Attempted growth in a season of taking
This summer has not started the way I had intended. In fact, in late April I had big summer plans; plans like having a full time job, taking lots of pictures, writing a lot, some travel, maybe a Grimes concert, and a ton of hanging out at coffee shops. Unfortunately, it is June 5th and I am fairly certain I’ve went backwards. I don’t have a full time job, I’ve taken some pictures, the only thing I’ve wrote is this little piece, my car broke down trying to get to Blacksburg and after a week, and a large car repair bill, it still isn’t working exactly right, but it’ll do for work purposes. No Grimes concert (so sorry Claire, so sorry); and the only time I’ve been to get coffee is to fill out job applications (ten in total, one interview, zero offers).
A few weeks ago I planted some garden veggies for my family, nothing big, some tomatoes, and squash. I returned less than a week later to see them shriveled and dry. The rain that I thought was promised was just a small cloud that flew past. The ground that I thought was ensured to sustain these plants had actually dried and clotted them. The sun, which provided them energy had burned and oppressed them. I don’t think I’ve ever related to a field of struggling plants more. I thought I was in a perfect environment for growth. The ground I was placed in was, what I thought to be ideal; so many places around me were hiring, and had been for some time. There was a (what I thought to be) ensured relief (the rain); the relief of finishing a semester and the hopeful start of a job that would allow me to save money. All with the renewed energy of the sun. But the reality couldn’t be farther from what I thought. The ground gave me silence, (of the ten places I’ve applied, one called me back, I didn’t get the job). The relief of rain passed me by, (continued unexpected car troubles and financial insecurity). And the sunlight, meant to energize me, quickly burnt me out. All of my attempts to progress were stopped dead in their tracks.
Instead of a daily routine consisting of growth and development; it became wake up, check for missed calls from possible employers, -none-. Check email for something from a potential employer, -none-. Check Craigslist for new job postings I would be eligible for, -none-. (on occasion I triple check my spam folder, just in case). After this routine I would slip back into my bed and wait, for something, anything. “I’m a shriveled plant.” I told myself. After a week of this routine, it was almost comical. It became typical to not be offered a job¹, typical to cut it close financially, (after my rent was taken out of my bank account I sent a screenshot of my remaining balance with the caption “lol” to my mom, she wasn’t laughing with me). This was an attempted pass to my anxiety, about finances, about myself, about that car repair bill that was more than eight times what I had in my bank account, (thankful for my parents who graciously covered it). So there it is, this summer I have taken on the role of a shriveled plant anxious about the dirt, the rain, and the sun.
I’m writing this still in the garden. The field, still dry and clotted, the rain still passing by, and the sun still being much to bright. But that’s okay. I may be shriveled and I may have receded into myself, but it is temporary. I will keep working my way through the dirt, searching for fertile soil to rest in. I will wait patiently for the rain cloud that doesn’t float past, and one day soon the sun will be just right. I am patient, because I have to be. Being impatient doesn’t deliver results, I can’t one day grow tired of waiting and suddenly grow out of it, I have to wait for the conditions that will be my guide.
¹Let me be very clear that in no way am I mad or angry at any business or potential employer for not hiring me. Do I feel personally attacked for not being contacted by so many? of course not, they hire those they feel are best for the job and for the multitude of places I applied, I was not that person.