Growing and Expanding

I got the job! The past few days have been quite busy so I have sacrificed my writing time to prioritize my other obligations, but I’m excited nonetheless. Like most people, but probably more so, I stumble and struggle through transitions. My goal is always to navigate any change as smoothly as possible but to be gentle with myself and forgiving of my stress and strain as I learn how to contort my schedule and mindset to adopt new responsibilities and patterns. Truthfully, change breeds stress, which makes me irritable as it throws me off my precarious point of balance, even when it’s a desired change. Ironing out the kinks takes a few days or weeks as I learn not only the new job tasks, but also the schedule adjustments that work best for me. I’m robotic in nature, so much so that the precision with which I do the same things everyday unaided by a clock could beat out any sundial and most modern timepieces. Therefore, mentally and physically throwing new activities into the mix to incorporate is like shoving whole puzzle pieces into a wholly formed puzzle, with no gaps remaining. It’s only after a few days of shoving them in that the buckling they initiated eases and the pieces flow together like tectonic plates on the lithosphere floating more mobile-y on the molten asthenosphere below, opening gaps to welcome on the new segments. Although while the stresses build and the pieces fight incorporation, it can feel like things progress as slowly as they would on the geologic time scale, melting the resistance to allow acceptance does come. I just have to ride out the challenge in the interim; the good news is that it’s when things aren’t static (and new pieces are forced in) that we grow. And ultimately, growth is what I always want to chase: a mindset and path enriched with lifelong learning.

Growth is never linear, and it’s also not planar. I view myself like a tree; each branch represents different facets of learning with buds and eventual leaves as my interests, tasks, and cognitive mind grows. Each branch, twig, and leaf I develop offers shade, oxygen, or function to the world around me, a way to pay back and express my gratitude. The roots grow as well, representing self-improvement and growth, strengthening my foundation and reaching deeper depths within the rich soil. Sometimes new roots even sprout and stretch to connect with those of other trees, forging relationships and networking in the world around me. My trunk grows too, with each annual ring signifying the memories and experiences that ushered in the growth, telling a story of the conditions present in the year, the scars of previous years, and the years of bounty. It represents physical strength and fortitude.

This week, my tree is growing quickly. Leaves and branches are extending outward and upward to soak up more sunlight, which will be converted to usable knowledge, energy, and emotional growth. It takes the few adjustment days or weeks for my roots to catch up and support the added breadth and load of my outward structure, but when the roots do spring forth, they will carry opportunities to reach that especially nutrient-rich soil and feed my tree with the sweet satisfying elixir of love, happiness, connection, and fulfillment.

The new job I’m adding onto my current position offers me the opportunity to connect with more people and have a meaningful impact on my own life and the lives of many others as well. In this way, through the combination of the jobs, I’ll get to continually feed my intellectual, emotional, and social needs, and foster an environment for a healthier, heartier, beautiful tree.

 

Hot

It’s 8:18am and already 84 degrees. Many people hate it, but I love summer weather, up to about 100 degrees, where my body’s desire to melt kicks in and the sweltering temperatures are no longer invigorating but rather depleting. Maybe the fact that I’m a late July birth, my poor mom suffocating in her pregnant state in stifling July air, programmed my DNA to enjoy summer weather. I’ve mentioned before that I thrive on the Sun; my body and mind are like solar panels, restored by radiant energy. It seems to evaporate some of the mental and physical pain that normally colludes my mood and must be contended with as I soldier through the demands of my daily life. The added energy in my fuel cell and the hot sticky summer nights are the only significant challenges the summer weather imposes on me: Wrestling with my pervasive insomnia is exacerbated as I toss and turn with restlessness and discomfort. I must be cold to fall asleep. In the winter, I open the windows. There’s no equivalently viable option in the summer and yet my body longs to be that chilled.
I remember hating the sticky July weather as a teenager because my priority far above all others was running, fast and long, and that is considerably less comfortable and hindered on extremely hot and humid summer days, the ones that get everyone making weather small talk at each interaction. Today’s priorities are different; happiness and a sense of comprehensive wellbeing top the list, and for me, summer weather seems to usher in these sometimes-elusive, yet precious, feelings.
So today, it’s particularly easy to feel grateful and happy, and I’ll take it. Things in my corner have been trying lately, so it’s nice to ride the wave of goodness while it’s here, acknowledging its blessing and relishing in the genuine joy it carries.