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Bloom Where You Are Planted...Or Leave

Updated on September 27, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.


I have often heard the expression, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” I always liked it because I interpreted it to mean "make the most of your situation wherever you may be." But as of late I have been doing quite a bit of traveling, and I am not so sure I agree with that expression anymore. At least not regarding where you live geographically. I suppose if you don’t have a choice in the matter, it is a good idea to try to bloom where you are planted. But what if where you are planted is a stifling environment for you? What if your roots, so to speak, can’t get enough nutrients where you are? Should you allow yourself to live an existence where you can’t reach your full potential? Should you allow yourself to wither and die? Or, should you pull up those roots and move to another place, a climate either literally or figuratively to which your roots or your soul are more suited?

Bora Bora has an Interesting Way of Life

I recently visited the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora. The tour guide told us that young people there only go to school till they are 16. Then they decide whether or not they want to continue in school, or get a job. In the United States, many youths at the age of 16 know that school is not for them. They would love to quit and go work at a job to earn money to help support their family, or to use their hands on skills to do something of value in this world. But they are encouraged by adults to stay in school, etc. and made to feel quite badly if they don’t. In Bora Bora, many families are happy to live in small homes that in some cases are little more than shacks. But they are in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And their shacks are right on gorgeous bays of bright blue water. As long as they have fishing boats, they are happy because between the fish they catch daily, and the fruit trees in their yards, they have enough food to feed their family. They do not need cars to go off to work but instead use mopeds which require much less gas. Some people do work. They work in the tourist trade or create crafts for tourists to buy to help offset any unexpected expenses that may come their way. If that high school student in the U.S. was born in Bora Bora, it would be the norm at 16 to be done with school.

Amsterdam Has a Different Spin on Things

In Amsterdam, while drug use is illegal, people can go to some coffee shops, buy their coffee, and buy smoking materials such as small amounts of marijuana and smoke it while enjoying the company of good friends. Activities such as this are ignored by the police. In the United States, if this were to happen, the people involved would be ticketed and in some cases arrested for possession and sent to court and possibly jail. Also in Amsterdam, many adults use bikes as their main form of transportation. Not only is this healthier for them and the environment, but it saves them money as well. There is no need to buy a car, register and insure it, pay taxes on it, pay exorbitant prices for gasoline, pay for overnight parking, etc. In the United States, most people that ride bikes as a main source of transportation are looked at as weird, or for being too “green.”If they lived in Amsterdam, they would fit in well with others who have their same belief system.

Another State Might Do the Trick

I am not writing this to convince everyone that they need to move to another country. Another state or another town may do just as well. My friend and her husband love to golf but can’t do it year round in the Northeast. They recently put their house on the market and are going to Florida as soon as it sells. They have been down to Florida and have already found the town they want to live in. They don’t like the cold weather and the snow shoveling that comes with living in New England. Snow is not conducive to either of them being able to bloom, so they are leaving. More power to them I say.

I have lived in Connecticut since the age of three. As I grew up, I realized that I didn’t like it here in this state. It’s too hot and humid in the summer. And I find it boring. Connecticut is flat except for a few hills in the center of the state. And although it is on the shore, it’s on the shore of the Long Island Sound, with no waves on its beaches. Connecticut is a boring state in my mind, and I am not happy here. I am wilting in Connecticut. I am a mountain girl in my heart and finally am learning to stop complaining about being stuck here, and am making plans to move out of state to the mountains as soon as I can take care of wrapping things up regarding real estate here. Mountains make me happy and are cooler than the lower geographic areas. I have decided that now is the time for me to move. I decided that years ago, but there were some family issues that needed to be resolved before I could go. And now those issues have been cleared up. Life is too short not to be where I can bloom. I am picking up my roots and moving to a land that is better suited for my roots and my soul to grow.


In August of 2014, my husband and I moved to the mountains North Georgia, and I am no longer wilting in Connecticut. I am now able to work from home as a freelance writer and eBay store owner. I am finally happy and at peace and the forests and mountains are good for my soul.

Are You Blooming?

How about you? Are you able to bloom where you are planted? Have you been stuck there for awhile with your roots in the soil too shallow to be happy? Is there not enough sunshine to help you reach your full potential? Or do you need to move somewhere else where you can bloom and grow?

If you are planning on moving, here's a great book that helped us get ready to put our house on the market...


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    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Riviera Rose,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I had heard that phrase a long time ago, but I don't use it much. I have seen it on plaques that you buy and hang on the wall. It sounded great for a hub title!

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      8 years ago from South of France

      I hadn't heard that phrase before 'bloom where you are planted' - I love it! Voted up and beautiful.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Dancing Water,

      Your living environment sounds perfect...especially for you. I am trying to get my young adult children to understand this concept, but so far they haven't traveled much. Oh well, there is still hope for them.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Louisa Rogers,

      I love your last statement. Very well said my friend!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 

      8 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      I have lived all over the world and I think the role of environment is HUGE in happiness. We live in the highlands of Mexico part of the year, but maintain a small apt in N Calif, along the coast, because my husband needs water like he needs oxygen. Go to wherever fills your lungs and your heart!

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 

      8 years ago

      I lived overseas for 20 years and have traveled quite extensively, which has broadened my thinking and ways of approaching life. I say, "Viva la difference!" I wish more Americans would travel more outside the U.S._not just for a holiday_but to experience other cultures. I hate to say this, but I think that many are in a rut thinking that there is only one place to live, one way of living, when there are endless possibilities as to how to live ones life.

      At present I live in the mountains, and every day I have a view of water, mountains in the distance, and a panoramic view of the sky. My soul is lifted, inspired daily. I am humbled and grateful for the life I lead here.

      Thank you for a lovely hub that shares a bit of what people who dwell in other cultures experience.

      Blessings to you in your new move!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks so much for your comment. I feel we are kindred spirits in our views on life!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      It is a wise decision to move if in fact you are not blooming. Life is too short to waste one minute. Find the place that speaks to your soul and make it your new home. You sound like you know what you are looking for and that is important. Best wishes to you.Sending Angels to you :) ps

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for your comment. I don't think I would have ever discovered this if I hadn't been traveling recently and realized that some people are just not in environments that make them happy, but if they moved to another location, it would meet their needs much more fully.

    • WriterLi profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      These are some great thoughts. It is very true that some places have better opportunities for individuals, and it's important to find a place that suits your unique needs.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      I am working on it. It takes time to sell a house in these times though and we have 2 to sell. I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel though so that makes things easier. What state did you live in?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Karen, you should follow your heart. If you are not happy, then it may be time to sprout wings and fly. I love the mountains also. We lived at the foot of the Applacians for nearly ten years, it was wonderful! I hope all goes smoothly during your transition.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree with your comment!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      I totally agree with you. I once heard on TV that people are happiest when they can look out and see one thing...the answer was mountains. I too long for the mountains, and although I love the shore, mountains are in my heart. I think a lot of people are born somewhere and feel they are stuck there and that's the end of it. It's too bad because that attitude stays with them and they don't enjoy their lives as much as they could if they could just pluck up the courage to move somewhere that makes them happy! Thanks for your wonderful and thoughtful comment.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      8 years ago from Central Virginia

      Great hub! I think in order to bloom you have to have a love or at least a connection to where you are. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love these mountains and know I would never be really happy living somewhere else. I also love South Dakota and have a strong connection to the land there. I love the ocean and find peace and tranquility there. But, I am most fulfilled and productive when I can look upon the landscape and see my mountains. In my opinion, there is a place that speaks to each of us, where we can reach our fullest potential. We just have to find it. I loved your hub.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I agree although my comment would be a bit more curse than yours. "Stop the whining and do something about it if you don't like it here".

      Great write

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Yes, I think some people are too afraid or are too comfortable in their rut so find it easier to sit around and complain. Not me...I'm going to bloom baby! What's the saying...something like if youa ren't growing, then you're dying?!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Wow, good point you make here. I am glad our ancestors were not content to live in a place where they could not bloom! Yes, traveling can be quite eye opening! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Yes, the whole smoking pot in Amsterdam thing has me a bit blown away. You can smell it as you walk by some of the coffee houses. Connecticut has passed that same law, but nobody's smoking at Starbucks yet! LOL! Loved the 2 meanings!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      David Warren,

      Well David, I hope some day you make it to the Rockies, and till then do your best to bloom in Nevada! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 

      8 years ago from Nevada and Puerto Vallarta

      Great point indeed! I also am from the northeast but currently reside on the edge of the Sierra in Reno, Nevada. I would much prefer the Colorado rockies but due to family concerns will be here for awhile longer, possibly decades. Anyway I am out west and love it although if not for family considerations would likely be somewhere such as Estes Park, Colorado.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      8 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hey, Karen!

      I couldn't help but dwell a bit on the paragraph about people in Amsterdam buying marijuana and smoking it in the coffee shops. It struck my funny bone on two levels--first, because a good deal of my work takes place in coffee shops in my town (and as hellbent as I already am on tomfoolery "on the natch," I can just imagine what a little secondary pakalolo smoke might induce me to behave like); and, secondly, because the glorious state of Washington recently passed the legalization of a small amount of marijuana in one's possession. (My state is legislatively schizophrenic.) Hmm, I didn't intend that last sentence to have two meanings, now that I think about it.

      In any event, or in any state (of mind) I might be in, once again, you've taken wonderful creative liberties and made a very interesting union of the Tahitians, the Dutch, and the wanderlust in all of us. See you the next time I'm jaywalking in Hubsville! : )

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful, Karen! Imagine if all our ancestors insisted on "blooming" where they were, geographically. None of us would be Americans, that's for sure, not even the "natives."

      We are all immigrants.

      I thought that was pretty interesting about Bora Bora and Amsterdam. Isn't it interesting how a little change in perspective can totally rock your world?


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great points Karen! I know people who think they are trapped where they are, and their growth is practically non-existent. None of us are trapped, and another location might be all we needed to bloom as you say.


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