A peculiar artifact of my family culture is the widespread belief amongst the matriarchs that I am unable to make good decisions.
This was decided when I was five years old.
Therefore, as I was incapable of making good judgements and decisions, they were made for me. What I would wear. What I would eat. When I could talk.
Every so often, my mother would attempt some self-determination thing and ask me to make a decision for myself. The most memorable one was senior year in high school, where I was told to decide where I would go to college.
I had a nervous breakdown.
My mother found the hidden stash of applications under a pile of dirty laundry well past the due date. After some berating (see, Mom didn’t know about the nervous breakdown, I was spending 10-15 hours a day at school for various activities and my friends were doing their best to shield me as I went mad), she asked, “What do you want to do now?”
“I want to go to Hayward,” I said. I had friends going there.
The flat response: “You don’t want to go to Hayward. It’s ugly. Let me call Chico.”
I’ve got a BA from Chico State. Not a bad school, mind you, I enjoyed it there, but I have absolutely zero friends from that time. I was too shy to talk to anyone without the social buffer of another person I already knew.
Moving to Portland came out of left field, and I think that’s the only reason I got away with it. Getting up here was easy. Learning how to make decisions for myself was hard.
Learning it’s okay to make mistakes? Even harder. I’m finally getting a grasp on that, though. I’ve become rooted in the new (damp) soil here in the Northwest.
A long stretch of green faces those of us who use liturgical calendars. Ordinary Time. A time of growth, theoretically. Growth can be another word for ‘slow’, though, in a Church context it can mean tiny steps.
That’s good for big trees that have been stable for several centuries. But for the little plants, the ones just barely rooted, they don’t grow in increments. They grow exponentially, turn around and they’re taller again and again.
It’s growing season. Let’s see what comes up.