Friday, June 7, 2013

I Am This Flower

I Am This Flower.

I planted this flower 3 years ago. I saw it at WalMart and thought it was beautiful and wanted it in my yard. I was going through a VERY brief gardening streak and thought this would be the beginning of a lot more planting. Nahhhhh.
The first summer, it wilted and dried out despite consistent watering. It's just really hot here. REALLY hot.
I figured that was it and just sighed and let it be. Not long after, we were forced to move out of this house for a while for multiple reasons. My life was falling apart. I was in pieces. I was nearly dead, really.. emotionally, and physically. So we left, and the yard went to ruins again....
By the next spring, I had pulled my life together just enough that I was ready to try again. In my own space. Somehow, out of absolute brokenness and near death, something I WAS SURE I would never be revived from, I was starting to bloom again.
When we moved back in, I checked the spot where I had planted this. I couldn't even find it among the weeds.. shrugged it off and thought maybe I'd try to find a more sturdy flower to plant later.
A few weeks later, I walked out of the house in the morning to find this:
(stupid instagram won't let me download my own picture).
I was, clearly, excited as hell. It's just a flower. Just one plant. But it bloomed again. Somehow through the winter and lack of gardening it had sat dormant and managed to beat the odds and blossom again.
Kind of like I had, that year.

And, let's just be honest. I've fallen apart over and over again. I've lost "everything" a million times. I have had to start over more times than I can count... build from nothing. At one point I said, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot keep starting over. I can't. And then
I realized the beauty of your life shattering into pieces you can't even recognize. You can't put them back into what it looked or felt like before.
But you can.... you can pick them up and make something else. Anything you want to. It's a beautiful opportunity. It's hard. It's fucking .. almost impossible..... almost.
It's the most work anyone will ever do, internally and externally, continually rebuilding an entire life.
Sometimes I look at my rose bushes and I think, that's what other people seem like to me. I never wonder if my roses are going to bloom. I can neglect them all year long and they still offer up the same beautiful blossoms. Nearly the entire year, every year. They are reliable, the rose bushes never look like they've wilted beyond repair.. they are strong and they just keep doin their rose thang.
But I... I am THAT flower. And no, I don't know what it's called. ;)

Right now, I've been walking through a pretty scary storm in my life.
I've wanted to die. I've come close to dying. I feel like I am losing everything. I might lose it all. My jobs.. already lost my car... my house.. who knows? It's all on the line right now.
Yesterday the last straw was finding out that half the money I'd been saving to buy a new car had been garnished from my bank account. I sobbed all day.
This came after some very painful conversations with "Friends" who
cruelly discarded me without a second thought... a conversation with a employer that left me inconsolable. I felt like I'd been ripped right out of the ground from the roots. Breathless and lifeless. Too tired to even bother to keep living.
My friend said "come over, have a beer, sleep. Tomorrow is a new day, and you're going to be okay."

I laughed at him. Nothing can get better now. It's all gone to hell and I've been working SO damn hard. So hard.. I've never worked this hard before.
But I went and had a beer (or 3) under the stars on his patio, slept...
And then today I woke up in a good mood, and I relaxed with my friend with some morning coffee.. and I thought about life.. and I thought about my options..
and then I drove home, wondering when I'd start sobbing again, when that feeling would come down on me and stop me from functioning anymore, ever again.
And .. I pulled into my driveway and my flower had bloomed, and I realized

I MIGHT lose everything. I might get cut down. That flower? The entire plant appeared to be gone. A gardener mistook it for a weed over the winter and I was pretty bummed, but ... you know, my black thumb could only keep something that pretty alive this long, right?

The damn thing was cut to the ground, nearly killed, no reason to push up and bloom again. I wouldn't have.
Or... maybe. Maybe I am. Because just seeing that made me realize...
You can take away my jobs, my house, my phone, my car, my money, my looks (and even that happened this year, in a fashion, go figure). I can be cut to the goddamn ground and feel no hope of ever coming back from any of this.
But I still have my roots.. I have my family. I have my kids. I have my friends. I have my voice to sing with, I have my body to dance with..
Most important..
I have WHO I AM. Everything I've survived and overcome, everything I've learned. Every person whose life I've touched, even briefly or minimally, every experience, every growth, even the painful growth... I'm still me. And I can always rebuild.
I might spend a while looking pretty much dead. I might think all is lost. I might even go underground for a long time.. but eventually I'll blossom again.
Because I'm that flower.