Tuesday, May 27, 2014

...a garden and a library...

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ~ Cicero
My own secret garden
About this time five years ago, my journey completely changed. Even though I knew it was going to be for the better, Buffy's "Where do we go from here" played in my head over and over and over. I was scared because yet again I would have to reinvent my life and dig deep to rediscover myself. I use the *re's* because I had done this before and I swore I wouldn't do it again, but here I was living an inauthentic life.

Amy Tan writes, "I did not lose myself all at once.  I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down with water".

At some point it was easier just to go with the flow which was counter to my counterculture. I first noticed the surfacing of my inner child (former 15 year old goth girl me) in a piece of furniture. I bought a mirrored dresser, a little too old Hollywood glam with a wink of French baroque. I don't quite remember what was next but soon came changes to my hair. I dyed it black, something I had wanted to do since youth but had been cautiously warned not to do. I had gone through the rainbow but once I dyed my hair black, I never again changed the color (with the exception of a few purple highlights last year). And even after the changes started, they continued into independence and owning my own house which some have affectionately termed a Haunted Museum with knickknacks displayed everywhere. My Haunted Museum includes an extensive library and my very own place for gardening.

The books were a given; I'm an English professor. I started revisiting my old favorites and incorporating them into my syllabi. Dracula, stories from Anne Rice, other gothic horror. I rediscovered old friends with the help of my inner-child screaming at me to be the best ME possible. Gardening began in my apartment. My place before my house. I started with small pots of succulents which grew (literally) into me growing a Japanese maple in a large pot. By the time I moved in my house, my thumb was green and my heart had returned to black (in a fun gothy-goth Yay I'm Finding Me Again kind of way).

Being goth in my youth had never been depressing. I was a pretty happy goth even when death was all around. But that's a story for another day. I still find the macabre enjoyable and a bit funny. I think goths are supposed to mock themselves a bit. This blog is about growing, not just plants but becoming the girl I was always meant to be- my authentic self.

1 comment:

  1. You know I really like this, especially the 'I didn't lose myself all at once.' I did lose myself several times over my life and now have dug down to near the original me, I, too, was a happy goth in my youth and I am slowly finding her again. It sure takes time. I think we are born original but people and places make us think we need to change it and we do but somehow, someway we bring back who we are. Here is to finding our authentic selves.