Written while listening to: “Folk & Americana” playlist on Spotify
My dream was that one day, I would live alone, blanketed in a pile of cats of many kinds and colors.
But somewhere between making friends with people whose cats randomly bite despite the amazing belly scratch you’re giving them and watching maybe a little too much My Cat From Hell, I decided that cats? Are not something I want to surround myself in.
Thus ended my dream of becoming the crazy cat lady.
It’s always tough to give up a dream. But in doing so, I discovered that there’s many different types of Crazy [BLANK] Ladies that I could become. It was like the Crazy Cat Lady door closed, but then I was in that scene inMonsters Inc. with ALL the doors leading to wherever I wanted to go.
So, I chose plants.
It started when I got laid off. After wandering the heart of Chicago aimlessly for anywhere from 1–3 hours, I bought a bamboo plant. I don’t know why I bought it, especially now that I needed to actually save money. I just knew that in a crazy time in my life, becoming the Crazy Plant Lady would make me whole again.
Now, I’ve always sucked at taking care of things. I’ve had three massive fishtankpocalypses, and the last batch of plants I owned died fast enough for this conversation to happen:
Mom: When are you gonna give me grandkids.
Me: Mom, I can’t even keep my succulents alive. Y’know how much care succulents need?
Mom: Not that much care?
Me: NOT that much care.
But I was gonna try it, damn it. I was gonna do whatever it took.
So, as those final severance paychecks rolled in, I bought some succulents to embrace my not-so-inner hipster. Then some tiny baby cacti to make me feel like I was out West and far away from the former employers who dun wronged me.
Pretty soon, my windowsill looked like freakin’ Jumanji.
All the while, I became self-employed. I contributed for Hello Giggles, which led to Dabble.co seeking me out and asking me if I wanted to be a writer forDabble’s blog. Taking classes for free then writing about them? Hell yeah.
The first class I took? Making a terrarium.
I know, it sounds like something between the most hipster and the most first world job ever. “I’m not getting paid, but I get to take a terrarium class for free and write about it!” But it made me feel like I had…worth again.
My job had been my everything. Getting positive article feedback was my drug, comments on my writing were my self-esteem boosters, my office my sanctuary, my co-workers my buds. It was my stable thing in a crazy world…and then it was just gone.
That little bamboo plant? Gave me a weird, zen hope that things would be ok again. Building a terrarium for Dabble was the embodiment of that hope — the first hands-on job I had since my full-time one fell through, and one I got because I was actively writing and getting noticed on bigger sites. And because of Dabble? I gained more blogging experience that better prepared me to land my current beloved job at Threadless.
So I became the Crazy Plant Lady. Shortly after, I bought a BB8 Droid to celebrate my new job, and I became the Crazy Droid Lady. I’ve since acquired a lot of t-shirts and HUZZAH! I are become Crazy T-shirt Lady.
The point here? Embrace the crazy. Embrace what makes you happy, embrace what makes you quirky, what you’re passionate about, what helps your imagination run wild; and surround yourself with it.
When one door closes, another one doesn’t open. Another billion open. Life is a maze of probability, infinitely forked roads, and is a very real “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. It’s terrifying and scary and deeply exciting.
I may no longer dream of the days I will become the Crazy Cat Lady. But just like giving up that dream helped me rediscover new ones, parting ways with my previous job helped me rediscover myself, my worth, and led me to an absolutely incredible new dream job.
Go forth. Embrace your weird. And go adopt a bamboo plant.
Featured image courtesy of “Lumberjanes”, aka a great comic, go. Go read it right now.