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Patience My Dear: Your Bus is Coming

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It was 6:35 p.m. on Market Street in Manchester. I was sat at the bus stop waiting for the 62 that would drop me a quarter mile from Granny’s house. I had a lot of bags and very little patience. I had been out all day and just wanted to get home, have a bowl of rib and dumpling soup, and relax. The West Indies was playing India that evening and I had promised Grandad I would watch the cricket with him. I had things to do and the bus was already 7 minutes later than scheduled. I was downright annoyed.

I felt this rising sense of discomfort within me. I was not where I should be. I should do something to get where I am going faster.

 

Screw this virtue called ‘patience;’ it was time to spring in to action.

 

I could see the next bus stop looming in the distance. I had already seen 2 buses drive past and stop there. I knew it didn’t go to my particular stop, but figured if I hopped on one going in that general direction I would be closer to home. Then I could just get off where looked familiar and walk the remaining distance to the house. I waited 13 more minutes, which felt like a lifetime and decided to take the trek. I started the brisk walk to the next stop under the darkening sky and incessant drizzle.

Imagine my frustration and surprise – as soon as I was about halfway between the stop I had left and the one I was heading to, who should zip by – bus 62! It had just left the stop I had been at for over half an hour. I considered racing to the stop ahead to try and catch up, but that made no sense. I was carrying too many bags, the pavement was slippery, and most importantly – bus 62 did not go to that stop!

 

The frustration and restlessness I felt earlier was nothing compared to how I felt now – I was livid.

 

I dragged my feet to the bus stop ahead and eventually hopped on to a bus heading in the direction of home. By now it was dark and damp. I was not only hungry, but my arms hurt. I asked the bus driver to kindly let me off at whatever stop was closest to my street. When he did I wasn’t even sure where I was. He tried to hurriedly explain, but of course he had to move on to his next stop – people were waiting for him.

With stiff fingers I punched my home address into Google Maps on my phone and proceeded on what ended up being a 13-minute walk. By the time I got home I was exhausted. What should have been an easy 7-minute bus ride had turned into an hour long affair.

Yes I eventually made it to where I was going, but not in the frame of mind I should have been in. I learned a valuable lesson that day – do not let temporary discomfort cause you to take drastic measures. Teach your mind to override the agitation and discomfort that will set you off in the wrong direction and ultimately end up wasting your time.

 

This was a small incident, but I have applied it to much bigger decisions ever since.

Likewise, I urge you: Do not jump into a relationship, jump at a job offer, or leap into a long-term decision because you don’t like the feeling of where you currently are.

There are certain things in life that are a given. You can see them. You know they are coming. Obviously you cannot be in control of all the circumstances and cannot determine the time frames. There are things that are simply out of your control. Therefore after you have put in the effort and done your part, you must avail yourself to the waiting game. There are times in life that call for patience – and exercising that patience is invaluable.

 

Be patient, beloved. And when you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope, dig deeper.

I trust the Manchester City Transportation System. I knew that come hell or high water the 62 was coming. Maybe it was delayed, but I knew that if I sat at that bus stop it would surely show up. However I allowed my frustration to trigger a series of events that just ended up stressing me out and extending my journey time.

 

With the same conviction I know that my career path is certain and good. I know that I will get all the material possession on my list. I know I will receive the accolades and recognition my mind is set on. I know that I will accomplish all the community service projects that weigh heavy on my heart. I know that I will have an amazing marriage and beautiful children. I know that my future is good. I am investing and working towards all these aspects, but that juncture when time will meet opportunity in all these instances is not yet known to me. So while I work hard and work smart, I wait patiently.

 

Even though the waiting room might be uncomfortable now, I am not going to give in to any subliminal or overt pressures and move because I am tired of sitting still. Even when I grow restless, I will not go if I know it is the wrong means of transporting me to my next stop.

 

This particular moment does not matter as much as I feel like it does. Something is urging me to be rash, to leap before I look, to tick off at least one of the boxes society is glaring at, but I will not. All things will be made beautiful in their own time. My bus will come. My fleet of buses will come. So will yours.

 

I have learned that patience will take you further than acting in a moment of frustration ever will. Yes it might take an additional 30 minutes for the bus to arrive, but if you can just wait, you will be home in 7 minutes flat. If I had waited for my bus I would be dry, I would be less harassed, and I would be home. I would have enjoyed the cricket with Granddad and dinner with Granny. I could have excitedly told them about my day, and received the patient encouragement and steadfast love they always have stored up for me. I could have had a wonderful evening, albeit delayed a few minutes.

 

Do not let the temptation of what looks like temporary momentum cause you to extend your journey and increase your frustration. Best case scenario such rash decisions get you flustered before they get you home. Worst case scenario getting on the wrong bus (because you’re too anxious to wait for the right one) lands you at a destination you should not be at. Therefore, be patient until that which you know is yours arrives. Don’t hop on the 75 when you’re waiting for the 62. Wait for the 62.

 

Zeni St. John

  • Sekyen

    Dear Zeni,

    You are yet to disappoint me! Not only was it thrilling to read, it was a wake up call to ditch my impatience of waiting to get to where I am going…Thank you so much.

    Xoxo

    August 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm Reply
  • Zulai S Mtaku

    Great peice Zeni. Thank you for pouring your heart to us through your words. I will certainly wait for my bus. My set time will come.

    August 30, 2016 at 8:49 pm Reply
  • Edith Okeke

    My dear Zeni,
    Your talent is indeed great. I so look forward to reading and learning from you. Keep it up.
    Aunty Edith

    August 30, 2016 at 9:05 pm Reply
  • SR St John

    Wonderful lesson on patience, on waiting because indeed all things after made beautiful in the right time. To forcefully instigate and “engineer” what you want always tends to store up moments of regrettable memories and self recrimination. The “If Only” phrases.
    Zen your insight is awesome. Well wise beyond your years.

    August 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm Reply
  • Obinna Ihedioha

    Absolutely spot on. Clearly a cliche of a personal experience. A good lesson and reminder of the true virtue of patience. Thanks for sharing.

    August 31, 2016 at 6:55 pm Reply
  • Ego A-O

    Hi Zen,
    We learn everyday no matter our age. Our children could be our best teachers. Thanks niece for reminding me to push the pause button. Great piece.

    August 31, 2016 at 8:50 pm Reply
  • Habib Habib

    I like to consider myself a patient person, but have acted in the same manner at several bus stops before

    August 31, 2016 at 11:15 pm Reply
  • Prof. Onyia

    Very inspirational Dear Zeni. At every stage in our journey here on Earth we have to grapple with the decision whether to enter the bus we need to wait for-usually aligned to purpose or jump into the bus that seems convenient or available. You story is clearly a reminder that patience is a virtue we must all desire. I was blessed. Thank you.

    September 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm Reply
  • Simi Faj

    I love this piece….it really saved me today
    I had run out of patience and was beginning to lash out at those around me. This is by the way after a week of thanksgiving- I woke up wrong and that was it- the feeling of giving everything and getting nothing back in return really overwhelmed me today and caused me to snap. This piece just got me out of bed and out of my funk.
    Thank you Zeni

    September 15, 2016 at 12:52 pm Reply
  • Testimony

    I don’t know why I’m just reading this now since I’ve read other posts after this, but I’d say it’s timely.

    I’ve been telling myself all week “girl, just chill. Don’t be hasty about anything. Allow things play out according to what is avaliable to you now.” Patience is truly not one of my virtues but I’m learning to stop being agitated…agitated because things I want to happen for me, are happening for others instead.

    I’ll wait for my bus.

    September 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm Reply
  • Ruth

    Zeni am so proud of who you have become!!!!! Your writing inspires me…. Gods speed!!

    September 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm Reply

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