A couple years ago, my husband and I, with very little know-how on a shoe-string budget added a flower bed to our backyard. My parents each have ten green thumbs, but those things aren’t necessarily inherited. Our goal is hardy, low maintenance plants that need very little attention. So, we did our research, forgot most of it and settled on a pair of irises one spontaneous Saturday. Long story short, I grew to hate the plants. They basically looked like big bushy weeds against our redbrick house and produced three blooms, total … in about as many years. I wrote them off, called them a loss, and liked them even less with each passing season.
A change of scene.
This spring, we needed to do a bit of plumbing work under the ‘new’ backyard bed, so we pulled it all up and planned to start from scratch. In the moments before we dug them up, my husband casually mentioned transplanting them to the east side of the house. It’s the first thing you see when you drive up to our home, but it only had one window, the AC unit and a tiny rosebush. Needless to say, it’s not much to look at. I agreed, recognizing that we didn’t have anything to lose and assuming they would be ‘out of sight- out of mind.’
Guess what? The plants took off! Within a week, both were covered in blooms. There were actually too many to count! They’ve quadrupled in size and look perfect against the empty brick wall. It’s safe to say that they love their new home, and more surprisingly, I love those two plants. I watched them in awe and learned a beautiful lesson; sometimes, we need to be transplanted.
Bloom where you are planted?
I love what that saying stands for, and the message it sends … sometimes. But what if you aren’t planted in the right spot? What if your job really isn’t serving you or your family? Or the school your kids attend isn’t meeting their needs? Does your group of friends keep you stunted, blooming less often than you’re actually able to? Maybe it’s a house that keeps your family from flourishing? I won’t tell you which of these hit closest to home for me, but I will tell you that these beautiful blooms handed me a much-needed wake-up call. Like the irises, pre-transplant, I was safe and secure but the elements were off. Maybe it was the soil, or the sunshine, or the fact that they like to watch the sunrise. I probably won’t know exactly why these plants are flourishing in their new spot, but I can tell you were I went wrong. The assumption was that I (and they) should stay because it made practical sense. I knew things were lacking, but assumed I could compensate. If the soil is all the same, what difference can a few feet make? Boy, was I wrong!
Doing the dirty work.
Change takes courage, that’s a fact. And there’s no guarantee that the next move / group / school / home will be the right fit. But the price of staying put is high. It means sacrificing yourself and your potential for the sake of security. A stunted version of yourself is not what anyone needs, you least of all. My husband says, “The right thing at the wrong time, is still the wrong thing;” the right flower, in the wrong bed, is still the wrong fit. The right conditions at the wrong time … or the wrong conditions at a seemingly right time are not a recipe for success. In fact, it’ll more than likely bring about unwanted results.
It’s too soon to know if the move I made was the right one. (I’m not talking about the flowers anymore.) It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been clumsy, messy and strange. But I know that speaking the truth felt freeing, and taking steps to transplant myself have been energizing. If you’re contemplating a change, I’m sending courage your way. I hope you find just the right elements so you can finally bloom your biggest, and brightest, and best.