We all know it wasn’t.
History classes taught us rome was one of the most complex cities of all time. concrete. aqueducts. roman vaults. the great colosseum. blah blah.
I mean look at this:
I was helping my friend with her Spanish essay, and the objective was to observe a common saying that contains a meaningful truth, and to state real-life examples (of course, in Spanish).
So I asked her what she picked.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”
“Well, what does it mean?”
“Uhhh. I guess it means you can’t expect to see immediate results. Like, things require time for it to produce something important or great..like Rome.”
“Okay say that again. I’m gonna write it down”
Huh. I was a bit taken aback because my answer sounded a lot like what my therapist told me during our first meeting. Aside from my disagreements with her, there was something she had noticed about me that I hadn’t recognized.
We agreed that weight training was a positive change in my life; when I talked about it, I appeared more confident and passionate. So towards the end of the session, she told me to set goals for myself for the next week: how many times will I go to the gym?
I answered, “five to six times.”
She raised her brows and told me, “hey. For a regular person, five to six times a week of going to the gym is a stretch. Why not make a smaller goal for yourself?”
Her response was a bit unexpected.
“…Okay. four to five times.”
“Today, I realized that you push yourself to meet unrealistic demands. Doyeon, it’s ok even if you make it your goal to go once a week. You’re still getting something done just by going once.”
I drove home that day feeling like my whole life got turned inside out. She’s right and it’s so obvious, but why can’t I see that I’m being unrealistic? Why do I feel like it’s ok for everyone except myself to be lenient, and to work towards my goals at a slower pace?
And so, yes it’s true, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It started from a small building or two, a few roads, sidewalks, then bridges, monuments, to the great city it is now.
It’s not like it was my first time hearing that phrase, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since; especially because these days I feel like I’m in a standstill, or in other words, worthless. While I was showering last night, I actually repeated it out loud (i’m not weird), because I was feeling anxious, and I needed to remind myself to take it easy.
Everything great comes with time. It’s about living diligently in the present, and the faith you have in your day to day life that gives you the patience and strength to see the results. We’re all moving towards a more refined version of ourselves, towards something greater, even if we can’t see it.