While a lot of my friends are growing beautiful flowers and a cornucopia of vegetables, my garden remains barren. See, I have a little bit of a black thumb. The way I kill plants (even the lowest maintenance ones), it amazes me that I was able to keep a cat alive for 11 years and now a kid, so far for five years, knock on wood.
No, I’m growing something a little different this summer.
I’m growing ME.
At the end of 2016, I realized I was in a rut. Three years had passed since my dad died, since my child was born, since I became a person I didn’t recognize. During the following two years, I embarked on a personal growth journey, reading every book, listening to all the podcasts, and yes, finally returning to and talking it out in therapy. My 40th birthday was looming, and 40 was the magic number, right? I should be who I want to be – my best self – by 40.
Well, my 40th birthday came and went a little less than three months ago. And you know what? I’m not my best self. Yet. But I’m closer. And I’ve come really far.
I launched a local fund, in memory of my dad, to help youth who are experiencing homelessness transition to college.
I’ve worked my tush off to make our community a more compassionate, inclusive, peaceable place to live – and the cherry on top is that my work even has been recognized publicly.
I’m chipping away at my debt, with two debts now paid in full, and spending money more intentionally (and thus, less!).
I’m clearing the clutter, both physically and mentally, so that there is more space and time for what truly matters.
I’m fueling my body – and mind – with nourishing food (both literally and metaphorically) and weeding the junk, obligations, and relationships that drag me down.
I’m rediscovering hobbies and methods of self-care instead of passively numbing out and letting hours pass me by.
I fall off the wagon. But I get back on.
It’s not perfect. It’s progress.
We don’t always realize we’re growing while we’re in the process of doing so. My son, for instance, has been growing over the last several weeks, but it wasn’t until he spread out next to me the other day that I realized he’s grown at least an inch, if not more. Personal growth is similar. It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens little by little, day by day. And sometimes you have to take a step back before you can recognize the progress you’ve made.
I’m not my best self. Truthfully, it’s a goal I may never be able to attain; after all, there’s no magic finish line. But I’m a better me than I was yesterday. And tomorrow I’ll strive to be a better me than I was today. The flowers in my garden may not be growing, but I am.
This post is linked up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.
PROMPT 2: Show us something you’re growing.