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Monday, January 3, 2011

The Story Behind the Word

blossom [ˈblɒsəm]   

intr.v. blos·somedblos·som·ingblos·soms
1. To come into flower; bloom.
2. To develop; flourish: The child blossomed into a beauty.
A blooming period or stage of development; something lovely that gives rich promise. 
To put forth blossoms or flowers; to bloom; to blow; to flower. 
To flourish and prosper.

This story began a long time ago, twenty years ago long.

I was 21 and spending a semester in Bath, England--a time in my young life that significantly altered reality as I knew it;  that broke me open & turned me toward a self I had not yet known.  I was away from my family for the first time ever.  And, as much as I ached for them & thought I needed them, in the deepest parts of my insides I knew that what I most needed was to find me. 

During my semester abroad, I had a month off of my studies to travel.  I "slept" on over-packed overnight trains, ate a ton of baguettes because I didn't have money for much else (plus they made me feel European), went to pubs & drank heavy beer, gained weight and blamed it on the "damn" dryers, stayed in loud, over packed youth hostels & loved it, saw myself in my fellow free-spirited traveling companions, nearly killed myself on a moped (kept getting the gas pedal & break pedal mixed up), had my backpack (with passport, Eurorail pass, credit cards, journal, cash) stolen in Paris, thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen, cried a lot, wandered the streets of Paris eating crepes while trying to speak French, visited (for the first time) my place of birth (Stuttgart, Germany), drank red wine in Venice, ate a ridiculous amount of gelato, gained more weight, wandered wide-eyed through the artsy area of Florence...made my way to Greece (a place I fell in love with & couldn't seem to leave).  

The little memory that keeps visiting with such persistence was a seemingly small one but, even after all these years, continues to enter my mind.

While in Greece I met a very special guy who became a very good friend who significantly changed the way that I looked at myself.  He shed a light on me that I had never before seen.  Where I (and others) found fault, he found light.  He helped heal places in me that were tender and scared and unsure.  He saw straight through the unsure, hesitant little girl, to my sparkly insides.  He saw me.

Through this gentle friend, I met another guy, a guy who was quite amused & entertained at my inability to make a decision.  When I talked, he would always tilt his head to one side--prepared to make fun of whatever wishy-washy thing that was about to come out of my mouth.  One day, here comes the little moment....he stopped his making fun of for a moment and looked at me, very serious-like, and said:

You know, Julia, one day you're going to blossom, I can just see it. 

I don't remember what I said in response to these words.  I just remember it felt like time slowed way down and something in me knew I was having one of those moments that would change me.

I think the thing that struck me in that moment was that I could see it too. I could see me too.  Even though I had no idea what blossoming might look like, or what that even really meant to me...those words stuck and stayed and planted themselves inside of me.

I've often caught myself wondering when that "someday" will be.

A couple of days ago, while I was turning words over in my mind, this little moment came back like it had just happened, and I had a little aha.  I became very aware that I've envisioned this blossoming happening sometime way out into the future.  To my mind it's always been something that will happen someday.

In a recent conversation with a friend of mine, she said, someday is as good as never.  

I don't want my someday to be never. 

I've dug up a whole hell of a lot of weeds; big, heavy way down deep-in-the-ground ones.  I've been watering & fertilizing & watering some more.  I've let all kinds of beautiful light in.  And out.

I'll continue to pull the weeds from my stubborn mind & let go of any big ideas it has about what blossoming should look.  I will continue to water & nurture & let the sun shine in.  I will continue to open & open & see & get out of my own way.  And listen.   And Trust.  And breathe.   And find the little glimmers of light even when it may appear that there aren't any.  And turn it over.   And surrender.  And Trust.

I'm ready now.


  1. oh my goodness, julia!!! your stories are always so inspiring!! heres to you and this year to blossom.

  2. Julia, You are blossoming beautifully :-)

  3. Holy shit, Julia! This post sent a ripple through time and space-- and was just, well, awesome on so many levels!!!! especially on the ones that count--like a big fat brave heart living fully! I felt this deeply, and love this adventurous little traveler, and how she opened to let life in, no matter what! I love how your Soul registered this fullness and an important word, 'blossom', for this sacred moment. I love how it planted the seed and how you've been growing it since! I love how some of the 'meanest' people are put right there for a reason!

    I love this: "He saw straight through the unsure, hesitant little girl, to my sparkly insides. He saw me."

    'Sparkly insides'. I am going to meditate on that all day.

    So glad you shared this story behind the world, and glad that someday has come and will never go away.

  4. Julia... if this is you having not yet blossomed, my flabber is going to be completely gasted by the end of the year!

    For me, blossoming is such a beautiful experience that I witness each spring, and what I love about being human is that there are always areas that I can further blossom in, even though I shine so bright already.

    You shine already Julia... stunning, loving, kind, creative, beautiful lady. You bring a beauty and an acceptance that is utterly heartwarming, tender, and kind of like the comfiest couch you could ever imagine - I just want to sink into your presence and let myself be enveloped by it.

    May the blossoming long continue - thank you for being you xxx

  5. Julia,

    Your story of bloomimg really sang to me, especially when you wrote the following;

    "get out of my own way… to listen… trust… breathe…and surrender. I so inspire to be able to accomplish these actions."

    Your words painted the perfect picture for me.

    Also, thanks for your kind words in the comments you left for me. Being a new “blogger” makes it so much more satisfying and exciting when someone like you leaves heartfelt words.

    I’m so grateful we’ve connected.

  6. i love how travelers and faraway places can call us home. the home that really matters, that is.

    i was going through a very similar process at that age in mexico....

    it all adds up, doesn't it. and the little epiphanies become life as we know it when we are ready.

    beautiful blossoming, my friend.

  7. Cheers to NOW, my friend. Love the story behind the word. Perfect pick for 2011!

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What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia