Why I feel personally victimized by a plant

I have not had a lot of time to plan what I was going to write about this week. My trip to Newcastle upon Tyne has come to a close (I’m actually writing this on the plane) and with that tends to come a certain measure of melancholy. You see, whenever I leave that city, I leave a part of me behind. I leave my husband.

I have been back and forth with myself on whether or not I wanted to broach this subject on my blog. Those of you who have met me or my husband Alex have probably at least heard about our circumstances, and since at this stage this blog is read by mostly people either he or I have bullied into it, I will very briefly update those who don’t know.

Alex and I met over 5 years ago and we were married almost a year and a half ago. We are currently in the midst of immigration procedures to get Alex to Canada and finally start our lives as a family.

Now herein lies my dilemma: this is a blog about plants! If I wanted to exhume my frustrations over immigration law and processes I shouldn’t have picked this theme. I should have labeled it a personal blog and called it a day.

Truth is, I don’t want to blog about immigration. It’s often the last thing I want to talk about, but because people are interested to know how things are going in regards to that journey, and because the social norm is to ask about people’s significant others, I find I have to address the fact that no, Alex isn’t here yet, and no, I don’t know when he will be. This is often followed by several minutes of me explaining the way that immigration applications are processed, and the well meaning asker losing all interest in the conversation because let’s be real, I can barely understand it and I’ve put a lot of research into it in the last few years. I don’t really expect anyone else to find it an exciting topic of conversation.

So yeah, I find I do a lot of talking about immigration against my will, which is a significant area of stress and anxiety in my life at this moment. So I started a blog that a) isn’t about that and b) is about the hobby I’ve chosen to take on that occupies the part of my brain that would otherwise be left idle to stew over said stress and anxiety.

My plan was to keep quiet about the stress and the anxiety. I wanted that to live in a tidy box on my brain shelf, only taken down, regretfully, when a well meaning friend or family member asks me “is your husband here yet?” Or when our lawyer reaches out to us with another thing we have to deal with in regards to the application.

However, Alex has been doing a lot of proof reading for this blog so far, and every time I send him the first draft of copy, his comments are usually the same: “Tell them why the dying Schefflera has personally made you feel victimized.” Or “explain to them exactly why you think your father can’t be trusted to water your plants while you’ve been gone.” All various ways of telling me to open up and through the topic of plants allow you to get to know me on a more personal level.

I was going to write this week about how much I missed looking after my little plants, and how I’m looking forward to checking them for any pests, problems, or new growth when I got home. The reality is that I have had to leave a part of me back in Newcastle, and I want to pick up, touch, and nurture something I have have direct control over. I can stop watering my ferns and they will dry up to a crisp. I know the result those actions will have. I can research and experiment and find what will work best for my rubber plants and be rewarded with my first new leaf since I brought it home.

Perhaps the reason I feel personally victimized by my kamikaze Schefflera is that despite all the research and effort I’ve put into it, I’ve had no control over the death walk it’s decided to take.

The reality is; when I get home, I’m going to walk into a room full of friends (because you’re kidding yourself if you don’t get attached to these little living things) and they’ll all respond in some way to my being there. They might not outright say “Hi! Welcome back!” But they will perk up after a decent watering, or start swivelling their leaves back toward the light after I turn them. (The Schefflera will probably instantly drop a dozen leaves when it senses my presence.) Basically, they sure as hell aren’t going to say “When is Alex coming back with you?”

So I’m really looking forward to a few hours of quiet. If I was in fact right about my dad’s inability to keep the plants watered I’ll have a few minutes where my brain switches off from feeling sad about once again returning to Canada without Alex, and all of my thoughts will be about how to salvage the wreckage from being away for two weeks. I’ll have at least a little bit of control over how that goes.

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