Reality Check

I am not a gardener.
I am not a gardener. But I want to be a gardener. No, you are not a gardener!

Welcome to my inner dialogue. My hidden turmoil. My anguish over what has never happened and what could be.

No, it can’t.

Yes, it could.

You see, every summer, I reach this purgatory where my reality falls way, way, way short of my expectations.

Growing up, I was always told I could do anything. I believed that the world was mine. All I had to do was take hold of it. Go get it. Just do it.

And I did. And I did.

Anything I ever tried (except for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade cheerleading), I got. I acquired, I owned, and I excelled. This unrealistic floating followed me through college graduation then—SMACK!—life slapped me in the face. I was finally forced to see that no, I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do or even believed I could do.

Don’t get me wrong, the ideas of “you can do or be anything” and “hard work produces results” are quite empowering and true. I’m glad I was raised with initiative and industry. Those traits have taken me far.

But, somehow, I never learned to temper those notions with understanding boundaries and capitalizing on my true gifts. I never embraced the idea of not spreading myself too thin.

So, now, every summer, I set myself up for depression. Every March I have grandiose dreams that this will be the summer I plant and weed and water. Mine will be the bounty of colorful blooms, hearty vines, plump garden-fresh vegetables, and fragrant herbs. I will revel in my accomplishment, enjoy my harvest, and feast my eyes on bursts of color and lush foliage every time I pull into the driveway.

And every summer, July rolls around and I cringe when I look upon my scraggly weeds and undone planting projects.

I have managed to kill a basil plant and almost kill a mint plant. Who kills these hardy plants which withstand heat and cold?

I don’t know why I continue to pine for my gardening success, nor why I want to be a gardener so badly.

So, it’s time to accept the obvious, which is OK.

It really is. I’m not a veterinarian, a bulldozer driver, nor a math teacher. And that’s OK, too.

I am not a gardener.

I am not a gardener.

But you could be!

No, I’m not!

Well, OK, maybe next year.