The Peace Lily
Published on under the Life category.
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.
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