Saturday, February 04, 2006

Broccoli vs. Compost.

"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." - Theodore Roethke

(This photo is the view down the road in front of our house. The sea is in there if you look hard enough!)

A few days ago I was writing about strength. I was thinking about it again today as I was gardening. I think that another form of strength that I am looking for is the ability to know what my own limits are. The best example of this that I can think of is my reaction whenever I watch ER or other 'medial' dramas. I always think, "thank goodness there are people in the world who can do that!" Because I really couldn't. I know that about myself. I know that I could never be a Vet or a Doctor or a Nurse or a Dentist. Internal stuff freaks me out.

But those are easy things to know about myself. I know them because I have such a reaction to images and thoughts of blood and guts. But what about the small things? I am a firm believer in wanting to experience things, and to try before you decide you don't like. But when are we allowed to make a stand? When are we allowed to say, "this is what I am?"

Secretly, in my heart I know that I should like gardening. It's all about the connection to mother earth and all of that. But you know what I know after the last few days? I don't like gardening. I have fond memories of planting seeds with my Mom, but that's it. Weeding? Nope. Digging out roots? Nope. Spreading composted poo with a shovel? Nope and nope.

I've tried in my life to like seafood. Nope. I have tried to enjoy being a high school teacher. Nope. I've even tried cooking, lots of times. Definitely nope.

Does that make me stubborn? Fussy? Probably. But I think at some point we have to be able to stand back and take a good long look at ourselves and know exactly who we are, where we stand, and how we feel about it. Don't get me wrong. We can continue to learn about ourselves. We can suck it up and do the things we don't like. And there always has to be room to change, to grow and to breathe. I didn't like broccoli as a kid and now I can't get enough of it. People change. But I think we also forget that we are allowed to like and not like things. We are allowed to know ourselves well enough to take a stand.

So there it is. Gardening's out, broccoli's in. I know that about myself.

What do you know about yourself?


Laini Taylor said...

Hi Meg! I also learned when we bought this house that I don't like "gardening" -- at least, not that kind! I like the kind where the soil is all ready for you and you tuck some bulbs or starts into it and water it and then they grow! Voila! And I also learned I have no inclination to "D.I.Y."!!! We bought a fixer-upper to learn we hate fixing upping!

Cooking, though, I DO like -- just not all the time.

It's great if one has the luxury to shape one's life according to these things they've discovered about themselves. In writing, too, I finally learned that if I came to a scene to write that didn't interest me that much, it probably wouldn't interest readers too much either and I should find a way around it. In art as in life, make the life you want!

Connie and Rob said...

Very good post!

When I was younger I tried to blend but now I politely be myself! I love the fact that we are all different and have an assortment of interests but don't make me feel small if I don't like what you like. Now I can say thank you but no.

I do not like being out in the cold no outside events in the winter. When visiting I prefer to stay in a hotel. Love family but just feel it is easier for everyone to stay in separate quarters and meet up for all the fun stuff.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

The Silent K said...

I know that I love reading and will never deprive myself if it for an entire week EVER again.

Jamie said...

What a great post, Meg! Full of interesting ideas and questions.

I know there are a lot of people out there who think you should stretch yourself into the areas you're less comfortable with, perhaps have less of an affinity with. I see where that can be important from a functional perspective (I may hate math, but I should probably still know how to balance my chequebook).

And I agree with you on giving things a chance and being open to them. But once you've tasted it, I say savour what you love and build on your strengths!

I know I wasted a lot of time by listening to people when they suggested a more "realistic" job path. You know, it's wiser to become an English teacher than an actor. I have a lot of clients who have wasted years on this too. The reality is you spend your 10 years making the "safer" choice and suddenly find you are lost, depressed and losing hope. Hopefully you find the strength to start shifting your life to claim who you really are. Perhaps finally you become an actor. Which was really the safer choice?

I honestly believe the only job we're here to do on this planet is to be exactly who we are. If we do that, we will surely fulfill all that we are meant to do.

Lol, obviously this is an issue I feel strongly about! Thanks for bringing it up, Meg. Enjoy your broccoli!

Alexandra S said...

HI Meg! My mom used to always say, "Thats why theres chocolate and vanilla." I'm pretty picky and sometimes I wish I was one of those people who loves to do everything and is just more overall accomodating, but alas, I'm completely not. I'm finicky and probably more than 'pretty' picky. We can't like everything so really love what you love and let the gardening go. For me, I'm mostly a houseplant girl- they're low maintenance!

Frankie said...

What a gorgeous view you have! I'm so consumed with jealousy...I love this post. It's so true and wise. There are so many things that I feel I'm supposed to love, so many ways I feel I'm supposed to be. The important thing is to be true to yourself, to know who you are and to cherish that person. The most important definition of you is the one you create for yourself. But if anyone were to ask me, I would define you as absolutely wonderful! And you are!

Laini Taylor said...

It occurred to me what my biggest one is, that is, the thing EVERYBODY loves and no one EVER admits to NOT loving: music! Don't get me wrong, I don't hate music, it's nice, I like it, but I don't notice it unless someone calls my attention to it (or it's really annoying) and I don't buy it or bother to know about it -- I used to feel a lot of pressure to pretend to be as in love with music as everyone else, but for some years now I've just let it go, and when people ask what music I like I just shrug and say, "I'm not really into music." and you should see the looks I get! It's as if I'd said, "I'd rather torture kittens," or something. I guess my aural senses are not very prominent/primary for me. Oh, and concerts bore me senseless. When I used to agree to go to them with my husband I would ALWAYS wish I had a book and a flashlight!

tara dawn said...

Oh Megg...I absolutely love this post. No matter how many times I have told myself these things, it is always comforting to hear the permission of others. It is the very things we like or dislike that make each of us our own unique beings. And yet far too often, we fight these internal urges, the knowledge that we know deep inside about ourselves. We fight it for various reasons. Thank you for this lovely reminder that it is okay for me to like certain things and dislike others. It is okay, more than okay, for me to recognize these aspects of myself and embrace them.

Thank you so much for your recent comments. As you can tell, I like both learning to be a psychologist and I like writing. And you know what? I don't have to choose. There are a million other things I like in this world, and I shall allow myself to like them all, to embrace them all.

Hope you are well and that your week begins with peace and happiness.
Lots of love!!

Alexandra S said...

Megg! Head over to my site - I just launched a new tag and you are now it!

Blue Dog said...

Now that's a beautiful photo. It looks a wee bit enchanted in your part of the world! And the post about strength--also wonderful. And the part of being yourself--yes!yes!yes!

It's good to be reading blogs again. Your writing is nutricious. :)