There is a type of person who cannot take care of plants. You know the type. This person gives her plant all of the TLC in the world but is left with a shriveled thing after a couple weeks.
What if we turn out to be this person with the career or skill we want to grow?
It is a lingering fear of mine. I want to grow into a life where I program for a living. But what if all my efforts to achieve that lead to a withering plant? They very well could. That glimmer of a possibility leaves a sense of existential anxiety. What if I am not good enough?
Hold up. No. This perspective is limited. It implies that someone only tends to one plant at a time. This is far from the case. In fact, all of us are tending gardens. We just can’t see the garden for the plants sometimes.
That was me two years ago. At the time I focused on a future in classical guitar as a performer and instructor. That was my only plant and I suffered from similar anxieties of how it would stack up.
In doing other things, however, my perspective broadened. Other plants started to pop up on the periphery, plants that I wanted to tend to as well. Event planning, podcasting, writing. Suddenly I had a garden. It felt wonderful to tend all of it. So when the life-cycle of the music as a career plant ran its course, I didn’t feel as bad. Because I had a garden to tend to, not a single plant.
And now I find myself zeroing in on one plant again. It is in a time like this that I have to remind myself to tend my garden.