I wanted to change my life. I found myself miserable at home, at work and unhappy with myself. I partied too much. I drank too much. I had no sense of balance.

In a bold move, I changed everything.

I quit my job and moved. I started to focus on what was important to me. I wanted a writing career and I wanted to be mentally strong.

I was like those successful men and women who write about taking control of their lives and climbing to the top of their industries. I think I missed the small print at the bottom that reads: I worked steadfast for several years before I got my big break.

I am a writer. No stranger to rejection and setbacks. About a year ago, I attended a fiction workshop where I was able to pitch my book to editors; two were interested. I got an agent. Before I submitted the book I edited it, but I still had reservations. I couldn’t decide if it needed more work or I was just paranoid. The agent shopped it around and the publisher’s feedback mirrored the things I felt were wrong.

I still wish I had followed my first mind and completed the additional edits. This was a situation in which I could’ve been patient. I could’ve sat with my novel for as long as I needed to and produced a better project. I am still working on my novel, and this time, I am taking all the time I need.

Patience has never been my virtue. I could have been the poster child for instant gratification.

As a creative, I rush to remember the words, haste means waste. A part of changing my life was pursuing a new medium I had a passion for: filmmaking. As a new filmmaker, I would make mistakes. I learned that putting a video on YouTube didn’t mean you’d have thousands of views the next day – no matter how many times I checked the number of views.

I didn’t expect to be the next YouTube sensation…well I did…but like any other thing, I worked at it. I learned that it wasn’t enough to focus on making good content, I had to build an audience. And building that audience would require persistence and time.

When I decided to change my life, I not only wanted a new career, I wanted to find love. I had begun to meditate regularly; I wanted to attract a like-minded mate. I put myself out there and started to date someone I liked. Someone like me… goal-oriented, liked to go out, kind-hearted and open-minded.

We were in alike in our bad qualities as well.

Stubborn with poor communication skills.

I know I’m not only one with the fantasy: you meet someone, fall in love and everything works out. You don’t consider the reality that you don’t know how to love anyone, that every relationship you saw growing up was unhealthy. You don’t consider the fact that relationships are work… hard work. Cultivating patience with my mate and myself has been integral to our relationship.

I can now say that I’ve been a person who expected love to fix my life. I saw a past mate as perfect, and hoped that perfection would rub off on me. Needless to say, it doesn’t work like that.

You fix yourself to improve everything around you.

While I realized my problems, I still had work to do and that’s okay. It was fine that I was still learning, as long as I was still trying.

As I try to keep my relationship healthy, I found this idea helpful: you’re either operating out of love or you’re operating out of ego. I found out how it easy to operate out of ego, to consider my thoughts or wants as paramount. But was that helpful to my relationship? Is it helpful to me in the long run? I learned that the only way for my relationship to thrive was for me to operate out of love, and have patience with myself when I failed to do so.

I am still pursuing my dreams, but I am doing so without expectation. I live in the moment instead of what could be.

I am patient enough to know that I will attract what I am supposed to have.

Living without expectation frees me from disappointment and sadness, and I can’t live in that space and attract good things. I am a work in progress, forever striving be better than I was yesterday.

Interested in writing for Nia? We’re looking for Guest Writers to join our contributor team! Click HERE to find out how.