Editor’s note: KJ contacted me after reading my post “Do you think you’re a weed when you’re actually a flower?” She has an entire website dedicated to living life as a weed, and I asked her to share her story.
As far back as I can remember I have thought outside the box (OTB,) questioning everything and everyone. I believe my first words as a toddler were: what, why, when where, who and how. Teachers would cringe when they read my name on their roster. I remember one teacher trying to talk me out of his class.
I have never accepted an answer without discussion, and this makes for bad student/teacher relations. I was, however, always tops in my classes and received numerous recognitions all through school. By the time I reached college age I learned to play the game – think and live OTB but be discreet. For the next thirty years I conformed to the structured field of medicine. There were many times when I wanted to share, but hesitated. So many years passed, and while I survived, there was always something missing.
I was not being who I am, and instead was just going along with the program. Then I retired and four years ago I lost the use of my legs. This is when my world fell apart. I was pretty much bedridden for almost a year. Pain pills and Doctors’ offices, hospitals and lab work became my second home, but nothing could help, as no one came up with a diagnosis. Needless to say, I was frustrated.
I looked towards alternative medicines. In addition, I also needed a way to express my feelings, and trust me there were many of those. I started to put down my words on paper, which made sense at the time, and helped me feel a little better. As time went on I realized there must be others out there in the same boat, perhaps some worse than me.
I use the metaphor “WEEDS” to relate to life, as weeds are survivors. You can stomp on them, spray them with poison, pull them out and still they will come back, if only in the crack of a sidewalk. They require no special attention and yet they thrive unconditionally. They march to a different drum and are sometimes misunderstood by family and friends, yet they stand by their convictions, many times alone. They are the survivors of life. So I dedicated a website and all my writings to those who choose to live outside the box and those who live this way and don’t know it yet!
I published my book, “My Life as a WEED, and weeds (words) to live by.” I write tongue in cheek humor about life’s decisions, choices and consequences. It was the best therapy for me and also opened the door for many others. It appears to me this was my LIFE purpose.
Since writing and publishing my book, I have discovered there are more “weeds” living in the world than we could imagine and they are realizing they are not alone.
Live everyday as though it were your last, and cherish whatever time you have with loved ones (do not dwell on the ones you lost). You must love yourself and stay healthy before you can give love to another, and yes we can forgive. However never forget, as that’s what our “experience” is. Be your own best friend. A little exercise to do each morning is look in the mirror and tell the person looking back “Good morning, you are a beautiful person, and I want to be your friend.” Believe it and others will seek you out.
I have always felt we should all have a way to express ourselves other than the typical ways of “social acceptance.” It means stepping outside the box sometimes. I feel writing is probably the best expression of all as it is a way for us to leave our mark after we are gone, and it is the best and least expensive therapy we can get and no health insurance required. I use my tongue in cheek humor writings to expel a lot of frustrations and energies, and my approach makes people think.
Everyone have a “weedy” nice day.