I have this plant, bamboo. I’ve had it forever and I don’t remember how I acquired it. I don’t remember buying it for myself, so it must have been given to me. Maybe it’s the one I received 15 years ago, from my two good girlfriends the day I was fired from a job I loved. It was the only time I’ve ever been fired, and the second time at that point in my life that I failed big at something. This bamboo plant may not have been the same one. Maybe they gave me another plant, but as I said, I cannot remember it’s origin. I just know this particular bamboo plant has been with me for a very long time.
It was quite simple starting out. Two green bare shoots, no branches, no leaves. It sat in a small square glass container with pretty grey rocks. For the longest time I kept the gold string that came with it still wrapped around the shoots. It looked pretty. This plant came with me when I accepted my job in the Arctic, and it sprouted it’s first branch in the first year. I wasn’t sure it would survive the move, or the new environment, but it adapted and figured out how to not only manage, but thrive. It was the only other living thing in my house and this plant brought me comfort to know I wasn’t alone. Something else was breathing the air, and living it’s life. Over the next three years, my little plant and I welcomed into our cozy minimal apartment, my fur-child Otis, and my husband, Colin.
By the time I was leaving to start a life back in Ontario with our little family, my bamboo plant was flourishing. Each spout had it’s own branches, and each branch had healthy leaves. I packed it up carefully and readied it for our travels on small planes. Gold strong removed, it didn’t need it anymore. My bamboo plant made it like a pro, and in the following 5 years, it survived moving 4 more times. In our second house, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. At that time my little bamboo plant seems to be settled on it’s growth, and while still green, I noticed it was loosing some leaves. We didn’t have a lot of money then, and the tiny apartment only had electric heating. It cost as much to rent that place as it did to heat it, so we used it sparingly. We ended up just suffering through the cold most days, and heated it only enough to not freeze solid. I thought that might have something to do with the stunted growth of my bamboo plant, but almost like it knew, and was sending a warning, we lost our baby at the start of my second trimester.
It was a very difficult and confusing time. A lot of sadness and stress moved into our home with us, but we leaned on each other for love and support, and made it through. When I was medically cleared, we tried again, and we were successful. Keeping true to our pattern, it wasn’t long after the good news that we moved again, to our third house. There, my little bamboo plant sprouted another shoot. Now I had three bamboo shoots all living together in the simple glass container in the rocks. I knew it was a sign. That Christmas our wonderfully healthy, extremely overdue son was born. His delivery was that of legend and myth now, and serves it’s own story independently, but we had our rainbow baby in our arms and we couldn’t have been more in love with him.
When our son was approaching his first rotation around the sun on the outside, and nearing his 1 year mark, we of course were moving into our 4th home. Nothing says a good time like moving and preparing for a big birthday party during the Christmas holidays. But once we got everything where it should be, I finally felt settled. The house was big enough, we could afford it, and it was in town. It felt promising.
I’m not as diligent with my little bamboo plant as I used to be. Life is different know. There has been a lot going on in our world, but it seems my bamboo plant is still noticing. Once again it’s providing a visual representation. One shoot has turned yellow. It’s leaves have dulled but remain on the shoot, almost like it is unable to drink the water, and has no idea it is dying. The largest shoot has grown a few more tiers, but the leaves at the bottom have dulled, aged, and it’s struggling to hold on. The smallest shoot is healthy and has grown leaves as big as the two main ones. It has woven it’s leaves between the two large shoots, holding on.
2018 has been an emotionally excruciating year, with 2017 coming in a very close second. I’ve never felt such stress and desperation, such neglect and confusion. I’ve never been so lonely. My marriage has dissolved. I’ve watched it slip away, forced into acceptance. I thought there was nothing we couldn’t handle together, but I was wrong. I didn’t see it coming. Out of respect I hid what was not ready to be shared. I tried to adapt my life to handle the extra responsibility and workload, to elevate the pressure. I see it, it was my life too. But this wall just got stronger and higher, until I wasn’t allowed in. Communication shut down, radio silence. I am avoided, invisible.
Reality is clear. You are drowning. Your demons weighing you down. I have to cut the line and set you free.
I mourn the memories, the special moments, time that has been wasted. This is everything I never wanted for our son. My heart breaks. I say goodbye to the dreams I had for us, the second child I thought we would have. I cry for the times I want to tell you something funny, something only you will understand. I want to throw my arms around you, but I’m not allowed. Did you ever love me? Did you ever let me know you? The lies. Your words cutting deep. This would be our 7th year together, oddly, it wasn’t enough time to know me they say. They have your ear. Always assuming they know what I’m thinking or feeling, helping create the being that is of no reflection to what is in my heart.
2019 has arrived. It will be my 40th year on this planet, in this body. I have a new distinction, Separated. I will navigate these crippling emotions, while developing our new dynamic. Our son will always be our priority, and will always have access and love from us both.
So as the new year starts, I remain positive. My assumed name returned to sender. My need to regain my confidence paramount. I will stop doubting myself, defending myself. I will be stronger. I will work at this change like a project. I will push my hardest to make a name for myself.
I will try not to look at this as a failure, and will do my best to block out the nonsense that will surround this new journey. This is just a different outcome. It wasn’t for nothing, because the best part of both of us lives in one incredible little human.
There will be hope for us. Just not as I originally thought. We will move forward and work parallel, no longer on the same track.
I’m sorry. I fought back hard. I met you at the level. No longer able to remain above it, I fell down and broke. I share the blame.
Goodbye my love, my twin. I hope you find what you are searching for. I hope you find your dreams. I wish you well, and will always be here for you, but as requested, I’ve set you free.
Don’t forget me.