My neighbours are having yard work done. There are dump trucks, bobcats, workers, materials, and I think I even saw a concrete truck there this morning. They had a plan, had money to put into it, and now their dream is being fulfilled. I don’t really know what they are doing – but I know that they do.
It is warm outside today, so after lunch, I took my tablet and my tea, and went to sit out in the sun. I looked at my yard. Messy. Unorganized. Chaotic. I brought out some of my old plants from the winter, and set them in the garden. I am pretty sure that two of them are too far gone to bring back to life, so I just took them out of their pots, and set them right into the soil. One of them must have had cat mint in it. My cat ran straight across the yard, and started rolling in it. I remember planting it last year, and the plant sure smelled of mint, but I am not sure.
I left the lavender in the pot, as it is still in good condition. I will try to harden it off, as I know that is an important process in moving indoor plants outside. Only I have never been good at that, and it is more likely than not that I will get it wrong again.
Looking over my yard, I tried – really hard – to envision what I would do this year. What will I plant? Will I build more raised beds? Will I try digging into the soil? Will it turn out okay?
And then I look across the street, and know that I will never get it right. I want this. I try hard. I work at things. I think, and dream, and plan. Yet when it comes out, their yard will look professional, where mine will look like a group of toddlers were playing a gardening game, without help or supervision.
I think, perhaps, that is how I see myself – like a small child playing at being an adult. Yet because I am not a child, I can see how all I do falls short when compared with what real adults do.
And it isn’t just in gardening that I feel this way. It is in everything. I spend a lot of time observing the world around me, trying to learn how to do things right, and failing every time.
Other people have friends. They go out and do things together. They enjoy each other’s company. They share with each other, and support each other. I spent my childhood watching the other children. Trying to figure out what they were doing. But even when I did what they did, it was an act. Visiting, talking, social things – all an act. They seem natural. I never am. Friends are exhausting. People are exhausting. But I see that isn’t true for other people, and I realize that I am failing the game.
People have relationships and get married. They meet, and come together, and things progress… For me, though, it was forced. Seemingly out of nowhere, after my (husband) dropped me off at home after Bible study, which we went to together to save gas, I ran through my townhouse, through the back gate, and as he had his hood up on his car (his starter wasn’t working or something, and I think he was hot-wiring it to get it going – it was his car) I told him I loved him.
I can almost see him bumping his head on the hood, but I think he just went and shut it off, as he stumbled over a response (age difference and such – “we’ll take it slow,” he said.) If I hadn’t said anything, it likely never would have happened.
And then when we got married, we had been dating for two years, and at the advice of one of his family members, I gave him an ultimatum. He chose to marry me, but again, I had to ask him – and I have always after felt it was forced. It likely never would have happened if I hadn’t made him choose. Different. Forced. Not quite real.
It has been the same for children – I begged for my son to be conceived. I begged to adopt. Nothing quite natural, and I spent ever after fighting for them, or struggling with the loss. Not quite real.
The same has been true of school, work, church, everything I do. It isn’t that I don’t want these people/things. It isn’t that I am not trying. But always I feel like a child playing a game that I am always failing at. When will I become an adult, and fit into their world? Somehow I doubt it will ever come to be.