I was born impatient--I know I must have been. If had been given teeth in the womb, I probably would have chewed my way out. (Gruesome thought, that) Fortunately, I am aware of my own impatience and have come to accept it as something I need to work on. And even though I’ve been aware for years now, I’m still working on it.
The other day I sat in line waiting for my turn to drive around the small traffic circle near my house, and once again, found myself getting impatient with the driver ahead of me because he/she didn’t pull ahead as fast as I thought he/she should. I was literally five minutes from home. I had already driven an hour and a half, and I couldn’t wait the extra five minutes without losing my patience.
I find my patience is tested most as a writer. Waiting for a response from a journal to which I’ve submitted can feel excruciating. Unless it’s been so long I forget about the sub altogether. I also become quite impatient with my abilities as a growing writer. I want my writing to have reached this level, but it’s still back at that level. I’m working on allowing my writing to just be what it is, without judgment.
On the other hand, my patience is bountiful when it comes to my children. Call it mother’s love, or call it sanity, but I enjoy my children too much to become impatient with them. I am lucky that I live the kind of life in which I don’t have to hurry as a mom. My writing will be there, waiting for me. The cleaning will be there waiting for me. The journal responses will be there waiting for me (whether I like them or not). When I’m with my boys, I’ve nothing to do but slow down and enjoy them—at their pace.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.