I have a plant in my room that I love more than anything. It’s a tradescantia I bought from Lidl for a mere £4.99. It was small, and I nurtured it, looked after it, turning it every day to get enough sun.
When I moved to back to uni, this plant was stunning to me. Large pink and green leaves fell in swathes around the plant, and in the light, it looked like velvet. I decided to prune back the leaves to inspire more pink growth for my beautiful tradescantia. Yet for some reason, she started to fail on me.
I tried everything I could think of, I bought a growth lamp, I bought fertiliser, I tried to replant shoots, yet anything fresh that I tried to plant shrivelled and died. Turned black, and I had to throw her shoots in the bin.
Eventually I worked it out: the water I was feeding her was hardwater, when all her time with me she was used to soft water. The hard water was saturating her soil with too many minerals, and her soil became toxic.
No wonder nothing would grow there, with her. Eventually, I had to buy bottled water, and eventually she would push up fresh shoots. She would unfold beautiful, small pink leaves and begin to grow again.
Naturally, I am not talking about my Lidl-bought Tradescantia. I’m a lover of metaphors.
My soil was poisonous and I’m washing myself out. I had drawn toxins into myself from my environment, and it happened so slowly that I didn’t realize that nothing that I was planting in myself could ever survive.
I had buried myself trying to fit in, I had turned myself under a cold sun, and I was watering myself under other people’s validation. People who had no time for me, yet I tried so hard with them.
I pruned the leaves I loved best, and I had grown the ones I thought were boring, but everyone liked. That meant a lot of apologising, a lot of second guessing, and a lot of trying too hard.
I am working on myself. I am growing my hobbies with Katie during lockdown. Gratitude fills my heart again. It is clear to me that I lost sight of what made Evee “Evee”. You become the five people you spend the most time with, and I want those people to be people I am proud of.
I missed being me, and waking up and my first thought not being about someone else.
I love me enough for the rest of them.
I miss my Mum more than ever, and it has been so, so hard. I want her to fill me with life when it gets so hard for me to do that for myself.