Anyone that has ever worked with me know to always check behind me after I finish an arrangement with roses. Someone else has to pull the guard petals off because I simply don’t have the heart to. I’ve been fussed on, threaten, but I can not bring myself to pull the most unappreciated petals off.
For those who don’t know, a guard petal is the least attractive outer petal of a rose. It holds the bloom in place, sometimes wrinkled and discolored, it takes the abuse to guard the bloom from loosing its glorious color, and structure. Without the guard petals, a rose would never reach its magnificent magnitude. Yet right before it’s glory is to be showcased, the most hard working piece is pulled off, thrown away as if it never existed.
Im a guard petal. If you were to ask me my biggest flaw, it would be my personality. Most will tell you I’m a great person to be around, I’m a best friend, in fact I have said, “I’m either a stranger or a best friend. There’s no in between.” Ive even been told that I was once described like this,”Whitney is the best. Even when you treat her like crap, she will still be there when you need her. She’s a ride or die.” I think that was a compliment.
See, I love to love people. I want folks to feel seen, heard, and loved. Even if it’s just for a second of a meeting. To be intrigued by someone else’s interest gives me a view of their world that no one else would ever get to see. I have a large ray of friends, people I keep up with from kindergarten, one of my closest friends is a guy that lives in Hawaii that I have only seen in person about 5 times, yet he’s one of my favorite people that I love to talk with about life and ambitions. I fell in love with a band named Minus the Bear because of a friend. I learned the English translation of Sarced hearts by the civil wars because of a friend. I’ve learned cooking techniques, cleaning techniques, the best wines, the best restaurants, travels, speakers, authors, musicians etc., all because of friends. Friends in which no one would have ever seen us together, I stick out like a sore thumb around because I’m nothing like them. But I love them. Some are hardcore liberals, some are hardcore republicans. Some are very strict religious people, some are atheists or agnostic. Some of homebodies, some are world travelers. Some are very country, some are very Metropolitan. Different races, different lives, different beliefs. All beautiful souls.
Yet it’s my biggest flaw.
I admire people that can walk pass someone that won’t speak and they never think another thing about it. But my empathy level won’t let me, something is wrong and that person needs to know, they are not alone. What do they need? To talk about it, or be distracted?
Something I rarely talk about is my constant fight with depression and anxiety. It’s a unseen battle that no one understands. It has open my eyes to the pain of being in a completely full room and feel so alone. The agony of speaking to only be cut off or ignored. The constant feel of disappointment. Pains in which I would never want anyone to feel.
Most say another has to earn their trust, I unknowingly, give trust until it’s broken.
This is such a huge flaw. Simply because it will always be broken, eventually. Everyone leaves, everyone throws shade, everyone eventually moves on and throws me to the side, just like those guard petals.
My biggest flaw is I am the friend I wished I had. I wish I had my own guard petals.
Even though the rose goes on to bloom, flourish in its short life, the guard petal must know it played a great deal in the roses success of being glorious.
Ive never had a constant friend that I could call at any moment to talk through my anxiety and depression without being met with some harsh judgement. That’s why I hang on to the smallest details of someone’s conversation, if I can’t help fix the problem, I can plant seeds of positivity. Positive I was listening, positive that I saw you and I’ll fight for you. Because that’s what I want in a friend.
Shockingly, that’s not the friend that everyone wants. Some just want the guard petals gone, no need for them. Some want the guard petals for a short time.
I am that guard petal, some may need me, some may not. I’m the least attractive kind of friend. But I’m always ready to guard the bloom. I have spent nearly my whole life trying change, trying to not care so much. But I have come to realize that this a quality that is lacking throughout the world and God blessed me with the ability love people, even when they don’t love back. I’m a very damaged guard petal and I’m learning to be grateful for these beautiful connections even when they don’t connect back. I’m a guard petal, never to be a bloom. I’m so grateful to be a guard petal.