by Lynae Hermansen
Growing up, especially while in college, I would become very anxious and beat myself up for not having already “arrived” at what and where I wanted to be, such as having a secure path that ensured financial success and happiness, already having a degree, let alone even knowing what I specifically wanted to major in, which college, and how I wanted to make a career out of it. Though I had a good idea about what I wanted, I was somewhat frantic about not knowing how I’d become successfully independent. I was worried about the future, insecure with life’s unfolding. Time would pass daydreaming in and out of my classes, and I’d often find myself in the same circular rut of anxiety. It was depressing that I’d mentally end up at the same place each time—nowhere and back again with the same worry, along with its offspring.
Luckily, I found a bit of relief from my impatience. I went on a walk at Wheeler Farm and found a quiet place to sit. My eyes rested upon a tree, it inspired my contemplation and led me to ponder growth. I thought: It takes so much time for a tree to grow. It maintains so much patience and stillness all the while. It just grows and is no less significant at any point of the process from seedling to death. Why am I rushing and wasting my sweet youth and time on worrying about the future? I can enjoy my life unfolding—my day-to-day progress, lessons, and happiness. I must allow the tree to grow. As I time goes by, I know there will always be days when I’ll miss the flavor of my yesterdays, like I do now, and wish I could have appreciated it more, so I’ll appreciate now.
After my little epiphany, I put a picture of a tree in my room with a subtitle: “Allow the Tree to Grow” to remind myself to not take my place in time for granted—to appreciate the moment. After that, I felt more secure with uncertainty and patience.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” ~ Epictetus
Here is a video with spoken lyrics that ties into my subject: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfq_A8nXMsQ