DSC06387This summer has been by far the best my garden has ever looked.  I see butterflies gliding along the flower bed spending their entire day among my blossoms.  Each day the garden continues to grow and produce delightful blooms abundantly.  However, my business if it were a garden would be filled with plants showing little signs of growth and struggling to survive.

 This has been a difficult reality for me to face.  I even thought strongly about not sharing it here, but it’s time to accept where things are and acknowledge that action needs to be taken.  When you find yourself at a crossroad, it’s always important to re-evaluate.  Many times we get so busy with what we’re doing that we forget why we’re doing it in the first place.  So I sat down on a rainy afternoon (go figure) in my sunroom and asked myself the big question: “What do I want?”

It took me some time to answer this question because I had been holding onto one idea for so long that doing anything else meant failure.  Finally I felt that I had a good solid answer and then it was time to come up with a plan.  I knew it was unlikely I would get to do exactly what I want in a short period of time, so the plan came down to what can I do in the meantime to get by?

Eventually I decided on a plan and was ready to set it into motion.  However, something within me was unsettled.  I felt perfectly fine with the new direction I would be going and actually looked forward to the change.  At first I couldn’t quite figure out what was bugging me.  Then I realized that it had to do with being forced to look at the “big picture” – the determination of my ultimate goal in life.

Since my freshman year in college I have been in search of the perfect long lasting steady job.  I knew during school I would have odd end part-time jobs that I might not necessarily enjoy, but someday I would have a degree and it would bring me that fulfilling place of employment where I could finally be settled.

Although, even after I earned my degree I found myself thinking, “Gee, I really like what I’ve been doing and I learned some really cool stuff, but I’m kinda ready for something new.”  I always believed this to be because I had not found the place where I was meant to be just yet.  The last 2 years I was hoping that being self-employed was something I could settle into and the long search would be over.

Regretfully I had to come face to face with the reality of even if I wanted this to by my everlasting job, financially it would be impossible to survive.  After the disappointment wore off I found myself ready for something new.  I started to get concerned that maybe the problem was me – that I was never going to be satisfied anywhere.  Surely I should be going for the ultimate goal, that one thing that I want to do more than anything else.

Very late a few nights ago after watching a movie with my husband, I found myself explaining to him that I didn’t really know what my long-term goal was currently.  Not only that, but I didn’t really have a strong desire to figure out what it might be.  He asked, “But didn’t you just tell me what you would like to work towards just days ago?  You don’t want that now?”  I replied, “Well, I had to come up with something.  I thought I needed to narrow it down to one thing.”  He looked at me confused, “Who told you that?”  The truth was no one had really told me that.  I just assumed that is what grown ups are supposed to do.  Then Vito said something to me that I will never forget.  “You’ve always been a person that needs change.  If you eat something 3 days in a row, you’re sick of it.  You’re a horticulturalist and as you know gardens go through different seasons.  That’s you.  I mean you have a dish set that reads, ‘Nature gives us the variety we crave.’”

It was becoming clear that this was something about myself I didn’t know, but had been right in front of me the whole time.  After his revelation about my seasonal work ethics, I began to think about how this totally made sense.  When I first thought about a career in horticulture, the main reason why I felt confident it would be a good choice was there are so many things you can do with horticulture.  I loved the idea of being able to explore all the different areas such as production, research, sales, design, writing, botanical gardens, and the list just keeps going!  It also explained why I don’t really have a favorite season.  I welcome each new season excited to see what changes will take place.

When I look back, I can see that I never intended on doing just one thing, so why should I limit myself now?  I am once again amazed that my husband is able to see me clearly.  What he told me has brought such a peace within me.  I’m not driving myself crazy trying to think of that one thing anymore.  When I do look to the future I see myself learning many new areas of horticulture just waiting to be discovered.  However, here in the present change is in the air and a new season in my career is getting ready to begin.  Don’t worry, Darlene’s Garden (my business) will still be around, but it will no longer be my main focus.  Not all of the details of my new plan are worked out, so I’m not ready to share that just yet and who knows what might come up before then because the possibilities of horticulture are endless.