Hello lovely humans. I’m writing this week’s Zany Lady from a coffee shop in Brooklyn. I feel out of place because I don’t have tattoos covering my body, but oh well. I’ll make it.
I’m in the city hunting for jobs (per usual).
Anyway, today I wanted to write about something that has been on my heart since I moved back home post-college.
If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, or know me even the slightest, you know that I’m obsessed with wildflowers. Like, will pull my car over to take pictures of them on the side of the highway, will keep them in my house, my car, my purse, will buy anything with a wildflower reference. (I would get a wildflower tattoo, but alas, my cardiologist told me I can’t get a tattoo without seriously risking another heart surgery. #nice)
I came across a quote a couple weeks ago, and it really got me thinking about my life.
“Grow where you are planted.”
I’m sure many of you have heard that saying before, but to me, I was seeing it with fresh eyes. Grow where you are planted. If I associate myself with and as a wildflower, am I truly growing where I am planted? Or am I waiting to grow until I’m planted where I want to be?
The thing about wildflowers is that they don’t choose where they are planted. They find growth and beauty wherever they are, regardless of whether they chose to be there or not. I felt a conviction thinking about this, and thinking about how I was spending my time at home, not even attempting to grow, terrified that my roots might grab hold in a place I didn’t want to be.
Conveniently, at the same time, I started gardening (post grad life is funny like that, taking up random hobbies to keep busy and add purpose). My mom and I planted a garden on the 4th of July, full of herbs, veggies, and flowers, and I take care of the garden. I water the plant babies every dusk, I prune the bad leaves, I check constantly on the progress of growth. What if my plant babies decided they didn’t want to grow, because they wanted to be somewhere else? They were so mad about ending up in my backyard that they refused growth. I would be pretty upset. Why would they do that? It seems silly. They have a perfectly good environment to flourish, and yet, they are choosing to hold themselves back.
What if I was doing the same thing? For some reason, I hold a decent amount of baggage with my hometown that I can not seem shake, no matter how much time goes by. Maybe it stems from the feeling of misplacement growing up, a feeling like I didn’t belong in that little farm town. Maybe I feel as though I’m somehow better than my town. Maybe I feel like no one could possibly understand me in the confines of rural Maryland. (Ugh, can you tell I’m a 4???)
All of those feelings might be valid, but that doesn’t make them true. And for me to try everything in my power to not grow in a place where I don’t feel fit, is honestly just hurting me even more. You will never feel more lonely than when you try to do this.
I, and anyone else who is in a city they think they don’t want to be, or maybe you’re in your dream city, anyone, need to learn how to grow where we are planted. This is your home. Whether you will be there for another month or another 5 years, this is your home now. Make friends. Take a class. Volunteer somewhere. Ask that cute boy out. Who cares if it’s “not where I want to be”? Sis, you are there, and you need to make the most of it.
I’m mostly talking to myself at this point, but if, by chance, there is someone else out there who needs to hear this, then there you go. Grow where you are planted. Life is so much sweeter and vibrant when you do.