Blooming Where I’m Planted

Bloom Where You're Planted

I orignally wrote these words for Kidspot, but the thoughts and feelings I touched on in this post have been on my heart and mind this week, so it seemed appropriate to it share here today…

In the nine years Reubs and I have been together we have lived in three cities, two large coastal towns and one tiny rural village. We’ve occupied four houses and six apartments (not to mention the three months we spent staying with my mum between moves). In that time I’ve worked in publishing, communications, hospitality and retail, as well as in my current position, self-employed with a little handmade jewellery business and bits of freelance writing.

I’ve always thought I was just one of those people who thrived on change. But while it’s true I do love exploring new places and experiencing new things, I’ve recently come to realise that perhaps more than I enjoy new things, I like leaving old things behind. In other words, I’m quite good at running away. In the past when things have gotten tough, boring or unhappy, instead of making some changes to make my existing circumstances work for me, I’ve just picked up and left it all behind. I don’t regret doing this, as all my experiences have taught me valuable lessons and made me the person I am today, but I see now that I can’t uproot my life and start afresh forever.

The reality is life is never perfect. There will always be struggles and room for improvement in various aspects of our existence. While I don’t for a moment condone settling for a life that makes you miserable, I believe the key to happiness is not making life perfect, but rather making the best of whatever we have, where ever we are. To bloom where we are planted.

I am mostly pretty content with the state of my world right now but there are certainly areas I’m not crazy about. Sometimes I get frustrated with the limitations of the tiny village we live in and I’m not thrilled with the state of our old house, but instead of giving in to the urge to run away in pursuit of greener pastures (as I would have in times gone by) I am learning to focus on the good bits and make smaller changes in the areas I’m not happy with.

I may not be smitten with the town we live in, but if we hadn’t moved here we couldn’t have afforded to buy our first home and we certainly couldn’t have afforded for me to quit my day job and start a business. In making some compromises on where we live we have been able to make other dreams come true. There isn’t a decent coffee shop for miles and we are quite a distance from most of our friends here, but it is safe and friendly and peaceful. Our house is shabby and in need of so much work, but it is ours. We have room for a veggie patch, we can have a big family of pets here without upsetting a landlord, and our mortgage repayments are less than we were previously spending on rent.

Our life is not without flaws but there is plenty to be grateful for. Rather than using the imperfect bits as reasons to run away, I’m trying to use them as motivation to improve and make the most of where we are right now.

I believe that it is important to take risks and make changes, and I am so glad I have taken some fairly big leaps in my life, but I know now that I’ll never be truly happy if I keep leaping without ever pausing to embrace where I have landed. There comes a time when you have to stop running and just breathe. Little by little I’m learning to make the most of the here and now. In this moment I am planted in this creaky old house and this funny little town, so here I will bloom.

Katie x

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Katie

About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.

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18 Responses to “Blooming Where I’m Planted”

  1. Sarah July 26, 2014 at 12:03 am #

    I like this post a lot. For years I have been running away when life has got tough or boring. I have never found a job I have loved and always get bored and just up sticks and go travelling to some foreign land to escape (last time I spent two years in australia) and then I return home and the cycle continues. Now I have been back in the UK for over two years and I live in a town that also has no good coffee shop (do people not realise the importance of a well made flat white?), I can feel myself wanting to move on somewhere. Really what I need to do is apprciate what I do have and make changes in my life such as finding a career I love and actually make the effort to fit into the town where I live, then maybe I won’t constantly feel the need to be moving on. Anyway’s I will stop rambling on like a fool. Hope you have a great weekend. xxx

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Thank you so much for your comment Sarah (the longer the better!) It is somewhat comforting to know I’m not the only one with the tendency to run away. I think you are spot on about making an effort to fit into the town where you live. I know we need to try to find/build more of a community around ourselves. Oh and maybe get an espresso machine?! We’d be lost without ours! xx

  2. Nicola July 26, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    I like the idea of blooming where you are; I’m not totally happy with where we live for now, but I’m working on it :)

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      That’s all we can do Nicola, keep working at it! xx

  3. Chelle July 26, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    I’m thinking that the title of your post would be a brilliant quote for a Dear Delilah pendant…

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      I do have a “bloom where you’re planted” necklace in the shop! :)

  4. Caitlin | belong with wildflowers July 26, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    Hello! I’m a new reader to your blog + I’m wondering how/why I’ve never stumbled across it before. Your writing is so beautiful + down-to-earth.

    “While I don’t for a moment condone settling for a life that makes you miserable, I believe the key to happiness is not making life perfect, but rather making the best of whatever we have, where ever we are. To bloom where we are planted.” — I couldn’t agree more with this. Life will never be perfect, but our perspective on where we’re at can completely make or break our day-to-day.

    Very excited to have found your blog + to follow along :)

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you so much Caitlin! That is very kind. xx

  5. Zara July 26, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Katie this post rings so true to me. You two sound very much like Darron and myself. We’ll have been together 7 years next month and have moved 4 times, probably 5 come the end of the year when he finishes his studies. We’re hoping to settle down after the next move and buying our own plot of land is top of our list.
    I too get frustrated at the things that are not ‘perfect’ at everyplace we’ve called home.. something as small as not living anywhere long enough to get the vegie patch well established gets me a bit annoyed.
    x

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      I so hear you on the annoyingness of moving too often to get a garden really going! When we bought this house we meant it to be a stepping stone rather than our “forever home” (eventually we’d like a little acreage) but once we get the garden really established I think it’s going to be impossible to leave! I really can’t wait until the garden is full of big, thriving plants! xx

  6. mandi July 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Well done Katie!! I am currently blooming as far as the landlord will allow. I am soooo ready to really let loose. SOON I hope.

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Oh, we’ve been there Mandi! And though our home drives me (us) crazy at times, not a day goes by that I’m not thankful that it ours, and we can plant trees and paint walls wherever and whenever our little hearts desire… You’ll get there too! It’s worth the wait. :)

  7. Max July 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    You know ‘blooming where you grow’ can also encompass growing your community too! I disliked the town i moved to 10 years ago, for similar reasons to you, and yet here i am, 10 years down the track mortgage paid and my town is thriving too-an organic food shop, a community garden, a food swap group, and finally a cafe that cooks with free range eggs amongst other great things. List all the things you would like to see in your community, get talking to people and crucially chose to contribute in some way. Before you know it you’ll be in ‘your’ kinda town (with mortgage paid!) too xxx

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      That is very, very true Max and definitely something we need to work on. Your town sounds lovely. Thank you for sharing! xx

  8. Country Living by the Sea July 27, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Great post Katie! When things are not 100% I too feel like taking off and leaving it all behind, but then I remember all the reasons why I love living where I do. At least with the Internet we can still connect with like minded people. Sometimes too it’s nice to take some time out from the people around you (except Rueben) so that you can tune into yourself and create the life you really love and to be true to yourself. Wishing you and your man happy days, blooming where you are planted. xxoo

    • Katie
      Katie July 28, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      Isn’t the internet is amazing? Like having a friendly little neighbourhood with you, wherever you go! But yes, I definitely need to take time away from it sometimes, especially when I find myself comparing my self/life/world to others’ and feeling inadequate. Like you said, it is so important to tune into ourselves, remember what we want from life and find ways to make those things happen, irrespective of what everyone else is doing. xx

  9. Katie July 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Like so many others, I can relate to this feeling too. I don’t know where you live but I wouldn’t be surprised that in time someone will open up a little cafe with great coffee etc. After all there was something that attracted you there. I’ve looked back over my shoulder after we have left small places and the things that annoyed me have often changed for the better. Having mortgage payments less than rent is fantastic and being able to do what you want in your yard is a great freedom – you forget how good until you rent again or talk to people who do. You can always go on a holiday – and then come home and think how lucky you are! Love your blog x

  10. Elle Mental July 29, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I have been following your blog for some years now and have really admired your courage and sense of adventure. It has been an inspiration to watch you grow and mature. I also admire your honesty, I think it is what sets you and your blog apart.
    I was raised an Army Brat. My dad was in the U.S. Army and we moved about once a year for my whole childhood. I didn’t try to make friends or even sometimes unpack my boxes of stuff, since I knew it wouldn’t be long before we were uprooted again. I considered myself a tumbleweed. But then I met my heart’s desire and we started a life of our own. It started out in the military as well, we both joined the Air Force and saw the world together, but when our first child appeared on the scene we decided it was time to put down real roots. It was hard at first, and there were lots of times I wanted to run…. but we persevered. We have now been living in the same house for 25 years. We have not stopped traveling or having adventures,(in 2009 we decided to rent our house to a friend and lived in Costa Rica for a year), but now we always have a place to come home to. We love our place, which like yours, started out as a creaky old house that needed way too much work. Over the years, little at a time, we have turned it into our dream home. Not perfect, by any means, it still creaks and has need of TLC, but it is cozy, safe and ours. The gardens have had the benefit of 25 years of compost and loving attention, in return they have given us bountiful organic food for the table, (and friends tables….), flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies. I am so glad that we stuck with it, but we couldn’t have done it if we hadn’t also made time for little adventures along the way. When money was tight, our adventures were close to home, when we had extra to put aside for bigger adventures we did and fed our wanderlust urges by making plans and researching ways to make the most out of our escapes. I am glad to hear that you are making an effort to be content where you are. Contentment opens your eyes to the beauty of the here and now, but dreaming and even occasionally running away from home, is a good medicine as well, when the urge to flee becomes overwhelming! ;)

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