As I have been reflecting on my life and how it has taken me so long, it seems, to finally discover something I am passionate about and driven, naturally, to learn; research; engage in; and pursue on a daily basis, I realize I may have always been taking small steps towards it all along.
I remember at a younger age being envious of hippies and flower children, regretting that I had not been born earlier while yearning to experience the free spirit of those lucky enough to have lived during the 1960s and 1970s. Yet, my favorite memories as a child are those spent outdoors from morning to night playing with neighbors and exploring our environment; climbing trees, discovering berries and grapes growing and picking them fresh to eat,
saving a dragonfly that had gotten too cold and wet to fly and then setting it free to watch it take wing slowly back into its natural environment, all while being mesmerized by these various small creatures fluttering and scurrying around in the backyard: birds, chipmunks, moles, butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects.
Then as a teenager there were those social occasions when I would wear a daisy in my hair because it was my favorite flower and because I liked how it looked and made me feel. A way to communicate to others, without words, something inside of me. Yet, I still believed it was just me copying something from others who had come before me. Not something unique that I thought of all on my own, but is anything? At this point in history, isn’t everything just a continuous cycle of styles, ideas, and expressions that have come before us during or at a different time/place? Age and reflection has taught me that just because something has been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t important to continue to recycle some of these interests and ideas, so they will continue to be renewed and reborn in someone else who can share them in their own special way!
There was also a time that I envied, as a teenager, some of my friend’s sister’s college roommates who were vegetarian “hippies” who appeared to be so sure of themselves and were pursing interests that I wasn’t quite sure how to engage in myself. Again I felt like if I were to start dressing/acting like them, then I was just copying someone else. My friend and I were also intrigued, for awhile, with Wicca practices; curious enough to visit a store and buy some books. Growing up Catholic I felt apprehensive and scared to indulge too much in these new and unknown ideas because there was still a guilt I felt in being a possible heretic. Even though it was fascinating to me and seemed really interesting to use oils, candles, crystals, and some more natural techniques to grow closer to the spirituality of the environment, while trying to be unique and different from the mainstream, I shied away from doing anything for too long; afraid I would be punished by God for betraying him.
As time has passed and I have grown spiritually and become comfortable with considering the unknowns of the supernatural world, this has given me a freedom to explore the possibilities and led me slowly to the path I am now on. A journey that continues to grow and flourish just like the environment surrounding me. As someone who always envied others who understood and had knowledge of the natural world around them, naming plants/trees/animals and connecting deeply with these fellow creatures, I feel blessed that I am now on my way to becoming an herbalist. This is something I did not even know existed until a few years back but seems like a calling that life always had planned for me, without my knowing.
It makes me consider the possibilities of happenstance and free will. Being a firm believer in the necessity of balance in all aspects of life, I choose both. There is a strong feeling that this path was chosen because of who I am and the interests/morals/ideals that I hold dear to and always have, now realizing they are part of my core, whether influenced by outside forces or not. We all see, hear, and experience things differently; deciding whether we approve or disapprove, while choosing if we want to take pieces of these various moments in time as inspirations for ourselves or not. Yet, since we are all unique, each thing is formed from something that has already occurred with our own spin on it; during various times and in unique places. These are the choices we make. Life has led me here and along the way I chose what to do with what life presented to me along my given path.
The truth is, I feel honored and overjoyed to have found what I believe to be my natural passion, something that I am delighted to be deemed as and hope to achieve the title of; an herbalist. It is rewarding, healing, sensational, and brings me inner peace. I hope to acquire more and more confidence, continue to learn and be able to help others through my knowledge, and accomplish my dream of gaining trust from others to confide and rely on me for alternative healing methods through herbal remedies!
Be true to yourself and others and your inner self will shine through; be it in your habits, thoughts, words, or actions. This is authentic beauty in its truest form!