What do you do with time?
The other day, I tried to remember the first thing I did when I realized that I was “okay.” By this, I mean once I was out of the hospital for a minute and had put myself “back together,” and was as well ensconced as possible while living in my parents’ house at age 35. This was my time. (In case you’re curious, I probably planned to buy lip gloss or go to the movies. I love the trailers.)
Truth is, I wanted to do as much as I could handle. And I wanted to do those things immediately, in the moment. Time waits for no man, after all.
Or so I believed.
I forgot – or didn’t realize – that I was alive. I was here. I put the hustle on everything, particularly the really important things, like building relationships with people.
I felt an urgency to connect fast, identify immediately each person’s story, understand the story, predict what could happen between us, and do my absolute best to ensure a genuine relationship could occur, be it friendship, potential romance, or work-related.
Honestly and truly, I don’t know why I pushed so fast to connect with people. It’s not as though they were apparitions. It’s not like I was heading to Bali for a six-month retreat. And that may as well have been what was happening.
When we hurry, we run to something…and we run away from something.
As far as I was concerned – more specifically, as far as I felt – there wasn’t much time for me to make an impact, to find and experience happiness, and to get on a path to shared love. Instead of being immersed in gratitude and the opportunity to refine who I was in my current space and place, I was desperate to do anything that distracted me from my day-to-day and all the unknown.
Just as there’s a very fine line between assertive and aggressive, the demarcation between demonstrative and overwhelming is almost invisible. I didn’t see it because I was scared. I didn’t trust that I could (and I would!) meet someone who would care about me like I cared about him. I had every reason in the world to trust this. Instead, I dedicated myself to spending time with those I knew as though it was my job.
By doing this, I believe that I became repellent to people. Not everyone, mind you. I wasn’t repellent to those who were interested in one-sided relationships, including business people who saw (quite accurately, as a matter of fact) that my self-perceived eagerness was actually desperation. To me, though, doing something was evidence that I was alive and contributing. I didn’t realize that not only was there time, I had plenty of time.
Here’s the thing: time waits for us.
Fast forward to today. While I know better that there is no need to rush things, sometimes I forget. There is no reason to accelerate the development of something that deserves and requires time to grow and blossom. I’m not the only person in the relationship. And my need and desire to express how I feel can (and sometimes does) happen faster than it does for the other person. Telling and showing those feelings before we really know each other is like playing doubles tennis. But I have the latest Ninja-Serena racket and my friend/colleague/potential beloved uses one made of warped wood with broken strings.
Remember that in a good relationship, both of you are moving towards the same goal; your pace is as important as your purpose.