Steadily, over time.
Some days are leggy and eager, reaching for the sun like it was the easiest thing in the world to leave the ground behind.
Some days are stunted and twisted, a sideways evasion of anything resembling forward movement.
And some days, when I least expect it, it turns out I was blooming even more than I considered possible.
I know myself well enough to know that I crave structure, some semblance of order to balance out the chaos in my heart and mind. This rambly goodtime temerity that seems to be a default setting is only of benefit when caught in a see-saw sort of relationship with the ability to get things done when they need doing.
If I’m asked to do something with no deadline, whether it’s me or someone else doing the asking, there is a really good chance it won’t get done until the last possible second, if it gets done at all.
We live in a world where go-getters and self-starters and super productive creatives are lauded as where I should aim to be. There are great swaths of the internet devoted to the morning/evening/daily routines of all sorts of folks, living and dead. And I love that this information is available. Plenty of opportunity to examine other people’s “life hacks” and maybe find a new trick or two. I am really not a fan of that phrase. As though there is some cheat code which, if discovered, will help you win at life because up until now it’s pretty obvious you’ve been losing. What? Fuck off.
Here’s the thing. I know lots of people who are really good at doing exactly what they say they’re going to do without needing anyone to push them. They’ve been taught or learned how to summon that drive and fill their days accordingly. And that’s super cool. It’s awesome to see and I’m stoked for them, truly.
The only not cool thing about it is when I compare myself to them without knowing anything about their upbringing, or the things they struggle with or how much work they put in to accomplish what they do. Or consider that their way is better than mine. There is no better in method, there is only what works best for me, in this moment. And that might change in an hour. Some of the things I used to do, I don’t anymore because they weren’t aiding me in my desire to be better than I was yesterday. It might be subtle, it might be huge, but change is inevitable and the way I operate most effectively is a constantly evolving process. It’s difficult to be as kind and patient with myself as I could be sometimes because I am surrounded by reminders that people on the internet have stumbled across *the* way to do something and some of those pitches are really shiny and use words that my own brain has decided suggest a certain amount of authority.
I’m getting awfully tangential now.
Sometimes my garden meanders.
And that’s my thing. I enjoy having structure in aspects of my life so that my creativity can meander and take me to really awesome places I might not have explored if I’d not had that jumping off point, and a sense of stability framing it.
In the back of my mind I’ve been thinking I should be crafting monthly prompts regularly, to aid in that desire for structure, but I kept running up against the wall of, I’m so busy right now, I won’t be able to do them every day and that will feel like failure. But that’s not really the point of the experiment.
The point is to show up for myself, to give myself those gentle pushes that I seem to do well with. Not every single day is going to look and feel the same. Super productive exercising healthy eater human of today might be snacktime anytime trashy novel reading video game zone out wastrel of tomorrow. And that’s cool, as long as things even out and I give myself room to learn and grow while giving myself permission to let go of that which isn’t working regardless of how practical it might be for others.
Here are some photos of tiny plants that I first tried to grow in three flat egg containers.
They didn’t do a thing regardless of the internet having told me it was a really good idea. I figured they weren’t viable and I’d failed and even made mention of it in a poem I wrote on mother’s day with the line “none of the seeds I planted grew/my garden appears dusty and stale with wasted potential”. It didn’t seem fair to just give up and toss the whole experiment, so I said fuck it and tossed them into a larger container with more dirt, watered them well and let them sort it out. And soon after, tiny sprouts. So I did it with the second tray, and when those started sprouting, I did the third.
So the lesson here is that I should pay less attention to what the internet says will work, and work out how much space is needed to grow in a way that suits me best.
So I made some prompts. Will I do them every day? Maybe.
Will I feel bad if I don’t? Maybe.
But maybe not, because not every prompt needs me to show up for it in the same way.
Which feels like evolution.