It felt like I was wilting. Nothing new here - I go through waves of inspiration and flows of self doubt. Usually Grace crushes onto the shores of my despair and washes me anew. However, at that time, which was a few months ago, the tide was high with a sense of disappointment. Success has not come as fast as I thought it would…
Each day, with my head hanging like a bell, self-defeating thoughts commanded my steps and led me to work. One morning, I was so consumed with my brooding thoughts that just before I entered my office, I tripped over something. The impact slammed me butt-first onto the carpet. It was a potted plant.
“Sh$%t! The cleaners must have forgotten to throw it” I hissed inwardly. Even more colourful expletives flew from my mouth as I attempted to crawl to my feet and stumble pass the obstacle. But then, something stirred in me. I retraced my steps to the pot. The philodendron sitting in it was wilting. Its heart-shaped leaves flaccid, the soil dried and shrunken. Even though, it was dying, I liked the plant. Its withering stated connected with something familiar in me – my dying dreams. I picked up the plant and took it into my office.
At this juncture, follow the story keenly and connect the dots [●] with your own life.
As soon as I placed the ceramic bowl on my table, a colleague, let’s call her Naysayer, walked by and exclaimed. ” Throw that plant away, it will not survive.”
● Whenever you start something new, there will always be someone who will not root for you.
“Oh, really? Watch me.” I responded in defiance.
● Don’t be discouraged, soldier on.
For weeks I tried to resuscitate the plant. I immersed the most malnourished stem into a cup of water and watered what was left in the pot religiously. I touched it; spoke to it, trying desperately to coax the limp stems to show a sign of life. Despite my best efforts, the leaves turned yellow and died. Rather than succumb to the urge to chug it, every morning, I counted the leaves, pulling the dead ones out and inspecting the stem for new growth. Nothing.
●Herein lies the truth. The fact that you are pursuing a dream with vigour does not mean your efforts will be rewarded with success, at least not immediately. You can invest Gladwellian hours and pump money into the venture and still not see meaningful results. You may have to restrategize, but you don’t have to give up.
Two months into this hapless pursuit, my philodendron refused to grow. Every fibre of my being urged me to throw it away like the cleaners intended; instead, I decided to change the water in the cup. I pulled the submerged plant out and, dangling before my dilated pupils were stringy roots. I squealed. My plant was alive and growing! I had failed to notice it because I had been looking at the leaves instead of the roots. I turned my attention to the pot and examined it. What looked like a tiny green bud was protruding discreetly on one side. Blood surged delightfully through my veins. I was extremely proud of the dangly roots and the little green bud. In the days following, the bud jutted from its protective sheath and unfurled into a shiny leaf. Even more buds formed and turned into heart-shaped leaves. Who knew that this forsaken plant would provide life lessons?
●The fact that you do not see results does not mean change is not occurring.
My modest philodendron filled me with hope and I started my days perkier than a squirrel nibbling on a nut. However, my euphoria was soon stunted. On a bright Monday morning, I entered my department and noticed that my door had been unlocked. Someone had been in my office. The same person had taken the liberty to add a strange looking brown plant next to my philodendron. I soon found out that it was Naysayer. She had seen the growth taken place in the pot she had once dismissed, and wanted to be a part of it.
● When your dreams finally pick up, the naysayers will suddenly become believers. More than that, they will want to plant their own dreams into your now fertile ground.
I pulled Naysayer’s strange plant from my pot; she was offended but I stood my ground.
My plant continues to grow. It is not spilling over, but each new leaf is a quiet reminder not to give up. Maybe you are trying to get pregnant, buy a house, get a new job or you just want a break.
●Don’t throw your dreams away because you can’t see results. If you are nurturing it, then it is forming roots. In time, it will blossom. You’ll see.