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My 29th plant will teach me how to live

monstera deliciosa, plant, houseplant

I remember my mom ten years ago. She was exhausted. A few years in at a new job, developing new projects, building professional relationships, making someone else’s company reach completely new summits. She wanted to plant her personality in that business. I know that because I stood behind it, first as a child and then as a teenager, helping her type in some emails with my smaller but more agile keyboard-trained fingers, do research. Then I would create – by then, already as myself. It was so much fun for me, so I never understood why she was so preoccupied. Always irritable, with constant brain fog, like her intelligence was declining. And here I am, pulling twenty-nine and there is more fog than brain, encompassed by my skull.

 indoor plant, marigold

Twenty-nine: at this age, my mom would already have a two-year-old me by her side, so let’s all agree to the time warp in the timeline of burnout vs. family. I started earlier than her. Back when I was born in Poland you’d still be working for public institutions which would hire you to look at papers between your coffee breaks and let you go. When I was a child, my mom used to work as a teacher. As exhausting as it was, she had plenty of vacation, and she was always home for lunch. She told me stories about her students, some of who I wanted to marry and live in a van with, at the age of 5. Of course, I never met any of them.

Plants from the past

At home, we had geraniums that will always remind me of school – such a typical 90s classroom plant. We grew aloe vera plants from cuttings taken from our neighbors. This was the time when you could borrow a glass of flour when you wanted to make a cake. It was a thing. On the balcony we had marigolds. My mom didn’t like them because they were a popular plant from the “communist times”. I liked them because I was five and they were orange.

She’d have started a truly draining job at the age of 36 when times changed; while for me this was a reality from the first day after university. And boy, am I tired. Want evidence? I have already written some tips how to survive a deadline on this blog. Trust me, I am an expert in that.

plant, palm, indoor plant

Vegetation, or different ways to be alive

Houseplants show where you are in your life. Now she has an entire garden full of plants, trees, and flowers, that she and my father earned with their hard work. And here am I, two weeks from twenty-nine. A Cateracterum Palm plant resides in the middle of my studio. I don’t have a fantastic relationship with her, but she’s doing great. I also have some bulbous plants and herbs but I forgot which ones they were. And I knocked one of the plant pots off the shelf and it’s been like that for a week now with the soil on the floor. Plants for me are to remind me that there are different ways to be alive. They also provide oxygen. Who would turn down some extra oxygen when tap water is free?

The only thing I wish myself for my 29th birthday is a big monstera deliciosa. Here is its Wiki page, Instagram and Facebook profile (just kidding). I’d also take a bit more health and resilience. And a bit of sex life.

But honestly, I just really want a monstera and I’m determined to get it.

All images in this post are royalty free with no attribution required, and come from

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  • Nina | Lemons and Luggage

    Aww, I’m not good with plants at all and always admire people who are, but yes, the extra free oxygen would be a good reason to start learning how to handle plants, haha!

    • admin

      Haha yes! Plants are our great friends and they don’t want much in return!

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