I’ve never been a patient person. I’d rather run than walk, watch a horrible TV show than sit through commercials, and more often than not, I’ll turn to the end of a book chapter before reading the beginning. I don’t like to wait. Period.
And then I had to go to the DMV. On a Saturday. At the end of the month. For as much as I don’t like to wait, my procrastination skills are simply superb.
For four hours, the seemingly entire city of Cincinnati and I shuffled through corrals like a herd of cows, being moved from one building to the next, over and over (and over) again.
By the second “over,” I was “over it.” Apparently, God was telling me I needed a little lesson in patience. Or a big one, as I found myself battling through a complete range of emotions, from anger and bitterness to confusion and boredom and back again.
The acceptance stage didn’t hit until hour three, when I finally was able to break free of my black cloud and look for the silver lining of my situation. I’ve heard there’s always one—you’ve just got to find it.
This one was closer than I thought, in the form of an Indiana transplant whose back of the head I had been staring at for the past hour. Our emotional rollercoasters must have ended at the same time, because both of our previously silent selves struck up a conversation, joking about the awfulness of our situation.
Even though we were as different as day and night, the feeling of camaraderie was palatable, and it spread like wildfire. Others joined in on our jokes, and as our conversations moved along, so did we, until we—finally—found ourselves at the front of the line.
In the end, a new license and plates weren’t the only things I walked away with that Saturday. Although I’m not sure how well the lesson in patience took, I did gain a new perspective on just how similar all of us out there really are: no matter what we look like or where we come from, we all can relate to one another in some way. Sometimes it just takes being forced to wait in line together to remember that.