end was in sight, or so we thought. “Just a couple more weeks!” we told our friends and family, “We just need to tie up some loose ends!”. I sold my car and negotiated terms with my employers regarding working remotely. We donated and sold off the last of our belongings that wouldn’t fit in the bus, we spent a few nights in the bus as trial runs to see what else we’d need to live in her comfortably. Every couple of weeks, just as I thought we’d be heading out the door, something would come up. Pretty soon, it was the end of February, and every time someone asked, “When are you guys hitting the road?” The answer was still, “Just a couple more weeks!”. Now, at the end of March, Kyle’s been offered an amazing opportunity to create a mural for an incredible workspace, collaborating with long-time friend and much-admired artist, Vltrr. He has been waiting for an opportunity like this for months, and I am so incredibly proud of him and grateful that it came along. It does, however, mean we will be here “just a couple more weeks”.

There’s a part of me that can’t help but think that this project is the reason we’ve been here for as long as we have. While I’m not a believer in divine intervention, I do think that our intuitions have a way of telling us when to stay and when to go. For whatever reason (and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all) we haven’t been able to leave. Then, out of the blue, this perfect opportunity sprang up. It’s such an awesome chance for Kyle, and had we left earlier, he would have missed out on the financial security and artistic fulfillment it will bring. Had we left earlier, we may have gotten stuck in a snowstorm in the middle of Ohio, and been miserable. Had we left earlier, we may have run out of money on our way to our first stop. Had we left earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to see so many of my out-of-state friends at a tattoo convention I attended last month. Kyle wouldn’t have been able to go see Les Miserables with his family, an outing that meant so much to them all. We would have been pushed to our limits, for sure.

While I am still unbelievably eager to get on the road, I’ve come to think of our time here as a prologue to the epic adventure we’re about to have. In this time, we’re setting the stage, actively developing our characters. You don’t just get to jump to the climax whenever you want; every great story has a slow build-up. It’s going to be incredible to watch and document Kyle jumping back into to what he does best, and I am positive it will help start the bus journey off on the best possible foot.

Through the process of repeatedly pushing off our departure, I have found peace and gratitude, and maybe even a bit of patience. I do feel like the next chapter is finally about to start, in just a couple more weeks.