I’VE often described Nicola Sturgeon as a cautious politician. I wonder if I have been doing her a disservice by describing her in such terms. For the leader of a political party, her speech yesterday was anything but cautious.

She delivered her speech on the same day that the UK – including the nations that didn’t vote for Brexit – left the EU. It came less than two months after another resounding SNP victory at the General Election, two days after the Scottish Parliament voted for indyref2, and the morning after a poll showed that a majority of voters in Scotland now back independence.

It would have been easy for her to give a triumphalist speech, full of fury and hopeful promises.

Instead, the First Minister was candid about the difficulties we face in trying to secure a second referendum. She didn’t, as some of her party supporters would have liked, announce any drastic measures that would ensure we got the chance to vote again on independence this year. She also ruled out a so-called “wildcat” referendum.

“If they want that, they are not going to get it from me, because it won’t deliver independence.”

READ MORE: READ: Nicola Sturgeon's address on Brexit and indyref2 in full

And while she kept the option of a “consultative” referendum on the table – which would need to be determined by the courts to see whether or not the reservation in the Scotland Act allows us to do so without Westminster consent – she made clear that this isn’t something she favours, nor will pursue in the short term.

Instead, she announced measures for the Electoral Commission to test the referendum question, for a constitutional convention and called for supporters of independence to – in terms – keep calm and get campaigning.

Her message was stark and unambiguous. There are no guaranteed “shortcuts” to indyef2 and no “clever wheezes” that will deliver a referendum without a Section 30 order.

She said that leadership was about taking hard decisions and being honest with people, even when the easier option, politically at least, would be to make promises you know you can’t keep.

I watched her speech with a mixture of anger and frustration, but it wasn’t Nicola Sturgeon I felt frustration towards. It’s the inherent injustice of a so-called “union of equals” that sees one nation hold so much power over another. While I am not an SNP member, I support independence.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon ready for court battle with Boris Johnson over indyref2

The democratic deficit at the heart of the UK was one of my main motivations for voting Yes. To see that in action again, after Scotland has just given the SNP (another) mandate to hold indyref2, only solidifies my view that we’re better off out.

My impatience is tempered by an acceptance that I’m neither a constitutional law expert, nor a politician. While Brexit may have made it fashionable to rubbish the views of experts, the reality is that nobody with any authority on these matters has thus far been able to set out a definitive route to hold a legally binding and internationally recognised referendum without Westminster’s consent.

In her speech, Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged that some independence supporters will be unhappy with the Scottish Government’s approach. “We must stay the course, even if that sometimes feels difficult. And that’s not caution talking – it’s realism.”

Yes supporters comprise of half the country. It would be a very odd thing indeed if we all agreed on everything related to independence and indyref2. Among my Yes-supporting friends, reaction to Nicola Sturgeon’s speech was mixed. Some were angry at what they see as another stalling tactic from the SNP. Others are more sanguine about waiting for the referendum, believing that while it won’t happen this year, we don’t have too many years to wait.

On this issue, I trust that Nicola Sturgeon is doing all she can. I wish she could do more and do it faster, but my wishful thinking doesn’t convince me that a different SNP leader would be able to bring about a different outcome.

READ MORE: I will not celebrate tonight, and will keep on flying my EU flag

The First Minister has been an SNP member and campaigning for an independent Scotland longer than I’ve been alive. It’s easy to be an armchair political strategist – and heaven knows I give it a go often enough – but on this issue, I’m out of my depth. I don’t know the solution and I’ve not heard any credible suggestions that would break the impasse.

I’m sure in the weeks and months ahead, the process of how we get to a referendum will be a matter of fierce debate. Yes supporters are not a homogenous group and disagreement is healthy. It would be easy in this moment to feel weary and to lose the fire that keeps the movement energised, but there’s no sign of that happening.

After all, we’ve much to be cheerful about. Or at the very least, to comfort ourselves with.

The desire for Scotland to become independent has never been greater. 58% of voters under the age of 65 support independence. While we’ve plenty to feel frustrated about, there are so many more reasons to feel optimistic.

The UK Government wouldn’t be fighting so hard against us having our referendum if they thought they had a chance in hell of winning the argument when the time comes.