Every morning on my way to work, I pass a perfectly ordinary gas station and laugh at the bushes growing out of the top of it. There’s a whole thriving ecosystem on that roof – birds, squirrels, and probably a wealth of insects.

The owners probably don’t want to be bothered climbing a ladder and it wouldn’t do them much good if they did. Florida is so hot and humid that plants either die quickly or you can’t beat them back. Those little bushes are determined to stay!

My mom used to say ‘thrive where you’re planted,’ which I found very irritating because at the time, I was in a job where I could not thrive. You don’t always get a nurturing environment.

What’s key is to remember you get never a perfect environment. You have to learn to ignore the stagnating job, the idiot bosses, the lack of funds, the indifferent friends, family, and coworkers. In truth, the situation probably isn’t that bad – just frustrating!

It’s easy to get bogged down in everyday matters, to find all your time and energy spent on humdrum concerns or, more frequently, someone else’s. It takes determination and sometimes being flat-out rude to make your work, your creative endeavor, a priority so you can thrive. Hence pictures at the stop sign to remind myself that it’s okay to grow, even essential. Freaking out the other drivers was just a bonus.


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