Turns out, there’s more than one meaning to Cardi B’s latest hit, WAP. While her lyrics are quite impressive and fun to rap along to (I spent an entire workday last week trying to learn all of the words), I much prefer the song’s alternative message . . . which I just made up: WAP, or work and patience.
Anyone reading this most likely already knows the secret to a happy, successful life: work and patience. Unfortunately, I always seem to get to the party a little late, and then I’m often immediately asked to leave. Therefore, it has taken me a little bit of time—fine, a long ass time—to understand how both work and patience are a necessity in navigating, well, every aspect of life.
The older I get (that wasn’t near as painful to type as I thought it would be), the more I understand the value of patience. Sure, patience may not be worth as much as the latest Lisa Gardner novel or a pair of Christian Louboutin boots, yet, patience is important. Or, as the saying goes, patience is a virtue.
Learning to be patient is a task, an extremely hard task. It takes work—a lot of work—to be patient. In fact, due to today’s troubling climate that includes a never-ending pandemic and an “I want it all; I want it now” majority mentality, teaching ourselves to be patient can feel impossible. Therefore, we have to work extra hard at accomplishing the task.
I never thought life should or would be hard. I guess my white privilege is at fault for my ignorance. Because life is hard. Relationships are hard. Finding peace and happiness and success and balance are all equally as hard, too. Now, these hardships don’t mean that the good in life can’t outshine the bad, but just that we have to work extra hard and be extra patient sometimes in order to really see and feel the good in our surroundings.
After all, happiness is a choice, right? Even if it takes a lot of work and patience to be happy, wouldn’t you rather be happy than miserable?
Of course, life isn’t always that easy, that black and white, that cut and dried. I don’t want anyone to misconstrue my words or my outlook on life. I’m not one of those hippy-dippy fools who believe there is always a silver lining, that every rainstorm can be danced in, that the sun will eventually come out tomorrow.
There are times when we need to feel our feelings, when it’s required to be sad or angry or hopeless. It’s not realistic to constantly have the energy or strength to power through, to force a smile, to feign happiness. There are times when work and patience just won’t cut it.
That’s perfectly okay, too. But, eventually, we have to get back on track. We have to try (yes, it can be a real Betsy DeVos-type-of-bitch) and get back to living full, happy lives. If we don’t, we run the risk of squandering our lives. Who wants to do that?
I’ve finally come to understand (again, late as fuck) that work and patience are two essential tools all writers must use. Well, writers who want to pursue publishing.
Did I choose to be a writer, or did the craft find me? I could probably effectively argue either side of this question. In that case, maybe I should have been a lawyer. Regardless of how or why I started putting pencil to paper, part of the writing process (if you want to explore publishing) is rejection. No matter how much work I put into my writing or how patient I am with it, rejection never gets easier. It still stings, because no matter what the rejection letter from a literary agent or publishing house says, only one thing is prominent in my mind: My writing isn’t good enough. I’m not good enough.
Despite the career path you’ve chosen (or, perhaps the career chose you), you’ve probably felt some sort of rejection or heartache or disappointment within your particular industry. This blow of rejection or heartache or disappointment isn’t easily softened just because you worked hard and were patient.
So . . . What do you do? Do you give up? Take the easy way out? Move on? No. Instead, you keep working, you stay patient. Maybe even work harder, dig down deeper and learn to be more patient. Why? Because some things in life are worth waiting for, worth fighting for, worth staying for.
Worth working for. Worth being patient for.
Like I done told you: WAP, bitch!
The same mindset can be applied to relationships, goals, dreams—anything, really. If you want the career, the relationship, the goal, the dream badly enough, if you love it badly enough, if you respect it badly enough, then you’ll work for it and you’ll be patient for it.
Just like you, I am very familiar with the phrase: Good things come to those who wait. I kind of think this popular saying is a load of shit, though. I mean, taking this sentiment at face value, if we simply sit around on our asses and wait, then we’ll magically end up with good things. If only. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have Trump in the White House. (P.S. That’s your friendly reminder to vote in November.)
To me, there is a big difference between the act of waiting and the act of being patient. Specifically, it’s possible—even imperative—to be patient while still working hard to accomplish or achieve something, or overcome an obstacle, or better yourself.
After all, if you’re merely waiting for something to happen, but not putting in any effort to actually make it happen or help it happen, I have a feeling that you’re going to be waiting for a long time. Not to mention, you’re going to be wasting time. And, with this shit-hole pandemic entering its eighty-sixth month, hasn’t enough time already been wasted?
I’ve said it before: The good lessons, the life-changing lessons, the lessons that help us grow and deal and maneuver the universe aren’t taught to us in school. Sure, we may know how to calculate how fast Patty can get to her vaginal rejuvenation appointment if she takes Train A instead of Train B, but only if it’s Tuesday and not Thursday, because on Tuesdays Train A sprouts wings and flies and uses Route 1 instead of Route 2, but this only occurs during months that have thirty-one days.
Seriously? What the fuck, Patty? Take a damn Uber! And, not that it’s anyone’s business, but why does your vag need to be rejuvenated anyway? That’s the problem we should be solving!
Moving on, why aren’t we taught how to change a tire or balance a checkbook or do our taxes in school? Why aren’t we taught how to continue working hard, even when things don’t initially go our way? Why aren’t we taught just how far a little bit of patience can go?
Then again, maybe some lessons can’t be taught. Maybe some lessons have to be experienced. Experienced in the real world, too, and not from behind a desk. Maybe there is no handbook for some lessons, the major lessons in life.
In the end, whether our focus is on a career, a relationship, a goal, a dream, or all of the above, the formula for success remains the same: keep learning, keep trying, keep fighting, keep believing.
And, of course, keep working and keep being patient. Life is all about work and patience.
I’m talkin’ WAP, WAP, WAP.