Overnight success doesn't happen overnight.
The most important part of getting somewhere is knowing where you want to go. The next most important part is having patience while you work to get there. I'm not nearly as good as I would like to be at that second part.
For the second weekend in a row, I found myself whimpering my adult-version of "are we there yet?" to my husband yesterday. When it comes to my dreams, or anything for that matter, this isn't the first time I've struggled with knowing an exact time of "arrival." When I was a kid in the back seat of my parent's car, I would ask 'are we there yet?' so frequently that I came up with new ways to pose the question. Trying to avoid hearing the same frustrated "no" over and over, I would instead ask things like: 'How many more miles? How many more minutes? How many more seconds?' I was frantic in my inquiries, needing some kind of way to mentally cope with the utter despair of not actually being there yet. I understood that if we were still driving, that meant we hadn't yet arrived, but if I could at least know how many miles, minutes or seconds I had left, I could have a bit of relief knowing we would be there in some amount of time I could actually quantify.
I've been a big dreamer since I was very young, but never until recently have I actively followed my dreams with so much dedication and vigor. Every day is another step on the ladder, another mile in the long journey. The difference is, no one can tell me 'how many more miles.' No one can step on the gas and get us there faster. All I can do is my best every day and then let it go and be patient. And sometimes, I just don't wanna.
On my journey forward, I look up and ahead to those who have made it further down the road. I ask for guidance constantly. One thing I hear over and over from those looked at as "overnight successes" is that overnight success doesn't happen overnight. Sure, we might see someone shoot up the ladder in what seems like seconds, but we neglect to acknowledge the years of painstaking effort that person has put behind what we're just now getting to see unfold. While there are the rare cases of the YouTube sensation or viral video that turns one person into a star in a matter of minutes, most of us are looking at a slow and steady hike if we want to walk down the road of our biggest ambitions.
Life isn't a "get rich quick" scheme. There's a reason why things happen slowly: this process gives us time to adjust, time to learn, time to become who we are without skipping all the fun stuff. The journey is the fun stuff! Without it, what would be the point? We would have everything we wanted and then we would just sit there. Even Oprah has dreams she still hasn't fulfilled yet (now that she has her own network, maybe next she will just go ahead and buy her own planet that we could all visit?) Real growth takes substantial effort, one day at a time. As my husband likes to say whenever I groan about our shower stall that I'm certain is so small I won't be able to fit into it if I gain two pounds, "these are the good old days!"
These moments of frustration, these minutes I wish I had a number on, they are the minutes I'll remember with a smile someday. I probably won't remember the aching as much as I'll remember something of a simpler time. If this moment is one I'll want to be in later, I better damn well enjoy it while I'm still here. And I'll remember right now that while I may very well "get there" someday, I'll probably never be here again. Here is a place I'm going to soak in while I still can.