A garden all her own

A narrative about finding and pursuing your passions after you previously lost the fire.

When the water is rough it is hard to see. Once things calm you have a better picture.

“People don’t change” is what my dad always says. He says that they are the same from when they are little all the way to adults. I can see this. I agree with him.

My mom told me when we would be driving in the car when I was younger I would stare out the window (I remember this). I would see people and I told her I felt their pain. I placed my hands over my chest and closed my eyes. My mother asked what I was doing. I responded that I was sending them love because they looked like they could use some.

To this day I do something similar. If I have the opportunity to communicate with the person I see having a hard time, I try my best to make them smile, even for a second. Or if I notice trash floating in the wind I go out of my way to pick it up because 1. I care about our environment, and 2. I hope that my small act of kindness makes them feel something inside. When I see hurt I put my hand over my heart and send love.

People don’t change that much. But I do think change in a person can happen.

Big events in life that shake up the ground we walk on can rattle a person, can shape a person, and can change a person.

I have had four major events shake my footing while creating the person I strive to become.The first event being my public speaking course. I was always shy, never took any photos, and would ask my younger sister to talk to strangers when we needed help. I never wanted to stand out and kept quietly to myself. I spent my days listening and pondering. The semester I took my public speaking course at DVC with Professor Simas changed me for the better.

She is the reason I love public speaking. The way the course ran, the motivation in her voice, the way she challenged us, and expected greatness.

I finally found my voice and felt like a new person. I talked to strangers, I went out of my way to make people laugh, and I shared my ideas. Also, I loved pictures and grinned ear to ear when a camera pointed my way. This major event in my life changed me. It gave me strength and it gave me life. It gave me a passion to help others find their voice and feel as good as I felt.

The second major event in my life was my first major break up. It was the start of my second semester in a new town, feeling alone, and unloved. Being so empty, vulnerable, and alone created a space so open, anything could happen. I was at my lowest low, so the only way to go was up.

But you know what ended up happening? I created the best version of myself and you know which one? The girl that I dream about, that lost girl that was epic. She was built from the ruins left after hitting rock bottom. Building from the ground up is better than trying to fix the ground floor of a seven-story building. To have highs you have to experience lows.

[It was the realization that I had been in a strikingly similar position three years ago today, which actually makes me a bit excited. Read on to see why.]

So up I went, I flew higher than I’ve ever flown. I finally created the best version of myself, exactly who I was meant to be. The girl I was proud to be. I became a mentor and put my heart and soul into my work. I loved this girl I became out of a heartbreaking event.

The third event was starting graduate school. It shook up everything I knew. The path I followed turned dark, and grey, and the signs no longer existed. The sun was gone and I was alone. I changed. This is where she became the lost girl (read about her in my previous post).Fast-forward to present day (three years from my second major ground shaking event). The final event that shook me to the ground, knocked me on the head, and splashed water on my face.

How did I get so lost? I am a mapper at my core. I know the way to happiness; I know my passion and dreams. The tall dark trees had covered the moonlight that could have brought me back on the right path. But none of that matters now. An earthquake shook me in the right direction. It tossed me to an open clearing where soil lived and a few weeds, but the darkness and trees were behind me.

Life is like a roller coaster ride. There are highs and lows. There are also times when you are in a dark tunnel and just have to hold on as tightly as you can until light breaks again.

In this clearing I have a purpose. I have a space. I have a goal…I am going to grow a garden.

I have been here before, three years ago, at the edge of a new shaping of myself. I have the tools, the memories, and the ideas that worked before. I am detail-oriented, intelligent, and resilient. I know my past, where it took me, and how I got to different destinations. I have all that pre-mapped out.

In this new space I will plant seeds to grow. Growing takes time, watering, and love, all of which I have the strength to accomplish. After I build my garden I want to venture out, create new trails, and chart new territory.

This excites me.

Be proud of yourself for being fearless when it comes to love because love will always favor the brave, the ones who try, and the ones who get heartbroken, but still believe.

As corny as it sounds and feels to write: I love my self and I will build back up again and this time I will build back even better than before.

The waves are rough, but I can doggy-paddle. I will endure.

People do change, but they change when they are shaken, when they want, and when they are ready.

I have the most amazing community of friends who care and who say they see the goodness in me daily. I am grateful for you all. I love you.

So maybe I haven't lost all of myself just yet. But I do need to spend some time gardening, living every day to the fullest, giving energy and time to things I enjoy, and spreading my love because that is what makes me truly happy.

Because, when you knock, knock me over I will get back up again.