#WeekendCoffeeShare: Landscaping My Life

I wish we were having coffee. I could use a fresh ear.

I have been resisting old patterns under the assumption they are methods of self-destruction. But what if they aren’t?

For the last few weeks I have identified multiple areas of hurt, growth and transition in myself. My instinct is to step away from routine, put healthy relationships on pause, tend to myself and create space for new friendships and time alone. In doing this, I will grow, identify weeds to be pulled, find room to spread the roots I have been forcing downward into darkened spaces.

For weeks, I have resisted. In the past, this desire for space stemmed from a low sense of self-worth. My tendency was to burn my bridges using words as a whip. I actually feel that impulse now. I have to guard the sharpness of my tongue. I have to stop myself.

But if my life is a garden, many of my relationships are perennial. Perhaps I can trust they will remain strong without me watching, return when I am not looking. Can I be a plant in my life garden? Can I go dormant as well?

I’m wondering if my heart is speaking. Even as I go through the motions with my loved ones, I find myself resenting them for occupying my private space. I want to fold inward. I want to protect the vulnerable new tendrils making their way into light. I want to scream sometimes, to hide.

I have a safe space in my house- a dark spot with a lock. I find myself there more and more frequently. There is too much in the world, and I don’t want to be selfish, but I do need to get comfortable with this new ground under my feet.

This pattern is like rearranging furniture. I need to do it every three months in order to simply breathe.

I’m afraid. Even established plants can be lost to inclement weather or overrun by uninvited weeds. If you are not looking. If your gaze is inward.

But I am also at risk of being lost by not tending myself.

What would you do, coffee-lover? What wise advice do you have for a friend?

*#WeekendCoffeeShare is a series hosted by Part-Time Monster

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

2 Discussion to this post

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Sadly, no advice from me, as these are things I am struggling with myself. Have just had wonderful time all alone in the house for a few days. I was reading, writing and enjoying my hermit existence. I need so little to be happy. But not sure how I can negotiate a happier path for myself when the family returns…
    I wish you luck, courage, strength and willpower…

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