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I have never been one much
for growing things (except babies), nor am I one who is particularly adept at
keeping, say, a houseplant alive. I have harbored a jealousy of my parents who
always have beautiful patches of flowers in their yards. I have wondered why I
cannot seem to do the same thing – until now. 

This beauty, pictured above,
grew into her 7 foot tall glory under my careful watch and attention over the
last three months. (The other flowers in my garden that did not flourish will
be the subject of another blog…) I found a packet of seeds in my mom’s purse
and declared I would grow sunflowers. After all, they are my favorite. My mom,
while wearing her best encouraging face, warned me that growing flowers from a
seed may be a challenge. I grew more determined.

I do not know if it is a
product of residual divorce damage, but I have a strong desire to prove that I
can keep things alive. From friendships to flowers, I feel the urge to pay
great attention and for my fierce loyalty to be rewarded with happy blooms. I
have the urge to do things that I have never done before but have always wanted
to. I have the urge to try. I have the urge to grow.

I had lunch with a former
client last week. Her divorce was finalized nearly two years ago. Throughout
our long lunch, I laughed harder than I had in weeks. She provided story after
story that led to belly-laughing delight. She described a recent trip to Paris, a string of dating
disasters, and motherhood messes. I left lunch feeling fairly dazed and confused.
Two years ago, I never would have described this woman as funny. And I didn’t
remember her being so beautiful. I would have described her as serious, driven,
hard-working and intense. 

When I went home that same
night, I found my sunflower had finally opened her face to the sun. I realized
that my client had too. Since the divorce, she had become her more authentic
self. She was vibrant and alive compared to the person I met two years prior. She
was shaded three times more brilliant. She was thriving and happy and bright.

During divorce your roots
start to stretch and strengthen to get you through the difficult days. You
become grounded in managing day to day life as everything around you changes. As
you come out of divorce, day by day, you get stronger. You find the parts of
you that you have missed. You start to pay attention to them again. And then
one day – you bloom.

Angela Dunne