The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Just wing it

How I learned the importance of patience when thinking about my future
Theres more to a journey than the destination...or chicken wings.
Aidan Ruan
There’s more to a journey than the destination…or chicken wings.

“I’m getting those chicken wings, no matter what.”

It was National Chicken Wing Day 2023 and Buffalo Wild Wings’ was offering one free order of wings for all customers. With such a lucrative deal, It was an opportunity that I couldn’t afford to miss. So that very afternoon, I hastily grabbed my phone, hopped on my bike and set out on my quest to the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings.

Everything seemed perfect at first. I had the route loaded on Google Maps, and I had a $20 bill prepared for my order, but I overlooked one crucial variable: my phone’s battery life. My phone ran out of battery before I made it halfway to the shop, and as I futilely watched my phone screen fade to black, the only words I could muster were: “Welp, there goes my map.” And with no idea where I was going, propelled only by my desire for chicken, I pressed on, trusting my gut feeling to guide me towards my destination. 

Yet as the sun slowly began to sink below the horizon, so did the feeling in my stomach. “What if I don’t make it? What if the shop closes by the time I get there?” In my rush against the clock, a flurry of panicked turns without proper forethought rendered me hopelessly lost.

Whether that feeling in my stomach was my growing sense of dread, my stomach rumbling, or both, each incorrect turn further cemented an unsettling feeling that my chances of obtaining those chicken wings was dissipating. 

But just as I was about to lose hope, there it was — glowing with warm inviting lights: Buffalo Wild Wings stood before me. Thankfully, the shop was still open. And to my surprise, it was only 9:15 p.m., plenty of time before the deal ended at midnight.

I did end up getting my free wings and they were delicious, but I couldn’t help but ask myself: “Was biking for five hours to save $15 in chicken wings really worth it?”

I’ll admit getting lost was an oversight on my part, but it was clear that I was rushing my decisions without due consideration. If only I took the time to slow down to properly consider my options, perhaps I could have shaved hours from the time taken to bike to Buffalo Wild Wings by recognizing specific street names, or even seeked alternatives like borrowing a charger from the many tech stores I passed by such as Verizon and TMobile. 

But these issues extend beyond just losing all rationality when I got lost. A common thread running through my decisions was the precedence of an childishly impatient attitude completely hijacking my rational decision making. By tunneling onto an end goal with no consideration of the process to achieve said goal, I failed to realize that there’s more to a journey than just reaching the final destination. Whether it be a journey for tangible goals like chicken wings or intangible goals like learning new subjects, by failing to properly plan out or think through decisions along the way, I often found myself feeling lost or hopeless.

I dismissed my tendency to get lost at first as being quirky, but when poor decisions had begun to encompass larger aspects of my life such as my future career path, it became more important to address my impatience as the elephant in the room.

Entering high school was the first time I gave somewhat serious thought about what I wanted to do in the future. And after popping my laptop open and browsing 20 minutes online for lists of best paying jobs, I noticed a very specific type of job was always taking the top spot. 

I closed my laptop, for I had no need to look into career paths further. I wanted to be a doctor.

I was absolutely enthralled by the idea of an extraordinarily high salary and the honorary title of “Dr.” In my eyes, being a doctor was an ideal version of me that I subconsciously deluded myself into thinking I actually wanted to achieve for reasons beyond money. This decision was made narrow-mindedly, and was influenced more by my misconceptions about studying medicine and less by an intrinsic understanding of my real talents and passions. 

It didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted to be a doctor, and it also didn’t take long for me to realize why doctors had to complete seven to 10 years of education. I never took into account the depth of learning required for this field, the potential moral responsibilities, and most of all, whether or not I would even enjoy the field in general. I had always been clumsy with lab materials, apparent when I dropped a pipette into a bottle and spent 10 minutes fishing it out with tweezers. I also struggled when it came to memorizing scientific terms, especially when words and their definitions seemed to jumble with one another(genuinely what’s the difference between biotic and abiotic?). And most concerningly, the only factor propelling me in this field were financial incentives. 

Fortunately, I could be rash at times, but I wasn’t delusional enough to believe I had a future in medicine. In junior year, I set aside my aspirations to become a doctor to explore other fields instead. By taking the time to properly assess what I truly wanted to do in the future, I’ve learned more about myself in the past year than I ever have my entire life. 

And all this contemplating and experimenting with new fields led me to one ironic conclusion.

I just love money…

But it was different this time. Yes it was money that I was chasing when I first boldly declared I wanted to be a doctor, but I later discovered that I genuinely enjoyed analyzing the flow of money and markets. The correct path was right in front of me all this time, yet I never noticed it because I never took the time to consider my path in measures other than salary. 

Over the past year, I’ve taken the time to deepen my relationship with money by learning how to invest in the stock market as well as familiarizing myself with economics. In fact, it was investing in stocks during my free time that taught me not just useful strategies to suppress my rash instincts such as recognizing signs of FOMO, but also the benefits of thorough cost-benefit analyses when it came to everything from selecting stocks to approaching decisions. 

In the end, there’s always something far more valuable than the savory reward awaiting at the destination. By letting go of the impatience to hastily make decisions, you will naturally broaden your horizons and potentially even discover new hobbies or activities that you truly enjoy from the bottom of your heart. No matter what decisions must be made, whether it be to make a left or right turn or which career to pursue, it’s crucial to practice patience and take your time to consider the options and alternatives. 

And when all is said and done, for National Chicken Wing Day 2024, maybe I’ll drive to Buffalo Wild Wings instead.

About the Contributor
Aidan Ruan
Aidan Ruan, Staff Writer
Aidan Ruan is a junior and staff writer for El Estoque. In his free time, he likes to bike and take naps.
More to Discover