There's a small succulent that quietly exists on a shelf in my bathroom.
It's the oldest living plant at the ranch, surviving primarily on natural light, humidity from the shower, and an occasional watering when I think of it. It has stuck around through eight Nashville seasons of extreme weather and has managed to avoid being knocked over (or eaten) by the cat.
Recently, I noticed that the soil seemed to be drying out more quickly. Even with more frequent waterings, the fragile leaves were constantly withering and breaking off. I soon realized that the plant was overcrowded in its original hardware store pot. It was choking itself of nutrients, fighting for air, light, and water to stay alive.
It needed a change, so I took it outside in attempt to revive it.
Turning a potted plant upside down is absolutely terrifying.
Was disturbing the plant really the right thing to do?
Something about it just felt wrong.
I dangled my poor succulent just over the edge of the lawn and watched all of the dead leaves sprinkle onto the ground. I lightly tugged at the few remaining strands desperately clinging to the holes in the bottom of the pot. I winced as I separated the tightly bound ball of tiny roots and dry soil into two similarly sized plants.
I carefully placed each plant into a new, larger pot, insulating each one with dirt. I drizzled water into each one, moved them both back to the bathroom, and waited.
Much to my surprise, my two plants are doing all right. They still appear somewhat dwarfed by their new homes, but have acclimated more quickly than I anticipated.
Ever felt like that plant?
You've lingered too long in an unhealthy relationship or outgrown a job.
Whatever your circumstances may be, it's time to make a change. And that impending change can be frightening.
Why is it that we're so worried about worsening an already dire situation? Is it the possible failure that we fear, or the act of change itself?
I'm aware that I'm being rather vague, speaking in analogies and riddles, but I'm on the brink of a making a major change in my life. And I'm feeling deeply anxious about it, despite the tough mask I've been sporting for my friends.
It's easy to make jokes on the porch after a few glasses of whiskey, but its just stalling, and delaying the inevitable.
Change can be really freaking hard.
Repotting that plant was risky, but that certainly beat the alternative, right?
How long does the window of opportunity to make a change stay open?
Readers: Have you made difficult changes in your life to give yourself room to grow?