How Planting a Shallot Helped Me Stay on Course

How-Growing-a-Shallot-Helped-Me-Stay-on-CourseArtboard-1.jpg

I always wanted to have plants at home. One day, I finally decided to get something small that can sit on the desk; a cactus, which I fondly named Cactus. I was taking care of the plant, watering it regularly. After a month, it died a horrible death. The oblique holder hanging on top of my desk dropped right on top Cactus. Cactus broke into two parts, and since then, it never recovered. I tried various things to make it grow back, but alas, I realized I had no green thumb. Eventually, it wilted and died.

I was sad losing Cactus and refrained myself from getting another plant. Even then, the thought of having plants at home still drew me. Whenever I passed by specialty stores, those ready-to-plant kits called to me. Growing them from simple plant formulas couldn't possibly be too difficult right? Brands advertise it as ‘Just water the plant.’ For months, I just looked at them, and promptly walked away every single time. Aside from being scared to lose another plant, they were just so expensive (about S$15 for one tiny pot)!

When I moved to a new rental flat, I found that the place was optimal for housing plants. There was ample space with access to sunlight on the kitchen counter, and there was enough room on the balcony. I told myself, fine. I will begin again. This time, from scratch. And so, two weeks in, I got a small desk-sized pot from Daiso (everybody loves this two-dollar shop), and some regular soil from the hardware store.

New beginnings.

I picked two from the bag of shallots that was on the counter, planted them and positioned the pot by the kitchen window.

Shallot Day 0
Shallot Day 0
Shallot Day 1
Shallot Day 1

I watered it every day before I left for work. Two weeks passed, and I was wondering why nothing was happening. I was asking it why doesn't it grow. (Yes, I was talking to the plant. Please don't judge me.) I was ready to give up. I continued watering and checking up on it every single day, until one day, after three weeks, I saw a green sprout on the bulb. I was in awe!

Shallot Day 21
Shallot Day 21

I lifted the pot to look at it more carefully, and then, I realized that I was such a fool. I was too focused on what was visible to the naked eye. I did not see that a long root was creeping out of the small hole where the excess water would pass through.

Good things take time.

It took a shallot plant to remind me about patience.

Let things settle, and allow some room for growth.

And on that day, I vowed to give it the space it needs. I got a bigger pot and replanted the shallot. After digging, I carefully lifted the plant, keeping the roots intact, and slowly rested it on its new home, covering it with another layer of soil.

Shallot Day 22
Shallot Day 22

Within a week of re-potting, the shallot grew even faster than before, spreading its leaves toward the sun.

Shallot Day 25
Shallot Day 25
Shallot Day 27
Shallot Day 27

And that's how the shallot grew, and how I came to believe that I am on the right track - always pushing forward, even when there is no proof that things are getting somewhere. As with planting, the rewards of my efforts will not come in a week or two.

The outcomes you are looking for will not show up immediately.

You need to plant seeds and water them every day. You need to prepare every single day and show up consistently. You have to weather through the times you put in the effort but see no results. You have to be prepared to take care of your dreams. Because like the shallot bulb, your passion takes some time to settle in its environment and grow from the soil you put it in. As you continue to learn more, practice consistently and prepare for the future, your skills will improve. You will become better at what you do.

Even when you plant the seeds, they may not grow. That's okay.

Do not lose hope. Even if they may not pay off now, you will learn a lot from the experiences. Plant enough seeds and eventually some of them will grow into their full potential.