As a bored freshman in college, I decided that my un-zesty life needed some spicing up. Walking through 'Trader Joe's' on Spring Sunday morning, my heart was pulled towards a plump and stubby succulent. It wasn't the prettiest or the best, but I knew then and there that we were a match made in heaven.
Now, I started college off living in New Mexico, a dry and desolate land where my sadness and boredom was only combated by this single, unwaterable plant (named Oliver).
We were buds. Homies. And I was determined to make the most out of our relationship for as long as possible. I had never owned anything alive all by myself before. This was what adulthood really felt like and I liked to think that I was responsible for his livelihood.
However, after a few more months of the hell that was freshman year, I decided to get out of New Mexico and go on a college exchange program to North Carolina, far, far away from home and my devil of a roommate. So I packed everything in my tiny 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe and drove across the country with my dad for sophomore year. Oliver survived the 3-day drive in the cup holder, being watered by lukewarm water from a plastic water bottle and living his best life.
Long story short, Oliver the succulent made it through the traumatic move (as did I) and we settled into our new home for the next year.
But everything was not okay.
My mental health quickly deteriorated and taking care of myself, much less Oliver, fell to the wayside. Every once in a while I would remember to water him, but it was few and far between- and it was showing. His once luscious and plump, green leaves were now yellow and withered. I had neglected him for so long that it was almost to the point of no return.
But one day, in my deprived and diseased brain, I thought it would be a great idea to chop off his roots. CHOP. OFF. THE. ROOTS. I had had this plant for longer than a year, but in one moment of stupidity, I ruined everything. In my head, the roots were the problem, and I was not going to let Oliver the succulent die, after all, we'd been through.
He'd gone through a weed-infested dorm room, multiple drives across the entirety of New Mexico, a cross-country road trip to North Carolina, a cramped, non-ventilated room with a girl who couldn't ever remember when she watered him, and a few drops to the floor.
However, after 2 weeks of the root-less succulent shoved back into dirt drier than my elbows, I knew that our time together was done and I had to let him go.
I know this is probably the weirdest story (albeit all true) but it goes to show that I was (and still am) in no way ready to take care of anything, much less have a relationship or a baby. I cannot fathom how some of my friends are at a completely different time in their life where they are actually ready and responsible enough to handle things on their own.
I still call my mom to ask how to make rice. I still sleep past noon and skip class. I still accidentally cut the roots of a plant and expect it to continue to live.
Okay, so maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I am totally not ready to be an adult or even ready to own anything remotely alive or have responsibility.
Here's hoping that I won't kill any more plants. And that once I hopefully do have a child, I will be ready and able to take care of it properly.