Bloom Where You Are Planted

Blooming: one part crying, one part acknowledgement, two parts battle, and one part spreading your roots.

I am a firm believer in crying, full blown down on my knees silent sobbing in the shower, letting my tears blend with the scorching water, tricking me into thinking the day was fine and dandy. Then the saltiness of the last 24 hours hits my taste buds, cutting into the steam like the sharp ringing of an unwanted alarm.

My gift to myself is to cry. The release balances me, and allows me to center myself once again.

Part of the blooming process is acknowledgement. Acceptance of each experience, each battle waged. When I got divorced, many people around me questioned my resilience. As though they wanted me to break down. Expose my wounds to feed the curiosity of others. They couldn't hear me crying, though. My pain was raw, unrefined, and harsh enough to leave a weight on a listener’s heart. I didn't want to leave a trail of misery, so I did my best to tuck it back like a loose strand of hair that constantly falls in your face. The problem is it always manages to stray back in your way, waging a battle against your inner peace.

Whether you have traveled a similar path or not, you will wake up one day and realize you have everything you need, it's all just waiting to be unleashed.

When my nightmares poured over into daylight hours, the sacred hours reserved for loving my children, and I felt a shift in my soul, I needed to crush that lingering ugliness. His presence haunted my being; akin to Freddie Krueger, he gained strength from my weakness. I made the decision not to let him write my story anymore.

In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible Summer.
— Albert Camus

You have to lay the foundation for the future you wish to see. There's no chronological timeline to blooming. It happens over time, each phase integrated into another. Just as a flower blossoms out of a simple bud turning towards the sun’s rays, so is it with the growth of a woman.

We grow with hardship and learn to find our joy. I remember the freedom I felt from being able to pick out my own outfits. No dictator left standing to bark instructions to cover my curves to mask his own insecurities. And writing! Oh, the joys of letting my words touch paper instead of locking them safely away from criticism.

Once I allowed my joy to come to fruition, everything else slowly started to fall in place. A flower looks best surrounded by many more. You have to learn to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else.

I firmly believe women hold a special capacity to withstand life’s difficulties and grow out of whatever place they find themselves. There will be days where you are scrolling through Instagram and you feel your self doubt rise because every woman you come across is so perfectly put together. You have to stop and remember it's not the full truth; they too are painting a picture that masks the struggles they may be facing. It's what we do.

It's so important to be your own number one fan. Pat yourself on the back when you accomplish a goal. Utter words of wisdom to yourself in those dark moments. Believe in yourself!

As a single mum, I can’t allow myself to be complacent. I'm constantly striving to feed my passion so I can radiate joy for my children to mirror. Every action I take is setting an example for them. An example for other women who may one day find themselves cemented in a situation they only know of through news casts and blog posts. To those women I say: you are not stuck, you are invincible and worthy of everything you dream of. Even as a flower needs a gardener to tend to it, so does each of us need a friend to reach out to.

I do not know how to sit and be still, to watch a movie without brainstorming my next move. I am ever moving, stretching my branches out, and reaching for new soils. Just as a plant outgrows its pot and needs to be replanted into a spacious area, so does the woman bloom.

In the Spring of 2015 I learnt to walk with my head up. In the Summer of 2016 I began to shake the naysayers off like dust on an old winter coat, and by the Fall of 2016, I am beginning to put Me first.

Presently, I am ever blooming.


JOURNALIST: Natasha Badkoubei