I did something I’ve never done before.
I bought myself a bouquet of flowers.
Yes, I’ve bought myself $9 tulips at the grocery store and $5 cut flowers here and there from the farmers’ market. But today, I bought a full bouquet just for me. I picked out the colours I wanted — the ones I thought would work the best to cheer me up — and I brought them home. I’m actually staring at them right now as I type this.
You see, November can be a rough time of year. No news there, I know.
But this year feels a bit heavier for me than other Novembers. And by “other Novembers,” I mean the Novembers where you adjust to being cold and to the looming 5 pm darkness. The Novembers where, you know, you have the normal, regular, every day dread of the holidays approaching...
But this year, it’s coming up on my second Christmas without my mum, my best friend, my anchor, and the holidays approaching without her is hitting even harder this time around.
I had heard from people “in the know” that the seconds are worse than the firsts and I’d have to agree with them. That is not to say that the firsts weren’t shit, because they were. That is to say that the seconds — the second time you face a holiday or milestone or significant event without your loved one — are just shittier shit.
How can it be this long that she hasn’t been here?
How can I make sense of turning another year older without her?
I guess she really isn’t coming back...
So, when I was presented with the opportunity to buy myself flowers — while aimlessly driving the streets, sitting in the shittier shit that is my November, and happening by my favourite flower shop — I did it.
I walked in and bought myself the effing flowers.
The experts talk about self care and being sure to not lose yourself in your day-to-day role of ________ (fill in the blanks, the list goes on...). And, in my humble opinion, the experts are right.
Honestly, I did have a fleeting moment where I considered telling Diana — who expertly put my bouquet together as I waited and waded through the newly arrived Christmas decorations that I’m not quite ready for yet — that I was buying them for someone else. But I changed my mind. I owned that I was buying myself flowers in an attempt to cheer myself up, even just a little.
Yes, I could have bought them for someone else and felt good in a different way — for performing a random act of kindness. I’ve done it before and it does feel good.
But, this time around, I chose me.
And right now, as I type and cry and think about what mum and I might have been talking about right now if she was still here with me sipping on afternoon tea, my eyes brighten a wee bit as I see my beautiful, bright, from-me-to-me flowers in the corner of my eye.
As a mental health advocate, this blog is dedicated mostly to my experiences living with depression and anxiety.