The Tree & Me

As I write this it is Saturday morning and I am cozy in bed snuggling with my kitty, Esme. Moments like this help me to be thankful for the small things in life.

  • Love from a soft animal
  • Warm Coffee
  • Cozy Blankets
  • Gentle Music

Okay, now that I’ve set the mood for you, let me tell you about the whirlwind of a week I experienced.

But first, can I ask you a question?

How do you know what you need? Like what is it that tells you something isn’t right? And secondly, do you listen?

So I’m going through a split of sorts you could say. Yes, yes… woe is me. I can’t seem to hold on to a relationship and growing up in small-town midwest my views on this subject may be skewed and particularly biased when it comes to the comparing mind of those of my family members and friends

Here is what I tell myself, “Lilliana, live your life for you. You do not have to rush, you do not have to follow societal norms, you must follow your heart.”

It’s just, sometimes I think my heart plays tricks on me… or is that my head.. or both? SEE! This is what I’m talking about.

Here is my metaphor: I liken my current experiences to a freshly planted sapling (hint, I’m the sapling). Having recently moved to the metro, my little sapling self-hasn’t really had time to put down my roots deep into the foundation of life here. Then this HUGE gust of wind came and tested my newly planted roots and without much to hold on to, this sapling was ripped from the ground, roots breaking, leaves drying, helpless and tumbling. Yes, I’ve seen this happen before figuratively and yes it is this dramatic, especially considering all of the work it took to dig that hole, find the perfect place, and plant the right tree to fit that particular space.

So that was the climax of my week. I was tumbling up and down in winds of deep deep sorrow mixed with new strength and motivation, waves of emotion. Everything is a wave, but that’s a conversation for another time.

So what do you do to that sapling after the storm? Do you just leave it and throw it away and buy a new one?

Absolutely not.

You go out there, you pick it up and you put it right back in place. And you learn. You tie a rope around both sides and anchor it to the ground so it grows straight and tall.. stronger. So that next time the wind comes that sapling isn’t going ANYWHERE.

I am a very fortunate sapling. I have been anchored by my new friends at work who let me lean on them, drink tea with me, and listen to all the ugly truths poor out of me. Family calls every single day to check in and stop by my little apartment bringing Trader Joe’s mac and cheese and insta pot boneless ribs… with pumpkin tea- tis’ the most healing meal of them all. 

These good souls picked me up and anchored me.

But do you know what is better than being a sapling though?

Being a human. Feeling all of the feels, and to be honest I forgot what raw emotional pain was like but it opened up this tornado inside of me and it unleashed a fierce amount of inspiration to be better.

And that’s what differentiates me from the tree but also makes me the same. I’ve been reaching for my books, I’ve been taking my camera with me everywhere. The combination of these two is a life that is not lonely. It’s a life of growth and creativity. A beautiful existence recognizing the beauty that is to exist.

Fall is a time for transformation, for change, to let go. It shows us how beautiful it is to let go and open our hearts to transformation. Now it’s up to us to choose which direction to head.

I choose integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, and compassion. I chose to feel and let this pain change me for the better. I will never let it turn me bitter or resentful. I chose to recommit myself to myself, to my job, to my people and to being a better, stronger sapling.

It’s all about perspective.

With commitment to self, for me, comes adventure and experience. Yesterday I took myself out, alone, and liked it. A lot.

All of these photos were taken at the University of Minnesota and the Weisman Art Museum.

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