A Foreign Flower

Estelle Bardot

I know what it feels like to be given the privilege to exist freely – but only within a specific range. To be entrapped by the same thing that is the only connection you have to your roots.
A flowers’ stem - it is only able to move in a calculated circumference. It can elongate itself in a storm, stretching itself to its limits, enlarging its diameter, thus allowing it to reach even further distances than if it were just swaying in circular motions, being pushed around by the breeze.
But still.
It cannot extend itself further than the distance it reaches when lying flat on the ground. It is held
captive by the same proof of its own growth, its own strength.
Something others would wear as a laurel, with pride.
I know what it feels like, watching “rivers of opportunity” streaming by in one, solid direction. Knowing that the wider the distance to the other bank is, the more possibilities would find themselves drifting in between, but the further away everything which it wished for was.
On the other side.
And then having my roots carved out, and plopped onto the other side. The place I, a week ago, no, months ago, had longed for so desperately. Now I was expected to fend for myself, develop further, all while looking from afar at the perfect opportunity to establish myself that had drifted up to the other side that used to be my home, could have, would have presented itself as a present, and been received with success.
And then.
My brain tricking myself into thinking how good life had been back there. Telling myself I had made a mistake. Wondering how things would have been different, how things would have definitely turned out for the best.
Thinking I’d taken life there for granted. After all, what could possibly be better than the stability of a school I had gone to for more than nine years? Knowing the same system. The same people. The same landscape. The same trees. The teachers there had been overbearing. We were like family - except we weren’t. The thought that they were under the impression that they knew what kind of a person I was:” the good girl that takes on too much but will still always excel at whatever
she puts her mind to”, when they didn’t even know half of what was going on in my life, disgusted me.
I don’t blame them, though. I didn’t know who I even was myself back then. I used to think the reason I was getting treated that way was because of the clothes I wore, or the fact that I wasn’t up to date with the latest music trends. I felt irrelevant. But that attitude towards me didn’t change, even after changing my style and learning the lyrics of every pop song that had come out since the year 2018 by heart.
Later I understood that those things had never been the problem. It was my personality that was dull, or normal, as they described it. For your information Niels, if you’re the only “normal” one in a class where being “crazy” is cool, then you’re abnormal. Imagine telling a flower it stands out from other flowers because of the plainness of its petals, when all it ever wanted was to create its own pattern and showcase it to the world.
Having to remind myself that no, life hadn’t been good there, that there was, in fact, a reason for which I had wanted to leave. Multiple reasons. I had been lonely. Instead of people I could call my friends, I had classmates.
I had felt a sense of security there. The same one I get from seeing the same towels my Mum has used to dry the dishes since I was born.
Now, I’m just here to vibe. To exist. I’m more in harmony with the direction in which life has pushed me towards. It took a while, learning the difference between being pulled by a collection of circumstances by a seemingly unstoppable force, and being gently nudged towards something some might call fate. But whatever it is, I’m letting it take the reins. I’m floating down the stream of which I don’t know course. And it doesn’t really matter either, because I’m not alone. Other flowers drift in the water beside me. In clumps, it must be admitted, shunning some and embracing others, but it doesn’t matter.
I am part of a clump.

Estelle Bardot is the pen name of a 14-year-old student at a music school in Austria, where she studies piano. She also takes lessons in musical composition, and she is an avid reader of all things thought-provoking and fantastic. Her dream dog is an English Springer Spaniel, with whom she wishes to travel around the world someday.

"Flower in water" by alliessorc is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse.

The Author
Read More
A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!