Vulnerability is Human, Even When We Think We Feel Like a Plant

Sometimes, even as a trained writer, I cannot think of the right word to describe something I’m trying to say. That’s why I love the Merriam-Webster site and the good ol’ encyclopedia. The perfect word to convey a meaning gets lost in my thoughts and I’m left feeling quite disappointed and subject to describing what I’m thinking using a parallel to something else or euphemism. (I had to look that one up at Merriam-Webster’s dictionary online) just to make sure I was using the word properly. I grew up with a father who had an extensive knowledge of the English language as he ended being a English school teacher for 27 years, and he like to use obscure words on occasion. I loved learning new words from him and asked him to share the books he taught to his middle school classes. Some of my favorite books still resonate with me, such as The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I finally discovered, after reading all of her books, the author was female and remember being quite surprised by this, .

I remember losing all my friends, even my best friend in middle school. I had always been popular, but not considered pretty anymore, I was dumped and bullied. It still bothers me to this day because it happened again in high school and I had moved, but the dissing followed me. I ate the lunch my boyfriend (who ended up not going to school beyond the fifth grade level) prepared for me in the bathroom. Anyway, before that all happened, I remember asking my father if he would be my friend. And so we bonded over big words, books and then sports, especially basketball.

He told me I was a good writer for the most part, and at other times, he was truthfully honest when something wasn’t of a “high” level. He edited many of my papers for punctuality in red ink. However, I did see something in writing that wasn’t good. I saw it as egotistical and of the highest art form so I never fully embraced it. I did get my Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and Journalism, but creative writing I never believed I could do. I was told by everyone to write. Even people who had met me for a few hours told me to start a blog. So I did and here I am today three months deep.

I found I love to tell stories. That my intention is in no way egotistical except that I hope others will see a skill in me. But I believe, as with most everything, you can always learn, you can and should always rewrite. But here, I don’t. Sometimes I can’t write here because of the content. It usually happens at the end of the day. I’m very judgmental of myself so if I feel like I did’t accomplish anything that day, or had a bad encounter with someone, I feel awful and blame myself. I resort to pen and paper to get my feelings out.

During these times, I write at a furious pace and use a ton of exclamation points. One night, I especially was dealing with some stuff and the idea that I was a symbol to others kept coming to me. I still can’t find the fitting word for the symbol that I feel at times I am. But I guess years of listening to Tupac made my writing take a different turn. Instead of just writing about how bad I felt or how sorry I was to be like this, the image of a plant came to mind. Like the rose that grew from concrete, as the late Tupac described himself. Yet I wasn’t a rose or another other flower, but I was the kind of seedling that grows in between the cracks in the sidewalk. That was my symbol.

I went on to describe the plant as kept alive by the universe, yet truly it was dying and everyone that saw it knew it was bad and that they were lucky to not have such a life. It couldn’t understand that it’s only source of nourishment was just enough to keep it living, but not enough for it to be nourished. This was the best I could do to illustrate how I was feeling.

Crying, I went upstairs and not wanting to, yet wanting to, I briefly told my father the story of the plant. He didn’t say much. He knew I was struggling and shaking and finally I fell to the floor in exhaustion. I gave it to my mother to read a day later. It took her awhile to read it. I’ve never asked for her opinion on it.

I’m slowly letting down my guard with what I write about myself. I figure if I can’t be honest and human publicly, then am I just an actress in life? A key word I learned from reading an article was that vulnerability is a good thing. We all share it as humans and being in touch with this part of yourself does not mean you are weak. I’m certainly not a weak person. I can actually say that I am pretty tough, but I lived vulnerably, child-like. I reason now that there is a time and place for it, at least that’s what I think to be true just to be safe.

Looking for other creative outlets and for a specific sketch artist on Instagram, I came across another’s drawings. Her name is Rachel Major, a self-taught artist. She is a tattoo artist. I hope she doesn’t mind I shared this on here. I asked, but never received a response.

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