The other night I went to see a movie at the local theatre for $6 Tuesday’s (the only time I can afford the cinema these days). The best part about $6 Tuesday’s is you can see movies you wouldn’t normally be into because it’s cheap so who cares if it sucks. Luckily for me, this Tuesday’s choice was American Ultra, a surprisingly great movie! And in the midst of the greatness there was a scene where Jesse Eisenberg got a bit emotional describing a tree that had just been part of an automobile accident. To be fair, his character was stoned and that probably added to why he was crying, but the point was that he was talking about how trees never move. Cars, people, and life moved around the tree for decades, but the tree always stood still, until one day it decided to make something else stand still with it. In the movies case it was a zippy red car that had plowed into it. Eisenberg’s character found this depressing, thinking that he was the tree, holding other people back while he stood alone, not moving, and unchanging. I, however, see that as something else. Instead of seeing the tree as an unmoving, unchanging object, that could be seen as not moving forward in the world, I saw it as independence.
In my world, my life changes often. My illness gets worse and then better and then worse again, a never ending cycle of stress and frustration. Every time I go get an X-ray or CatScan they find something new and completely unrelated to why I was there in the first place. Another diagnosis to add to my ever growing pile. Some days are good days, some are not so good. Yesterday I felt energized, motivated, and social. Today my joints are inflamed from this annoying tropical storm, the pain entering every part of my body like an unwanted reminder that it will always be there.
But despite the pain, and the slinky of changes that my body goes through, I stand strong, unmoving in the sense that I refuse to give in. If my pain is represented by the car, and the car has crashed into me in attempts to make me fall, then as a tree I refuse. My roots will not be unearthed, my limbs will not break down and fall. I will continue to stand. I won’t let outside forces try and tear me down. Send a thousand cars my way. Sure they may weaken me, cause me to shake and shudder as I struggle to gain control of myself, of my body, my mind. But here I will stay. I will not break. I will not be torn down and used for other things. I will stand until I decide not to. And even as I age, and my roots and limbs grow weak and thin and brittle, I may stoop a little, my leaves may turn colors and I may grow weary, but never fall.
There’s nothing wrong with being the tree. It’s ok to stand alone. To know yourself, and to know what true happiness can feel like, you have to be okay with being alone first. You have to know how to stand on your own, without aid.
I stand alone. I am a tree, and that’s okay.
If you would like to help this tree when she is having trouble paying for water and and shelter please visit my donation page. All support is welcome and encouraged!