The Late Bloomer


| 4/12/2012 11:36:29 AM


Tags: conquering fear, what gardening can teach you, why garden, finding courage to follow dreams, taking chances, S.M.R. Saia,

A photo of Shannon SaiaThis year I have a lot more patience with my plants. Of all of the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants that I started at the same time, some are huge and vibrant and burgeoning; big and sturdy and bright. Others are less tall, less far along; other tomatoes and peppers that I started a few weeks after them have outpaced them. But still they persevere. They continue to grow, and to make new leaves, tiny filaments of green connecting today’s tiny and unimpressive juvenile to the ripe and colorful fruit that, months from now, is sure to come. I know that this is the case not because of my several years of experience now in starting seedlings, but because I have always been something of a later bloomer myself.  

Case in point, I had an experience at work last week in which a series of unrelated events forced me to step up to the plate and take on some responsibilities that I had really been trying to avoid. They’re responsibilities that I have often considered, and for which I thought I would even be well suited. Sometimes I’ve even been frustrated that they weren’t my responsibilities. But still, they are new ground, more visibility; a little scary and intimidating, and they were – well – responsibilities.  

 Nonetheless, last week I took the plunge and I found that not only wasn’t I as nervous as I expected to be, or as self-conscious – though I did turn red and have a hot flash – I did a good job and as a reward I received…drum roll please…you guessed it. More responsibility. 

That, my friends, is the way of the world. The thing is, now that it has happened, I’m actually pretty happy about it, and even proud. It’s like that little, fledgling filament of a recent true leaf that I’ve been keeping close to the point of invisibility not only was not invisible but was there growing and ready to unfurl all along. I just needed to feed it a little encouragement and get it out into the heat and the light.  

As I’ve said, I’ve always considered myself to be something of a later bloomer. But when is one’s failure to develop or achieve according to one’s own expectations a case of late blooming and when is it a simple failure of courage? After all, courage isn’t about time. But then again maybe sometimes it is. Courage can come into play out of necessity. It can be that last ditch, do-or-die effort because time is running out. Courage in action can double for desperation, frustration, or even not caring anymore about consequences. Or maybe courage is just doing something in spite of all the reasons that you don’t want to. Maybe it’s drowning out those negative voices with a rousing and constant, “I can do this”. I do know this: I’ve been in the world long enough to know that successful people, and talented people, and even brave people, are not necessarily, and maybe not ever, people that aren’t scared. 

I think that I have finally internalized something over the past year that is of vital importance. I’m not even sure how to put it, but I’m going to give it a shot.  

cindy murphy
4/18/2012 11:16:02 PM

I always love analogies between gardening and life experiences; it's such a natural comparison. Glad you found the courage, Shannon. Wishing you success with your new responsibilities. (Oh, and btw, I love kale! Taking care of two birds with one stone here, because I didn't find the time to comment on your last post in a timely manner. The kale I planted last fall that the caterpillars gnawed to nothing, sprouted again this spring. Alas, Hubs tilled it up...just because he wanted to feel the dirt between his toes!)


nebraska dave
4/13/2012 12:53:42 PM

S.M.R. Your post was very uplifting and an encouragement for anyone facing new challenges in life. I agree that is what life is all about. Every day decisions have to be made. Some are scary. As you have found out, some times they are a lot more scary in our mind than they actually are in reality. Good luck on your new work venture. From what I know of you through GRIT posts, I am confident that you will do just fine with your new responsibilities. Over the course of my 41 year career, I've faced that decision many times. Most times because of my quiet personality, I played it safe but in those times that I didn't, it was very rewarding. Fear can really keep us from accomplishing all that we can be in life. I'm glad to see you are not letting that stop you. Have a great new responsibility day





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE