Buy Your Own Roses

Molly & Mae 2010

Molly & Mae 2010

I haven’t published an essay-type post in a long time – not since my father died, in fact. When I first started blogging, stories about my life were my go-to write-up, but they’ve become more difficult for me to do than any other kind of article on my blog. I think that’s because digging deep creates a rift in my emotional veneer. I run the risk of opening a vein that I might not be able to close.

I used to search my past and mine the present for moments to share that I hoped might resonate with others. But when I lost my dad, I stopped. Why? Because it became easier to pass on practical facts than to hunt through my feelings. Every memory led back to my dad. Every thought seemed to link to the fact that he was gone.

So I stopped going there.

We’ve all lost someone, through death or personal choice or our behavior, or theirs. People drift in and out of our lives. Sometimes the leaving – or the loss – is a reminder that there is only one constant, and it comes down to this:

I am all there is.

I am my best friend, my sister, my mentor, my cheerleader and my muse. I need to depend on me. Regardless of the friends, family, partners, parents and coaches who enrich my life, I’m the one driving the bus. I cannot depend on others to give me strength.

Even when we do have a wonderful, supportive “tribe” around us, they won’t always be able to speak exactly the right words to rocket us out of a depression or make us laugh when we crave it or patiently listen to our complaints every time we need an ear. They – like us – are not perfect, and it isn’t reasonable or fair to expect them to be otherwise.

Sometimes on a day when we’re wallowing in self-pity, someone steps into the void and drags us back with the perfect words or a classic textbook speech or a flawlessly delivered anecdote that helps us see we’re not alone in that moment. But we can’t rely solely on outside forces to make us happy, bring us success, or whisper the perfect words of encouragement every time we need it.

When they can, it’s golden. But when we expect to be saved, that’s when we enter the danger zone. That’s when we’re looking for something outside ourselves to solve our problems. That’s when we need to remember that essentially we are alone in this.

It’s up to us.

Writers have an advantage. We can create fictional people who have the abilities we desire. So I write men who can have the tough conversation and not walk away. I write women who are flawed but smart and willing to “get” the hard lessons, and I have a theory that pieces of each character reside within me. I mean the good parts, the super powers I can tap into. And as I write these imaginary friends – like borrowing a coat – I try on their strengths.

And boy, does it feel good.

So don’t wait for the world to make yours right. Don’t wait for someone to congratulate your success or offer empathy for your melancholy and bring you flowers. Be your own cheerleader, your own white knight. Make your own music. Speak your own truths about success and self-worth and the fact that life is good and even better days are coming. Tell yourself you deeply deserve the great day you just had.

Don’t depend on others to shore you up. Become your own muse, your sister, your coach, and your best friend.

Buy your own roses.

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39 Responses to Buy Your Own Roses

  1. Donna June Cooper May 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    *stands up and applauds*

    • Molly Greene May 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      Donna, you made me laugh and I so appreciate your applause. Thank you!

  2. Karleene Morrow May 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    Nice, Molly, exceptionally nice. xoox

    • Molly Greene May 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Thanks so much, Karleene!

  3. Kim May 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm #


  4. Gerry May 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks Molly, I just needed it 🙂

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      Thanks, Gerry – so did I. Mwah!

  5. Debbie Johansson May 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    Good post and perfect timing on this post Molly, as I’ve come to the same conclusion myself these past few days. Well said!

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      Thank you so much, Debbie. I hope we all gain the strength we need, when we need it. Best to you!

  6. Jen Donohue May 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    You’ve articulated so much of how I’ve felt after my dad died. My memories feel that way. Writing is a lifeline, even when it hurts.

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      Thank you Jen, I’m sending hugs to you!

  7. OpinionsToGo May 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    Great post…a very important post! Having grown up with parents, who were not emotionally available, I’ve been taking care of business for a very long time. I guess, in a way, I’m grateful to my parents, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, if they weren’t who they were.

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:09 am #

      Exactly! We have a lot to be grateful for – thanks so much!

  8. elaine pinkerton coleman May 26, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    I love the idea of being my own cheerleader. Have been thinking in the same way lately, both with writing and doing more advanced hiking (rock climbing and more daunting terrain). It does feel good. Especially exhiliirating to create characters that have one favorite qualities. My protagonist, Arundati, is ME in another lifetime!

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:12 am #

      Elaine, how exciting re: the adventures you’re taking on! And it’s great to hear that my author friends feel the same way about their characters. I often wish my Gen Delacourt was with me in real life!

  9. Tracy L May 27, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    I really love this post. It resonates with me because I always write about my life on my blog and now that I just recently lost my mom, it’s all I want to write about! There are so many things I am learning through the grieving process and it has a huge effect on one’s life. I’m not looking for someone to buy me roses so much as I am working through my emotions. Yet of course I’m sure my readers want me to write about something else! So, I keep trying and hoping that with time, I can move on to different topics. Regardless, we should always, always buy ourselves roses! Go Me is a great motto to hold on to.

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 7:15 am #

      Ah, Tracy, you opened up and I shut down. I think your experience of working through your emotions via writing was the healthier way to go. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. And by the way, “Go Me!” is my new favorite mantra, thanks!

  10. Kathryn May 27, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Molly, I think of my Dad everyday. He made me a strong writer (he was an editor). And now I am writing fiction and I’m liking it. I like my stories and he’s often in them. I’m cheering myself on. Still keeping the day job for a while, though. And thank you for the encouragement you send us in your blog.

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Thank you, Kathryn! I think of my Dad every day, too, and I try to “channel” him as much as possible – he was calm and patient and consistent, and I miss him so much! Thank you for your lovely comment and keep writing!

  11. Patricia Sands May 27, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Well stated, Molly. This is so often a lesson learned through a loss of someone we love. IMHO, it’s a lesson that should be shared with all girls as they are growing up. We need to believe there is ALWAYS someone on whom we can rely … and that someone is our very own self! I didn’t learn the lesson until I was widowed when I was 43 with two young sons. From that day on I knew I had to believe in and depend upon myself and in time I did. Having a wonderful support network of family and friends is a bonus but knowing the buck stops with you is SO empowering! There is a liberation that comes with that realization and it can and should be shared with others. Thank you for sharing your power here. I love your closing ~ “BUY YOUR OWN ROSES!” AMEN, SISTA!

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Thank you so much, Patricia! Even though I’ve been single for a long time, it took years for me to stop feeling sorry for myself and start to revel in my abilities. And I still slip back into self-pity once in a while, but now I ALSO have days when I tell myself I’m a rock star. Life is good!

  12. Patricia Sands May 27, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Molly, I hope you celebrate yourself every single day when you wake up. Life is so short and we are so blessed to live in the parts of the world we do, with the opportunities available to us! I probably sound like Pollyanna half the time but I’m not about to stop! You are a rock star!

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      I DO count my blessings every day when I wake up, that’s for sure. And it’s good to be a Pollyanna, thank you so much!

  13. Kristy Harvey May 27, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks for a beautiful post, Molly! I have been a long-time follower of yours and always love your blogging advice. But your life advice might be even better! It’s so very true. I’m going to go buy my own roses now! xo

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Kristy, thank you so much, you’re all making me feel so wonderful. Go buy those flowers!

  14. Carrie Ann Lahain May 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    I loved this post. It’s real and brave. But the “blue” period you’ve passed through has its value, too. It has allowed you to step back and reassess. We all need those times of intense (if invisible) personal growth.

    Our need to lean on others also waxes and wanes with circumstance. It’s natural when we suffer a loss or face a serious challenge to cling to others. My husband is battling cancer. While I’m about as introverted as they come, there are times when my anxiety is only bearable if I’m around others. I need them to tell me over and over again that everything will be okay. In the end, though, I’m left with myself–my fear, my grief, my choice to get on with living no matter what. Just as my husband ultimately faces his illness alone–even with me right at his side. I guess it’s the hard part about “Be”ing human. No one can do it for us even if we wish they could.

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      I love this blog, Carrie, because of the wonderful people like you who take time to read my scribblings and reply with messages of pure strength and love and compassion. I can’t tell you how much what you’ve written has helped me see both sides of it all, and I wish you all the best in your own battle. I know that you know the people you love would take on part of your burden if they could. All the best to you, and our love to your husband. Our thoughts are with you.

  15. Herb Silverman May 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Dear Molly:

    Your article today was both touching and powerful. Your thoughts about not giving up and re-examining your feeling and emotions were very enlightening. Which you have, (and hopefully, I can achieve over time, too) is not only the passion for what you are trying to accomplish, but also the serenity you have achieved so far. Good for you!

    • Molly Greene May 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Thank you so much, Herb! If I can do it, you can do it too.

  16. Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever May 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Beautiful, raw! xo

  17. Cindy O. Herman May 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Molly, Wow! What a post. Look at how you’ve touched people.

    One of my favorite quotes, by George Eliot, is, “What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

    Sharing your journey through difficulties has made life less difficult for others. Thank you.

    • Molly Greene May 29, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Cindy, I love that quote – thank you so mcuh for sharing and for your lovely message!

  18. Darlene Deluca May 29, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Absolutely! Friends and family are important, and having supportive people in your life is great, but the bottom line is, you can not depend on others!

  19. Jason Kong May 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Beautifully written, Molly.

  20. L. Darby Gibbs (Elldee) June 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Molly, I stepped on your post and road it to the end. All you had to do was mention losing your father and I was right with you. Lost my own nine years ago. Some days feels like nine days. His words echoed behind yours. Thank you for that magic moment. I think I better run out and buy roses.

    • Molly Greene June 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Hey there, Elldee, I bet yesterday was a tough day for both of us – so glad you found my post, and thank you so very much for your lovely comment. I hope you bought those flowers!