Jan 20 2021

People are not trees

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:14

I am not sure how to start, nor if this entry is going to have a clear conclusion. I have this pain in my chest that I need to try to get rid of by putting it into words. If there is something that you should take away from this entry is this: people are not trees. I am not kidding and I am not high. Hear me out!(well… actually read me!) We are not stuck on a single piece of land, forced to deal with winds, rains, frost, snow, dogs peeing, birds piercing our skin, and other outside elements breaking pieces of us. Trees and most plants have no choice, we do.

Imagine the following: if you have a plant in a pot, and your plant is not growing, not blooming, if it starts to get yellow and apathetic what is the first thing that you do? You change its soil.

For humans, our soil is the place we live in, all neighbours, all the people around us, family, friends and acquaintances. You are a product of your environment and circumstances, if your circumstances never change, neither will you. If you are unhappy, depressed and is not because of a hormone imbalance in your brains; just fucking move and try to live elsewhere before concluding that life is not worth living.

I grew up in Romania. I learned to read when I was about four years old. The way my mother tells it, she taught me to read so I would have something to do and not require too much of her attention. I started with fairy tales, and most Romanian fairy tales have this common theme of a prince having to prove their worth by going on an adventure in faraway lands, most times managing to get themselves a new kingdom in the process. I am a woman, but I’ve never seen myself as the princesses in those stories. I can’t explain why, maybe going on an adventure was more appealing to me, than just… waiting to be saved and then get married to give my kingdom away, I guess.

Most Romanian fairy tales and legends are interweaved with religious elements, and although I was a good catholic Cristian until eighteen, I’ve always resented the unfairness of the supreme authority in some of those tales. I rarely mentioned my resentment to anyone; I did not want to be viewed as siding with the villain. But growing up in a toxic family and because of some unfortunate circumstances, I ended up empathizing with some of the villains and understanding how somebody could make a decision that could be viewed by most people as being … wrong.

I have a sister. She is five years younger. My mother fell into the parent trap most parents fall into, and assumed that because I existed, my sister would just copy the good stuff from me. So, she wasn’t as invested in taking care of her as she was with me. Which is ironic, since … you know, she did not really bother that much with me either. And my sister probably would have, if my mother would have nurtured a sane sibling relationship between us. But she did not. So, I and my sister grew up to be very different. Sure, there were other circumstances that were different, that pushed her to diverge even further, but I still think our paths were decided in childhood.

I hated my life at home with my family, for many reasons. I realized pretty early on that unless I was able to have my own salary and pay for the roof over my head, I was pretty much at the mercy of my dysfunctional parents. As a woman I could leave home in two ways: by getting married or by going to the university. I did not want to get married. I’ve seen my mother being married and I think she hated it, so I really did not want to follow in her footsteps. Even if she pushed me in that direction a lot. I did not want to be the princess, that is saved by a price, I wanted to be Xena the warrior princess of my damn story.

So, I kept my mouth shut, I learned a lot and I prayed a lot and waited for my time to go to the university arrived. When I was in my last year of high school, I spent a lot of time after school in the train station in my town. From time to time, I would meet people I knew from high school that were older than me and were now going to the university. I was terrified of the thought that at the end of that year I would not be on that train with them.

And I went to uni and I’ve learned some more, and I’ve met a lot of people. And some of them were wonderful and were kind to me, even if I did not consider myself worthy of their friendship. Because you see, how your parents treat you, that is how you expect others to treat you, because that is your familiar/normal. It takes a big group of wonderful people to de-program that shit in your brains.

After uni, I’ve always had this dream of moving to another country. But I was a young woman in a super traditional country with nobody in my corner. I finished uni without a boyfriend that wanted to marry me and/or leave the country. And as a young woman is pretty difficult to leave the country and not risk being trafficked; that is why the boyfriend/husband was a critical requirement. Still, if I was going to make it, it was on my own. So, I was stuck for a while… My life was better, but I was still sad and thinking about taking my own life from time to time. And that is because I had some good friends, but my partner was always the typical traditional Romanian man, that values his woman based on her looks and her dowry. In my mind I had none of them. And I still did not see myself as the damn prince of my story. And I was definitely no Xena.

I was lucky, because he either saw me as I saw myself, or his millennial mind told him he deserves better, and thus, the last toxic guy I ever dated, dumped me and … set me free. So, I moved to another part of the country. And life was sooo good. But I was still feeling off somehow, and I thought maybe it is all in my mind and I went to a psychologist.

You know how I told you about me being terrified of not being in that train? I had another one of those moments during the winter of 2017. I am not sure what I was doing, maybe reading some article on the internet about the Romanian protests and I become terrified that I will turn forty in Romania. And I decided to try to leave Romania by thirty-five.

So, this is why I moved again, to fulfil one of my earliest dreams to live in another country. I try to keep in touch with people that I admire and copy character traits from to improve myself. Keeping the people you love close to your heart does not imply physical proximity.

Currently life is good for me. So good I feel guilty when I talk to family and friends and they tell me about their troubles. And it hurts the most when I talk to my sister. Because… somehow, I escaped a toxic inheritance of poverty, abuse and lack of education. She did not. And I look back trying to identify the exact moment, when I decided to be the prince in my story, and I wonder what caused her to not even read those stories? It is because she hated me, and she wanted to be nothing like me? Is it my fault somehow? What did I ever to do deserve this luck? What did she ever do to not be worthy of this luck?

And what am I supposed to do? Should I try to help her because I feel guilty and have it blow in my face, because she won’t be able to appreciate it? Because she is not me, she is a survivor, but she grew up under a very different set of circumstances. I doubt we would be able to live under the same roof, more than a week. And why… why the hell didn’t she changed her soil until she found a proper one to bloom?

If there is one thing to take from this entry is this: people are not trees. And your children are seeds that should be taken away by the elements and spread across the land to find the best soil for them. My parents urged me to run away from home, as a bird that learns to fly leaves the nest, by being toxic and abusive. But you do not have to. Educate your children to be brave and go on an adventure to find the right place where they can bloom. Because most times, it is not the same place where you bloomed.
Humans should acknowledge that the only constant in the universe is change and being able to learn and adapt is a survival skill nobody can afford not to have.
The circumstances surrounding you, will not be the same for your kids and you might not have the skill to prepare them. So, grow them up to be confident and curios and inspire them to leave and become their own persons.
If you were a tree and the soil under you is now poor in resources, would you want your seeds to grow in the same soil?

People are not trees. Get your roots out, spread your wings and fly until you find the place you can bloom. And the world will be better for it. I promise.

Btw, this painting is in my bedroom, and is called “Someday I’ll fly away” and was painted by  a very nice lady named Rosemary Oberlander.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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