I mentioned casually in passing that I have houseplants. My peace lily has been troublesome; my other plants have grown and thrived. A friend mentioned in passing that peace lilies can be difficult plants to grow and thrive. The wisdom shared by my friend -- the sort of serendipitious remark that stands out in your mind -- provided me with a semblance of relief. It was not I who was the problem (Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero is now singing softly in my mind), with my forgetfulness interfering with watering schedules.
I try my best; the lily is delicate. I am, too.
Perhaps the lily is a metaphor about how I sometimes, particularly in moments where I feel down, see my place in the world. I see the attributes that I now realise define me as problems, and frame them as such. Words are powerful. Do I feel anxiety when meeting new people? I often do. My mind framed that as a problem. I must be different. Then, I read the word "shy." The mental connection between shyness and anxiety was not present. I defined myself in stricter terms that may not have been true. I think I am a bit shy. I'm confident in some environments, shy when I have something to say to someone I don't know too well.
This is painful when you strive to understand the world around you; to learn from the experiences of others. The serendipitious remark fuels me. The word of a friend or a stranger may be forgotten by them, and yet provide meaning to me. The words live on past the single moment in time in which they are spoken; the sentiment transcends the context of the discssion. The sentiment is a spark. Then, one day, seemingly without prompt, that spark can be reignited. You learn something new about yourself or the world around you.
Comment on this post
Respond to this post by sending a Webmention.
Have a comment? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.