We all know what comes next. The one step back. It happened today for me and I’m going to write about it mostly as a way of forgiving myself and taking the amount of space that I need at the moment.
As I’ve mentioned before, the last couple of years have been a bit difficult, internally. Maybe it’s the turning 40 (a few years ago), maybe it was the move across the country, maybe it’s the response to the experience of living where we did before the move across the country, maybe it’s none of those things at all, but I have swung pretty deeply in the direction of introversion – for lack of a better way of describing it. Whether or not that is my natural state is sort of beside the point, because I am trying to just meet myself where I am, and let’s be honest, that is mostly under the blankets with a blank look on my face and a cat. Maybe both cats.
So that’s an unsustainable model. I know. And I also know that I am allowed to give myself space, but not allowed avoidance or laziness. So I find things that might fit and encourage myself outside of my current state. And I love learning everything I can about flower growing and arranging and people who like those things. So what better way to reach out than a conference on flower growing 2 miles from my very own house? Right? Right. I signed up on the second day registration was open. And last night I started to panic a little bit, but I just reminded myself that it’s normal to feel scared on the first day of school. So I got up, drank my coffee, put my notebook in a bag, and drove off to the conference. I made it about 2.5 hours and that’s all I could do. I listened to a great talk on soil and I heard fantastic tips about woody perennials and then I had to leave. HAD TO LEAVE. By the time I got to my car I was shaking, and by the time I got home I was fighting tears of panic. So maybe the bite I took was too big. I’ll go slower next time.
Day 2 of the conference is tomorrow. I’ll go. I’ll plan to stay for the morning part and learn from people who know a lot more than I do. That feels manageable. And then we’ll take it from there.
There’s a bit of risk, I guess, in laying this all out like this. But I’d be lying if I didn’t include this struggle in the genesis of this flower growing and designing part of my life. Flowers make me feel better. Plain and simple. Growing them, looking at them, giving them to people as gifts, creating beauty and light and joy and depth and mood with them for weddings and events and whatever else comes up.
Flowers, coffee, giving myself space, and talking about stuff.
That’s the way back, I think.
Or rather, the way forward.