Growth Is Uncomfortable: Nature, Removing Emotional Corsets, and Tree Hugging

I’ve been spending a lot of time in our seven acre backyard lately- watching the baby fish swim in the shallows of the water. Listening to the birds, frogs, and insects make all the noises they make. When you stop and pay attention, you realize how busy nature is.

I don’t think any of them take a lunch break. Geez.

I also touch the baby trees, wondering if they feel at peace in my presence like I do in theirs. Or do they sense the inner turbulence I’m working on sifting through?

I walk along our property lines, enjoying this small, rural jungle neglect has created- weeds of all kinds and heights thriving among scattered remnants of vehicles and assorted metal left lying around to fend for themselves.

I love how just a few steps into the backyard can make me feel like I’m farther away from everything than I am. Reminds me of the days I spent as a kid roaming 60 acres in the country- tucked away in a place where time doesn’t exist.

I was free then. Me walking the prairie. Wondering what I would see as I ventured farther and farther into the grass. Past the hog sheds and ponds. It never occurred to me to be scared I might encounter snakes or animals that would fuck me up and not think twice. Not because our dog, Toffee, always joined me, but because I simply wasn’t ever scared.

In fact, I was always excited at the idea of what I might find. Bones. A new pond (I never found all of them). Frogs to catch. Maybe even a lost fish in the stream. Even though I became familiar with the land, I still wanted to keep going back. Everything was the same, but everything was new.

That paragraph right there is why I have my never used BA in Archaeology- I love a good treasure hunt.

…hence why I am ALWAYS down to dig up potatoes from the garden. I can’t wait to see what’s been hiding under the dirt! And then eat it.

As I kept making my backyard rounds, I came upon a patch of weeds I wanted to take a picture of.

I’ve known for months- in order to do what’s best for my well being, I need to be outside more. To hike. To dig in the dirt. Abandon looking at memes on Facebook a lot of the things I waste my time on and trade that in for more time hugging trees.

Being outside is where everything gets quiet. I recharge. Most importantly, I can see clearly. Everything fades away and I am left with the big picture.

Although this big picture reminds me how clearly mortal I am, it fills me with the sense that it’s all going to be okay. And I leave feeling full of nothing but appreciation, wonder, awe, and overall content.

In this space, I’m not being bombarded with ads. Or overstimulated with notifications of texts, emails, and Disney Blitz telling me my free spin is available.

But I don’t get outdoorsy like I should. I resist it.

Why?

Great question! I’m not entirely sure but I have a few ideas:

  1. Part anxiety if it’s somewhere I’ve never been before.

2. Part I just don’t want to because I want to bleh after working all week (not so much now because working from home has left me with A TON of time to decompress/recharge and feel like I’m not working my life away like it does when I’m in the office).

3. Part depression, depending on the time of year/what’s going on in my life.

So as I’m looking at that weed patch I mentioned a little bit ago, I thought to myself, “Maybe this is the time [coronageddon] I rewild myself. Maybe this is the time everyone does”.

And I took a picture.

Rewild. It’s a term used in a lot of self care circles. I don’t really know the actual definition is but for me, it’s about stripping away societal expectations/norms. To get down to your inner core- taking back what has been lost. Adding what brings you joy. Working and accepting the shadows.

…or maybe it’s more about taking off your emotional corset.

Either way, rewilding is another thing I know I need to do and have been resisting. This goes back to me needing more time in nature. I feel connected when I’m hanging out in the middle of nowhere. Or in a group of trees. Or in a field.

Just wherever buildings and lots of people are not- the more land, trees, and animals- the better.

…it’s funny to think that not so long ago, I wanted to move to a big city. NO THANK YOU!

I took my son to the river recently. One of my favorite places on earth. But I couldn’t enjoy it fully because every sound made me jump. Made me leery in a place where I had always felt safe.

When did I become so full of fear?!

It’s been weighing on my mind lately. How to undo this. To navigate the human experience I’ve had, using it to create a better version of myself without all that crap mucking things up.

I am slowly expiring. I’d like to be the best version of myself I can. But sometimes all the self-help help can be overwhelming.

So I listen to my gut- the one I use to make important decisions. Not the one I consult about snack options.

It says to keep making my backyard rounds. Simplify. Stop running and filling my calendar up with distractions.

Everything I need is right here.

I can buy all the crystals I want to help bring in things I’d like to manifest (or I can buy them simply because they’re beautiful). I can buy all kinds of cool stuff to feel better about myself…for a few weeks. I can take day trips to see cool stuff to distract myself (or because it’s exciting to see something you’ve never seen before!).

But what I need to move past my fear isn’t something that can be bought.

That is where the work lies- so I’ll spend more time with the trees. Watch ladybugs dash across the yard like they’re late for supper. Help plant and weed the garden. Hike new trails once it’s a little safer to venture out.

I’m curious to see who I’ll grow into next.

More posts to come.

Published by amberalice

Kansas Native. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Lover of love, plants, and great burritos.

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