By Anneke Roux
Today was difficult. Work was exhausting and when I got home, I wanted to crawl into a dark hole and stay there. I was sulking around my flat when I saw the most amazing sight! My delicious monster (monstera deliciosa) is growing a new leaf, and it’s the most exciting thing ever! Well maybe not ever… I tend to exaggerate.
You might be asking why I’ve decided to tell you about a plant (I hope that by now you figured out that it’s a plant). I’m telling you about a plant, because it’s the very first plant I bought. And just a few months ago it was dying! Also, it reminded me of hope and I’ve been wanting to tell that story as well.
At the end of 2017, all in one month; I moved into a flat on my own, my boyfriend dumped me (it was my first big breakup) and my family decided to move to the other side of the country. My life as I knew it was gone. Cue loneliness and severe depression. After I started fantasizing about driving off a bridge every time I was in a car, I went to see a psychologist and this was the best and bravest decision I’ve ever made. Things were getting better so, spontaneously, I went to the nursery and bought a delicious monster. It was beautiful and made me happy. We lived happily together in my little flat.
Two years later with numerous plants acquired (as well as a flat mate and a new flat), I realised my eldest was not very happy. The leaves turned yellow. I googled the problem (like any true millennial would) and, obviously, I found a list of reasons for this. I decided the problem had to be that I gave it too much water. About two months later things were only looking worse and I googled again. This time I placed the plant in the bathroom, because apparently delicious monsters like humid climates and the shower in the bathroom provides that. It didn’t work. The leaves turned brown and two died. I cried.
I googled again and spoke to my grandma. She has the greenest fingers, and even had a vineyard in her back yard when I was little, if that proves my point. It was decided that I had to re-plant my baby and I did exactly that. Listening to advice from my mother, I also spoke to my plant and sang some Lizzo (because she’s an incredibly empowering artist). Months passed and things started to look a bit better. The leaves weren’t yellow anymore. However, change was still needed! I went back to the nursery and got some plant food. I kept watering, singing and waiting to see what would happen.
And today there’s a new leaf. For the first time in more than a year. I am elated. More than elated. I am reminded of hope. Looking at my beauty I remembered something my psychologist told me when I first started seeing her. She said, “I know you don’t want to hear this now, and it won’t seem to be true in this moment, but things will get better. It might not happen soon, but one day you’ll wake up and you won’t feel as bad anymore. It will get better. You need to know that.”
I didn’t believe her, but deep down I knew that it was important to hold on to that. To hold on to the hope. And, lo and behold! One morning I woke up and I didn’t feel bad anymore. Today I walked into my flat and after months my plant had a new leaf.
My healing took time, “replanting”, trial and error, and a lot of hard work, but I held on to hope. My healing is not complete, far from it. Yet I am stronger, braver, kinder and wiser, but I hope to always be on a journey of growth. My plant reminds me that just as she would grow many more leaves and would have to be replanted into bigger and bigger pots (and be given food and water and all that jazz), I too will grow, be replanted (and be given food and water and all that jazz) and I will be rejuvinated!
This story was written by a guest contributor, Anneke Roux. If you enjoyed reading about her experiences, follow her on Instagram at @rouxanneke. And if you’d like to become a contributor for Essential Millennial, please contact us and we’ll help you share your stories far and wide.