On When the Grass is Greener
The intention behind your own change
As we charge headlong into spring (seriously, how is it April already?! Slow your freaking roll, 2019), I’ve been thinking a lot about change.
We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” but it’s not really accurate, is it?
I mean, it’s lovely to say out loud and I like that it brings up fond childhood memories of paper cut-out flowers and glee-filled puddle stomping, but it’s also… not true?
April showers don’t necessarily bring May flowers, because spring doesn’t care about your nursery rhyme cliches that would probably look really pretty in a script-y Pinterest graphic.
Sometimes April brings blizzards. Sometimes draught. My mom texted me a picture this month of my parents’ yard covered in snow. The weather is unpredictable, now more than ever.
When it comes to change, believing in the idea that something will simply happen because it’s what’s always happened (or seems like has always happened) isn’t just lazy, it’s often straight up wrong.
Ideas like: A job will be waiting for you when you graduate college. The romance will return will once the baby’s sleeping through the night. Your style will improve when you have more money to spend on clothes.
One thing does not automatically kickstart the other.
When thinking about change, and how to create it in our own lives, I much prefer another saying I heard recently and immediately adopted into my go-to list of daily affirmations that I repeat over and over in my head when in need of an attitude adjustment. Bonus points that it’s also landscaping-themed:
“The grass is always greener where you water it.”*
Great, right? So simple, but also so mind-blowing (to me, anyway).
I love that it hits on a favorite theme in my own life (and one I keep learning and re-learning on a daily basis, so don’t for a second think I think I’m the expert here): intention. You create your own life – so when it’s not raining, get up off your butt and grab the sprinkler.
It also reminds me not to sink down to the dark place inside me where I’m jealous of and unhappy for other people who I view as more successful than me. Because I’m definitely guilty of uttering the above phrase’s evil twin, “The grass is always greener on the other side!”
Now that’s a bad saying we would all do well to shake loose from our memories. What a strange concept to embrace, assuming life is this awful zero-sum game where the situations we find ourselves in versus the ones others find themselves in are equally great or terrible in their own measure.
Thankfully, life isn’t a zero-sum game, and if you win, it doesn’t mean I lose. To suggest that the grass is always greener on the other side is to suggest that if I make it to the other side, it’s going to be just as bad – just different – so maybe I ought to simply be content where I’m at? Ugh, what a bummer.
So forget about April showers and their magical garden-growing abilities; instead, grab a hose and get to watering.
If you want a great job, take a class to advance your skills, ask to shadow a mentor, start polishing up your resume.
If you want a great relationship, work on making yourself the kind of person you’d want to be in a relationship with — and then go out and start asking people on dates (weirdly, I’ve never met a couple who met when they were watching Netflix alone in their respective homes).
If you want great style, learn how to dress for your body type, discover the brands that make you feel like your best self, and read up on resources like Style Girlfriend that do at least some of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to knowledge and window shopping.
Water your grass. Let April showers do what they may.
*The one exception to this saying being bunk? Hair. The grass is always greener for those with great hair.