Are You Growing?

I have a container garden. Mainly because I live in a rental and I’m not really certain for how long with the current real estate market. If I were to move, I like the idea of being able to take my vegetables with me.

Last Halloween my wife’s uncle had gifted us with a few of his giant pumpkins that he had grown in his garden (thanks Ed). November came and went which meant that it became time get those giant slimy things off of my porch. What can I say? They were at least festive before they got nasty!

While straining my back throwing them into the garbage can, I got a handful of slimy seeds. Instead of getting disgusted — mind you that I was already mad about the slime that was already on my pants, I figured, why not keep them and try to grow them? The worst case scenario would be that I’d had failed as a giant pumpkin farmer.

Planting My Garden

Since planting my garden a month ago, I have spent each morning sipping my coffee next to it. Despite planting four pumpkin seeds, two had decided to grow. This meant that there was a need for bigger containers.

During our next shopping trip to Target I was only able to find only one self-watering container on sale. Therefore, I was only able to transplant one pumpkin plant to the bigger container. (Yes, gardening is a small hobby of mine, but when it gets above eight dollars I have to draw the line.) That was about a week ago.

Earlier today while admiring my garden during my waking up period, I happened to notice that the pumpkin plant in the larger container had outgrown its sibling by almost double in size. The two plants had grown at the same pace prior, but now the plant in the smaller container seemed to be significantly smaller; almost as if it had reached its limit. This got me thinking about growth — not growth in plants but in people.

Time to Grow

Six years ago, I was the sole web developer for a vacation rental marketing firm that serviced property management companies. I had reached the stage of complete burnout and needed a change. After a short contracting period on my own, I found myself as an employee at 10up. This was back then I was naive and thought I had known all there was to know about PHP and WordPress. I was wrong. So, so wrong.

During my tenure at 10up, I found that I had not known as much as I thought I did. Each day I learned something new. This allowed me to grow professionally, but also personally. I had come out of my shell; I wasn’t the solo developer any longer and I sure as hell didn’t know everything.

This experience has allowed me to see that we, as humans, need to learn something new each day we are alive. Learning doesn’t stop after school — learning is a daily thing we must do to grow as people. If we find ourselves one day not learning or being challenged, then we must find change. A rolling stone gathers no moss, right? The same with our brains and our professional careers; as Dory from Finding Nemo would say, “just keep swimming”.

Now I want you to think about my pumpkin plants for a minute. Do you suppose that the pumpkin that doubled in size would have done so in its smaller container? I don’t think so. By being in the larger container, it’s roots were able to spread out further and absorb more nutrients in the soil than its counterpart. This resulted in a much larger plant.

I attribute my professional growth to talented and fantastic mentors such as Chris Wiegman, Adam Silverstein, and Thorsten Ott.