“And the day came when the
risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk
it took to bloom.”
~ Anais Nin
My therapist turned me onto this quote a few years ago. I remember vividly hearing these words and feeling such a connection to what they said.
Somewhere along the line I started to turn down the volume my personality and dreams and began to raise the volume in the afraid-to-be-the-real-me department. Looking back I can see that it got so bad I almost lost myself completely. Toxic people, toxic relationships, and toxic thinking can affect so much of you if you let it. I had gotten to a point where years of the 3 T’s (the toxic people, toxic relationships & toxic thinking) had forced me into a bud. A tight, closed off, suffocating bud.
Even though I was trapped in this bud I knew I wanted more. I want[ed] to be that beautiful flower that I was born to be. I was so afraid to go forth and enjoy my life [and myself] that I felt I literally could not stand it anymore. It was becoming entirely too painful to remain living tightly in a bud. I started by making small changes that ultimately turned into bigger changes. The first few changes were terrifying. I spent a lot of time alone. MONTHS. I cried a lot. I cried myself to sleep, I cried on the cat, I cried if I spilled tea, I cried while driving – which I do not recommend by the way. The anxiety of hating where I was in life literally made me sick to my stomach at times. Whatever it took, I had to get out of that bud.
The risk I was taking staying in that bud was becoming far greater then the risk it was to let myself bloom. I knew I could not do it myself so I put myself in therapy. I quit therapy a few times before I finally realized I needed to stay. I owed it to myself to stay and try my hardest because I did not want to find out what would happen to me if I didn’t. I am still in therapy and still working on blooming fully. I still have bad days and I still get the urge to quit therapy from time to time but when I remember being a bud it inspires me to keep going.
It is not an easy road but I feel that it would be even harder to look back and have never even tried.
It was June 2014. Quite possibly Fathers Day. It was a Sunday. Very hot outside, a beautiful summer day.
Actually let’s back the bus up to August 2008.
In the summer of 2008 I worked 2 jobs. I was a housekeeper at a local hotel by day and a dietary aide at a long term care facility by night. I worked 12 hour days almost every day, 7 days a week. Now as luck would have it by the end of August I cracked and quit the lower-paying day job. Without a day job I felt like I had a lot of time on my hands but having worked so much I didn’t know what to do with myself.
One day my younger sisters suggested we go to the beach. Funny to admit now but I didn’t even know how to get to the beach anymore and my sisters who at the time were not even old enough to drive had to direct me. We get to the beach, we set up our towels and what not and off they went to play in the water “STAY WHERE I CAN SEE YOU!!!” and I proceeded to get my tan on. Not long after we arrived a trio of handsome young men came and set up shop not too far away from me. I noticed them almost immediately, they were all very handsome, blonde, and all looked like they could be related in some way. One in particular caught my eye. He was wearing what I remember to be as red swimming shorts. I had this feeling he was going to come over to me. I don’t usually get this feeling so I was somewhat shocked when he did indeed come over to me. I tried to play it cool. I felt like a bumbling fool. Every time I looked at him his beautiful eyes made me melt. Blonde. A beautiful blonde; and he’s talking to ME!!! Be cool.
Somehow I managed to give him my cell number or Facebook info or both. I didn’t know how to tell Mr. Beautiful that I have a boyfriend, I’m not usually the kind of girl who chats it up with someone else when I’ve already got a someone but this was different. Something inside was telling me not to let this one pass me by. We both recall that after the number/info exchange he and his sidekicks played a strategic game of frisbee very close to my line of view. Well played Mr. Beautiful.
We didn’t stay long at the beach that day as I had my night job still that I had to get to. Later that day or that week I did tell Mr. Beautiful that I have a boyfriend and we did chat a little bit but thats as far as it went. I went to the beach ONE more time that August and I did see him, Mr. Beautiful in the red swimming shorts. He did not see me but I saw him. Little did I know we would meet again in almost that exact location but it wouldn’t be for another 7 years.