Growing up in a large, religious family, patience was a common topic. Born the fifth of nine children, I learned to wait my turn to use the telephone, shower, and go to the bathroom. My parents taught that patience truly was a virtue, and good things come to those who wait. They also used the word endure a lot.
While my personality was quiet and I seemed like the obedient type, I hated both those words. Patience equaled going without, endure meant to suffer. I didn’t plan on doing either one. Instant gratification on the road of least resistance lured me into a world of lying and deceit. And without a second thought I ran over anyone who got in my way. Friends who didn’t propel me into my idea of popularity were trampled under. My values, beliefs, morals…they only dragged me down and kept me from having fun, so I cut them loose too.
And that’s how I came to be a scared fifteen-year-old girl, standing in front of my mother with head lowered–my shame so heavy I couldn’t bear to look her in the eyes.
“Mom, I’m pregnant.”
I was in such a hurry to grow up that I got exactly what I wanted. So what did I learn about patience? I’ll agree that it is a virtue, but I like another definition better. In the words of a wise 92-year-old woman,
“Patience is…a virgin!”