Giving Myself to My Garden and Keeping Enough for Me
The thing my mom told me to do—“Save twenty percent for yourself. Never give one hundred percent to anyone.”—was not selfish after all. Not when thinking about my own survival.
Author of Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember (Ecco/Harper Collins). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Guernica, The Rumpus, The New York Times, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. Her novel is forthcoming from Ecco / Harper Collins. Beekeeper. She/her.
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Being left behind is not a disadvantage. It is an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to live life on my own terms.
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It is no wonder that I am so in love with my bees. They fight for their lives.
Bees do not attack—just as trauma survivors do not attack, but rather defend. She will not sting you unless she believes the colony’s life depends on her defense. Because when she stings you, she dies.
I was single for the first time in eighteen years. I felt unmoored. For the first time in eighteen years, everything was new, including me.