Gardens not roads

Hi,

With the half term holiday a week behind me, it’s finally Friday night. There’s mutterings about the kids going back to school soon and I’ll guess we’ll see as things develop.

One of the things I see a fair few times at work, is the metaphor of a road as change. Namely, a twisty turny journey through a clipart icon forest from car-at-the-start to the smiling sunshine at the end. I have an issue with this, particularly when it comes to change or improvement. 🙂

For me, a road suggests we complete the journey and reach our destination. So, everything is all sorted now, yeah? No need to do anything else, we can kick back and bask in the sunshine. For anyone who’s tried to shift a bit of weight, you just go on a diet, and you’re sorted. Not so fast, there biscuit fingers 😉

For me, change, be that personal, or organisational, is more like a garden…. and I say this as someone who really doesn’t have green fingers 🙂 True change requires steady and continual work. The diet thing, cutting down helps, but it’s the change to what I eat rather than just cutting back that helps long term.

As with a garden, sometimes you need to knuckle down and pull the weeds up. You might need a bit help with that, and that’s fine. You might even decide that some patches of weeds are just too big to sort in one go. Mainly, all that work isn’t a one off gig. You will need to keep an eye on the plants, feed and water them as needed. Maybe step in and keep the brambles away when you need to. It’s okay to relax and enjoy things, but know that time changes things, so you may need to step in and take care of something. You might not like wear you’ve done and you might change things around. The right design is the one that works for you and yours.

So it is when it comes to accepting ourselves when we’re trans. When we start, the choking vines of self doubt (or even the disgust of internalised transphobia) may not let us see the beauty of what we might have. We might get rare glimpses of what might be, but they’re few and far between, often lost as we come in and out of the garden. It’s overwhelming and difficult to start, but just doing a little is that first bit in starting the change. That is all it takes: a wish to alter and a little willpower to try.

Through time and maybe help from others, we clear away the rough and start to find what’s good. It may be only a small path at first, but if we keep working and trying, that can widen and may reveal other hidden details. We may find we like the garden looking differently to someone else’s idea and that’s okay. We don’t have to be the same if we don’t want to. We lay things out in a way that works for us and it’s okay to change things around if we wish.

Whatever we do, all gardens need a little bit of care. Maybe not a full makeover every spring, but a bit of TLC now and then.

L x

2 Comments

  1. I simply loved the garden metaphor.
    It manages to be super poetic and extremely realistic at the same time, because, in fact, any change is a process that requires patience, discipline and, above all, a lot of self-love. And, even if the circumstances of a change experience could be exactly the same for everyone, we are all unique and respond in different ways.
    This post made me look at “my garden” with much more patience and love, as an object of constant care which I must and want to protect. A constant metamorphosis, so beautiful to watch.

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