Oct 28, 2013

On signs of life

Many moons ago, this girl right here received a beautiful succulent as a birthday gift. She nurtured it with love and care - well, who am I kidding. Without knowing absolutely nothing about raising succulents, I basically managed to drown the thing in water and direct sunlight and it eventually withered and died, to my obvious surprise, because I had been informed that succulents are practically indestructible. Then, when I moved to DC, I thought I'd get some nice little companions by my window, so I purchased some orchids at Whole Foods. And that relationship lasted about two healthy weeks as the poor thing was neglected most of the time, left all alone.

So there's a bit of context for my over-appreciation of this healthy succulent who managed to survive for the past three months in my apartment. My tiny, dusty apartment that's strategically placed in a corner where no rays of direct sunlight ever hits. But to my credit, I did some research and asked around to make sure I provided a good enough environment for my succulent to not die. I told it: look, you don't have to enjoy your life here, just stay alive so I won't have to spend another $6.99 at Trader Joe's on what's not a bottle of wine. (yes, TJ's 6-7 dollar bottles of wine are not that bad and that's honestly all I can afford at this point)

But in all seriousness, I love my succulent. I've gotten attached to my little green pet over the past few months as I scrambled daily to adjust to my new life in a new city. I look at it every morning as I open my blinders so it can bathe in some kind of natural light while I'm at work. And every time I see it, I'm sort of bewildered and excited that it's still showing me a healthy and strong green, that it's so plump and beautiful. It's a sign of life and existence that I get to see every single morning -- and as corny and dumb as it sounds, it gives me a sense of hope and encouragement.
I know, it might seem like I'm making a big deal over a succulent for crying out loud, but this is important to me. Ever since I've been here since July, I've been learning a personal lesson on the importance of being alive. What does that even mean? It's something really simple. It was something that I never thought about and took for granted all my life. Yes - it's important to go to work everyday. Yes, it's nice to have adult responsibilities so we can finally say we're feeding ourselves independently. Yes, it's nice to accomplish some work you're proud of. Yes, it's nice to have a title and gain some sort of entitlement through being a part of an organization. But what is all that ultimately for, if we don't feel alive?

What makes us human is not complicated at all. It's rather in the small, simple things. Look, I have my dreams and goals and aspirations, but I wouldn't say they're far more superior than the little things I enjoy in life -- like that smell of coffee in the morning or the genuine laughter you share with someone who understands you or receiving small but incredibly heartwarming gestures or even seeing a succulent thrive all strong and healthy when you feel so miserably weak. At least that's how I appreciate life anyway. I get that we all have different ways of dealing with everything, but this is just my way.

So all that to say: succulent, thanks for being strong for both of us.

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