30 year-old Me talking to 20 year-old Me
I should have been a botanist. I realize that now. I am sitting at my kitchen table sorting out seeds I collected from different colored zinnias in my garden. It is my first attempt at excluding saved seeds. My first attempt at doing something I am deeply fascinated by, plant varietals in a certain species. There are literally thousands of types of tomatoes and I want to try to grow every single one, but I also want to develop my very own variety. And I’m feeling all those nerdy feelings right now writing this.
I am not a botanist. I did not go to college to study botany. I was a biology major at one point but mostly as a means of getting through the Pre-Physical Therapy route in the easiest way.
College ME was not that smart. Well, I was smart but I was not wise. I had no understanding of college going into it. Neither of my parents attended so despite good intentions they were no help in the process. I wasn't prepared. I wasn't ready. And while I was there I was confused, but continually chastised myself because of my confusion. I should have it together. I should have it figured out. My thirty year old self wishes I could tell my twenty year old self it's ok. You don't have it figured out but it's ok. Take your time. Figure out what you wanna do; what YOU want to do.
I had a very good idea of what others wanted me to do. And I thought I had an idea of what I generally wanted. I wanted to help people. But what I didn't realize is that not just doctors and firemen help people.
Sitting at my kitchen table, this is not the first time I've played with seeds. When I was a girl, we lived on ten acres of mostly wild land. I had a couple forts and often collected things, and specifically remember filling a jar with bean seeds that I collected and allowed to dry in the sun in one of my forts. For the duration of the winter the beans were play food for my dolls. But properly dried, I could have planted them and had an entire crop of, well, I have no idea what they were, but it would have been impressive.
There are truths in our youth that we need to remember as we get older. Those youthful dreams can be reality. Those are actually the truest form of oneself, before a barrage of other influences caused a disillusionment with that possibility.
Today as I write this I am happy. I have two beautiful children and a husband, and I may not have them had I chosen a different route. I do not want to change my life, but I do wish I would have been true to myself. I wish I would have really searched for what I wanted, where I was being led really, but so strongly fighting against in hopes to appease others. I began an internship at a community garden my senior year of college, and if anything else that should have been the kicker. I loved spending time there, weeding, watering and planting. And I was surrounded by the community. We harvested items and let people in the community come and take them. It was truly an amazing way to come together for the good of everyone.
So perhaps I don't want to be a botanist. Perhaps I just want to help people get beautiful nutritious things to eat, and help heal the earth while doing it.
Maybe I should listen to my 30 year-old self right now and do that.