“Patience is not simply the ability to wait- it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer
The term “gap year” always annoyed me. It sounded like an excuse for rich kids to gallivant around the world instead of finding a job or getting an education or doing something useful. Often times that’s exactly what it is or what it may seem like, particularly with the advent of social media.
However, as I grew older I realized that a gap of time can become a part of anyone’s story and more importantly it can be quite positive. For those among us who have no say in the matter, a gap may come in the form of unemployment or stagnation of goals. For others it may be the active decision to take a break and get your shit together mentally. Whatever the reason may be, we all reach some crossroads along the way and for those who love control it can be quite difficult to simply sit back and wait. Often times during “The Gap” some of us are not our best selves. We may become laid back and nonchalant or we may crumble beneath the weight of anxiety or depression. We don’t have to.
What I have learned and maybe am still learning is that waiting does not equate to laziness. It is possible to be productive and useful even when you are unable to be where you want to be at the moment. It is one thing to be doing nothing and quite another to be doing small somethings. Taking a break unwanted or otherwise does not have to be fruitless. It is just the right time to sow what you will gladly reap in the future.
In times that seem difficult or simply less productive we have choices to make. We can either waste time or we can use it wisely. Creating routines, pursuing passions, setting deadlines, gaining new knowledge, meeting new people; these are all things which we can choose to do. These are all activities that can make that gap worthwhile.
Crossroads are not the point at which we pause forever. They are simply the space at which we pause a moment, choosing the direction in which we go towards a future brighter than our present.
“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” – Saadi