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  • Writer's pictureBethany Lynne

A Dying Plant : Pandemic Purpose

I was on nine artistic projects when the world shut down. Nine.

I had began a list of pros and cons for each, because I realized I was going to have to drop at least two of them.

And then BAM. All nine were over before they started. and I was actually relieved I didn't have to make a choice.

After two years of hustling, networking, auditions, and guilting myself on the daily to be ever working towards my dreams, a global pandemic has been a nice excuse for a reprieve.

I’ve learned some things about myself.

For starters, there is an alternative lifestyle I could be living where I don’t have two stress rocks inhabiting my shoulders 24/7, and where the space between my eyebrows doesn’t ache from furrowing in concentration. There’s a relaxed version of me that enjoys puzzles, making doughnuts and nursing my dying plant back to health.

I bought this plant, because that’s what young working professionals do. It’s... aesthetic, sitting there on your coffee table, and the only option when your apartment complex enforces a no-pets policy.

When quarantine hit, I looked at my plant for the first time in probably three months. He looked awful, and it was all my fault.

I moved him to a window sill where the sun actually shines. I gave him a drink, and by jove, we’ve seen some improvement. I guess I learned something in 5th grade science after all.

As I stare at my plant (poor dude doesn’t even have a proper name), I think on the other revelatory things I've discovered lately.

I enjoy laughing. And not just for the sake of charming a casting director. I enjoy making my own coffee. Strong dark roast. Black. Heck, I like sitting in my living room. I never had time to do that before. I’m used to spending 12-17 hours a day away from my apartment and nameless plant. I’m used to my daily 9-5 job followed by my nightly 6-10 rehearsal. I’m used to weekends on set, and afternoons in coffee shops, and meetings. So. Many. Meetings. (Nine projects will do that to you)

I love my busy artist life, but I kind of love this new life too. The one where I actually have time to check in on other humans. The one where I can pick up a new and old hobby. I’m on my 3rd doughnut recipe and 14th puzzle, in case you were wondering. (My plant is proud of my accomplishments)

I really value my time. I hold onto it tightly, using it sparingly. If I’m spending my time on it, it’s because I care. Suddenly, I have more time than ever before. The temptation is there to spend it, pass it, use it up until we’ve seen this crazy interruption through. But then I look at my dying plant, (Let’s just name him Lazarus... we’re hoping for a come back after all) and I see life isn’t pausing for him. If he doesn’t get that sunlight and H20, this kid is toast.

I am my dying plant. I look a little raggedy most days. Bags under my eyes, coffee in hand, drooping my leaves er… shoulders? I need more sunlight, water, and time to soak in those healing, life-giving-sciency-things that make plants stay alive and grow. Do I want to be a houseplant forever? Absolutely not. But once I’ve weathered this weird season I’ll be ready to be planted elsewhere. Okay, the analogy can stop here.

The point is, we're all probably like my dying plant. And after these strange couple months, would you look at that? Ol’ Lazzy’s got a new leaf and maybe so do I. It could just be all the doughnuts I’ve eaten. But I’m a happy plant, and it’s nothing a few sit ups can’t help.

Take care of yourself in this season.


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