I am not the daffodil of the social world, who is the first in the garden to greet the world. I'm not the cucumber, who grows and spreads and produces vast quantities of fruit. I'm not even the bell pepper, who is slow to get started and so picky about conditions that it may or may not give any fruit by the end of the season. No, what I've come to realize is that in the garden of life, I am asparagus.
For those who don't know about growing asparagus, you usually plant a one- to two-year old root. The first year it's planted, it shyly sends a couple very thin and fragile stalks up through the soil. The second year there are more stalks and they are a bit sturdier. By the third year, if all has gone right, the asparagus root becomes a large plant producing edible stalks.
That's me. It takes, on average, 2-3 YEARS for me to become comfortable enough with new people that I start to "bloom." It's funny because after a few years, it's like I've hit some magic condition where I suddenly feel like I belong. My confidence rises, I'm much more willing to put myself out there, and I become a much more productive and participating member of society.
I don't know why God made me this way, or even if He did. Maybe it's just the natural effect of my upbringing and of too much emotional damage. Maybe, with enough therapy, I could overcome some of this seemingly natural tendency. I don't know. And I don't really care at this point. It's enough for me to recognize and accept that this is the way I am. When I'm transplanted, it will take me awhile to bloom, but in the meantime I'll keep pushing my way through the soil and hoping that there are a few gardeners out there who are willing to give me the time I need to grow and produce.