A friend recently told me that I could work on being more explicit, and I agree. By explicit, I mean being more intentional about welcoming and bringing people into the garden of my life. Showing people what I’ve been caring for, the fruits of my labour, and maybe even the sad plants that are dying in the corner. To allow them to bear witness to my life.
Whether I’m aware of it or not in these moments, I find myself maintaining a distance between myself and my friends. For some reason, I find myself constructing walls around the plants where they don’t need to be so high.
There have been times where I’ve really wanted to reach out to someone and tell them I got accepted into their alma mater, or that I got the job and I wanted to thank them for their part in it. But for some reason, I bite my tongue. I’m not exactly sure why. I think a big part of it is rooted in a fear of being stung. That for some reason, I feel that they haven’t (historically) or won’t (in the future) reciprocate my enthusiasm.
And then they reach out to me a few weeks later, and I feel immensely guilty about retroactively telling them this news, as though they were an afterthought when I actually wanted to tell them about it when it happened!
When I think about it, when have I ever felt annoyed by someone reaching out to me and inviting me to take a glimpse into their life, to be a witness to their experience? Within reason, when have I ever not felt joy for a friend’s blooms, or shared in their sorrow for the wilted? If anything, I feel grateful to be in their life and that they thought to share this with me.
So, I now write a postmortem for all the blooms since wilted. The flowers that have died out of coldness, unable to thrive in their lack of a sunny and warm environment. I’m working on deconstructing the walls barring the sunlight and adopting a policy of Just Shipping It. Hitting up a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. Sending that message of appreciation without hitting backspace and thinking that it’s cringe (sidenote, why does being earnest and expressing appreciation feel that way at times? it shouldn’t).
I find those moments when I can catch a glimpse into the lives of others to be so beautiful. Seeing a small sliver of their day through a picture they took on a walk, or what they ate at a cafe. At least 7 billion gardens are being tended to, are there to be a witness to, on this planet. I don’t want my walls to be so high up!
So, with that, I leave a couple of words mainly as a reminder to myself.
- Perfection is in allowing yourself to be seen
- Just Go First.
Here’s to gardening and sunnier days ahead. Cheers! 🥂
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