You Are Already Enough

Dear You,

I suspect no one has ever told you this, so I figured I would. You are already enough. You were just who you were supposed to be on the day you were born.

I don’t know why people find it so hard to give compliments or encouragement. I really don’t know why so many people delight in being cruel or insulting. But the fact remains. You are enough.

Having ambition and wanting to improve upon yourself isn’t a bad thing, of course. Go for it! But set aside any anxiety you have that is causing you to try to force yourself into a role that makes you uncomfortable. Nobody has the right to pressure you to become someone that you’re not. Deep down, you already know who you are.

Just be yourself. You are one of a kind. Sit in that power. And before you know it (but only if you need to), you will bloom. You have that within you, and chances are, a lot of people already see it, whether they bother to tell you or not.

Now, share this post with someone else who needs to hear it.

Love,

Me

bloom

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A Single Flower

It had been raining for several days, and that wasn’t helping my already gloomy outlook. I can’t seem to shake off the fear and uncertainty that the most recent election has brought down upon the shoulders of many of us. It almost feels like I woke up on a different planet. I don’t know what to do. Does anyone?

I was looking out at the grey sky and the mud and muck and thinking those thoughts, when a flash of color caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, it was a single bloom on my extremely neglected azalea bush. (Hey, gimme a break. I’m a renter.)

Please understand. It’s November. It’s Seattle. We’ve gone weeks without seeing the sun. It’s been warmer than usual, yes, but it’s still cold at night. And yet here was this flower.

I must admit it was kind of a sad little flower. Lonely. Smaller than usual. A few petals were chewed on by bugs. But it persevered. A flash of fuchsia in an otherwise bleak landscape.

And I thought, if something like that can blossom in a place and time where, by all accounts, it should not thrive, then why can’t I? Maybe, just like that flower, I can break all the current rules, go against the flow, and add some contrast to a world that is becoming increasingly, drearily, monochrome.

It won’t be easy. I’ll probably feel a bit bedraggled with all the extra effort. But I’ll be here. So will you. And that makes me feel much better.

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All alone and a bit chewed up, but she’s still here!

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The Return of the Green Monster

I could smell it the other day. Creeping down the river, lapping at the shore. It steals your breath. It burns your skin. It kills the fish, the birds, and the plants. It makes you sick. The green monster first appeared in significant size in Jacksonville in 2005, and it was bad. I mean, bad. It covered 100 miles of the river from shore to shore and lasted for what seemed like an eternity. It was so thick it looked like you could walk on it. In subsequent years it hasn’t been as severe, but it’s still a danger.

This thick, neon green slime is an algae bloom that produces a toxin so intense that pilots flying 500 feet above it have been known to have trouble breathing, so you can only imagine what it’s like for those of us at ground level.

The birds and gators that swim through this stuff come out looking like they’re covered in green fir, and a friend of mine had to rush his black lab to the vet when he broke out of the yard and jumped in the river. He let out this scream and jumped right back out, but over the next few days he lost much of his hair and had to be treated for weeks afterward.

What causes this toxic stew? A lethal combination of heat, rain, and nutrients. And those nutrients are caused by man. As per usual, we are the authors of our own destruction. The nutrients come from fertilizer, septic tanks, waste water, storm water runoff and industrial waste. We have created this monster and only we can kill it. If we do not provide it with food in the form of nutrients, it cannot survive.

We need to stop treating our river as if it were a toilet. Septic tanks need to be totally phased out. We need to stop prioritizing our pristine green lawns over our river. Industry needs to be held accountable for its indifference.

And this monster isn’t exclusive to Jacksonville. It’s happening in waterways all over Florida. Industrial lobbyists are still trying to maintain that this is not a problem. What’s it going to take for them to wake up? Every time the green monster rears its ugly head, we need to realize that we did this. All of us. And only we can vanquish this killer. It’s too late to look the other way. The life of our state, and all the flora and fauna within it, hangs in the balance.

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