Actually, the truth about that hydrangea is that it did bloom for me. It never bloomed for the woman who had it before me. She dug it out and gave it to me, and told me she wouldn’t be responsible for any nematode invasion it caused. I planted it by the shed and it got one stunted yet beautiful flower. Then the rains came last July and drowned it.
Yes, I believe that works rather well as a metaphor.
But enough with metaphors. What I mean to say is that all those milestones people tend to hit (at least in my peer group) – marriage, kids, family vacations to Disney World – were ones I once believed I would hit, too. Just later than normal. Maybe ten years later.
Nope. Not that the future couldn’t still hold those things – except Disney World. Sorry, future possible kids. I’m not doing that.
Because the life I live really is unusual for a woman my age – not only do I not want kids, but I also do not want to be married or live with someone – I tend to have a vision of myself as outside of society. Truthfully I’ve always felt this way, even when I was a kid and imagined I would have a “normal” life as a grown up. I don’t know if this feeling comes from the fact that I am a writer (and I believe I was born one), or because I’m an extreme introvert, or from some other facet of my personality (persecution complex? superiority complex? I’m willing to entertain even the negative possibilities; everyone has their difficult side).
Recently, though, someone told me that I shouldn’t let myself think that way. I’m turning my life into a “me vs. them” scenario, whereas the reality is that everyone feels left outside in some way. Well, maybe not every single person. But you get what I mean. Maybe most of us have something that makes us feel different. Maybe we are conflicted about whatever it is. On the one hand, it makes us feel special, but on the other it makes us feel like freaks. Or maybe it’s something that makes us feel just plain shitty most of the time. I have both kinds.
It could be anything. Disability, physical or psychological. Looks. Habits. Lifestyle. Family. Job. Finances.
Is there anything in your life that makes you feel like you are on the outside, looking in? Are you waiting for someone to invite you inside?
I’ve stopped waiting for that invitation. And I feel pretty good about that. Instead, I might try inviting people in myself.
Oh, by the way, that hydrangea has a few new leaves on it this spring. Yeah, I had to go there with the metaphor.
Photograph taken in Costa Rica. I like how you can’t tell if it’s the inside or the outside of the ruined church.