A test of patience. Sometimes, I feel that’s what covid is. In a world where we are so used to getting what we want right now, we have had to wait. Wait for the world to be normal again, wait for a vaccine to come, wait for a time where we can go outside mask-free and can travel to see the people we love.
We are waiting.
I’m usually very good at waiting. I’ve had the patience of a saint through the process of obtaining licensure for nursing in Canada. I put my head down and got on with it. There’s been no point in complaining—it gets you nowhere. I’ve been taught, and I still believe, that the only way forward is to persevere, to face any obstacles with unyielding willpower. Every day, I tell myself, I will succeed. I am already succeeding. But sometimes, it doesn’t work so well. I feel trapped and impatient and frustrated, and just so tired. I’m tired of waiting.
In an effort to escape the walls of the house, the walls of my own mind, Dan and I went to Elbow Falls, about an hours’ drive away. It was the right decision, to spend some time outside. It was a clear day, just a few wispy clouds floating across the sky, a great white expanse stretching out below. Farmers’ fields untouched—in some places, not even animal prints interrupted the brilliant snow. And out there, were the mountains. The forests. The rivers.
When we arrived, the air was chilly, the wind bitter. My lips chapped and dry, my fingers numb with cold despite my gloves. But I was alive in this huge world, and more than that, I was present. And I thought, what if all this waiting is just an illusion? What if we could be living life, enjoying life, by being in every moment, just like this one? The roaring of the waterfalls charges forward. The river continues to flow, passing over the rocks. Around the rocks. If there is something in its path, it carves a new one.
Perhaps, we aren’t waiting at all.
And, as if to confirm it, I suddenly took in all the people around us. In one of the photos, the people are so small, tiny. A man stands alone with his dog. A group of people have their arms around each other as someone takes a picture. Others wander sedately by the river. We are still living despite covid forcing us to change our ways.
I found new perspective: Like the river, we move. Like the trees, we reach. Even the mountains, they don’t wait.
Like the mountains, we endure.
Speaking of enduring, thanks to my upcoming NCLEX exam, it’s been hard to convince myself to take any ‘me time’ at all—time spent doing anything other than studying feels like time wasted right now—but I had to be firm and remind myself that without breaks, the study would be unproductive, and I wouldn’t be maximizing my brain power. So I have been allowing myself time to write and am finally getting back into the habit of devoting a small amount of time per day to writing again. And it feels really good, because diving into the world of Ancient Greece is a brilliant distraction from the anxiety of a big exam and the stressors of job interviews.
And, our beta reader also got back to us after reading through Darkness, Set Us Free. Sometimes, beta readers offer advice that you’re uncertain about, and we don’t always act on every single suggestion. However, this time Ashley and I could both see the point our beta reader made and we are fully prepared to make the changes. It’s not a simple fix, in fact it involves adding an entirely new character perspective, and four more chapters to the book, but we’re really excited about this new character and I can’t wait to see how it develops!
P.S. If there was an entrance to the inner workings of our minds, I’d like to imagine mine looks something like this: a magical cave of wonders with many mysteries lurking out of sight.