How To Plant A Tree (Late-Night Quick Sketch)

  1. Plant seed in the ground.
  2. Water daily.
  3. Amara was shaken. Her eyes were wide and her expression was blank. Two years? Was that what the advisor said? The man’s glum expression and sad hollowed out eyes worked liked a mirror for her soul. She was scared shitless. The decisions of today would carry large implications over the course of a life much longer than the one leading up to it. Pause for a brief moment of considering flipping the off-switch for good. Walking out of that advising department building, finding the nearest sidewalk, waiting, and leaping out for the next bus off the face of the Earth. Woe is me, come on Amara, you are better than this. Quit being stupid, she told herself. All this pressure had been amplified by the man’s matter-of-fact, nonchalant, nervous more about his job than about you delivery with which he explained to her the situation. Two more years of education would be required to get her degree. Entering her senior year the following fall, this was not an option. Even if her parents could foot the bill, and they wouldn’t be able to, she could not let them. Would not let them. Two more years of tuition for a piece of paper that said more about the hell she put herself through than about herself at all. She already loathed her major. There she said it. Not aloud, but in her head. Oh, she was lost. Far too close to any of the events to make any sense of them. Think, there must be something I can do. 
  4. And she finally grew up and left the advising office. Made a few calls. Did some real self-reflection. Thought about self-worth. Thought about what she wanted. Enough making the same mistake. Enough impulse decisions, that was how she got stuck in this major. No. Now it was time to do what her parents had been begging her to do all along. Be an adult. Act in her own self-interest while not fucking over the ones she loved. Be an adult. Act rationally and research. Look for alternative options. This is when all those backup plans come into play. Survival. Decisions worth impacting the rest of her life. Never shutting the door on anything, but not being flippant in her choices. Conviction. No longer a martyr. Be an adult. The only person’s opinion who matters is your own. No longer searching for a plan that will appease others, but one you can stand behind. One that you fully created. Time cannot move fast enough for Amara. God, I hope I am not an idiot.
  5. Let time pass.
  6. Look, there’s a tree!

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