DisturbingClarity… from the Garden

Every season is a chance for a new beginning. A chance for success and a chance for failure. And they will come. Some failures will seem insignificant. Some will floor you. Some successes will seem small and unimportant. Some will leave you with a renewed sense of purpose. But every season is an opportunity for improvement on the last.

Hardships will come and death is imminent, but we must try. We must continue. We have to care and love.

An untended garden looks untended. The signs are all around. Weeds are inevitable. They will always come. Pluck them out while they are small but be diligent. Some weeds are beneficial. It’s important to do your best to identify them early. Pluck them out and get rid of them if they serve no purpose. Relocate them to a safer place if you want to keep them but they’re choking out something purposefully planted. You are in control.

Each day go out and see the growth, the damage, the thirst, the bounty. Serve it. Recognize it for what it is. Call it by its name. Be grateful and glad, humbled or sad if that is what the moment calls for.

Each day we start anew with dreams and goals and plans. In the beginning you doubted every step. You agreed with them when they said you would probably fail, but you did it anyway. And now you have the confidence to break new ground and start fresh. You know when and how to pluck things out of each space in your garden where you don’t want them to grow. You have the knowledge and bravery to let some things you didn’t plan happen anyway and the freedom to allow yourself to be excited about their possibilities.


Just open your eyes each day and remember that journey you’ve taken so many times that often began with fear, loneliness, self-doubt and ended in joy and bounty. Do that, and each season remind yourself that this is the beginning of something new. Recognize the challenges and anticipate the hard work.

Remember the pride of the harvest and the laughter over shared meals and all the good things you are going to get to make out of it. Some things will immediately be consumed but you will have extra. Extra to share and to save. Extra to turn into something completely different and useful. To use as a teaching tool when you have the opportunity.


Soon the ground will be frozen again. The soil will be cold and barren in some areas. That’s ok, it just means you need to see to other important things and wait in faith that your favorite things will come back around.

img_3658Everyone’s garden looks different but there isn’t one single person who cannot benefit from tending his own. What do you have? A small container on the balcony or in the windowsill? Plant what you hope will grow there. It will be enough. It will be something where there once was nothing. You can say, “I grew this,” “I am proud of this”. You can reach out if you get into trouble and ask for help. Ask anyone you can find. Don’t take just anyone’s advice though. Mind your instincts and be patient. Some things take a long time to come to fruit. Sometimes they’re beautiful. They are sweet and perfect and truly something special.


The hard truth is though, they aren’t always worth the trouble that you put in. Sometimes they just don’t work out. And my best advice to you is, make damn sure you get something out of the journey or the season will seem to have been wasted. You will be hurt and bitter, maybe resentful or sad. Maybe all of it.

But did you know that it’s ok to be sad. When you’ve taken the time and given the love and effort and it just doesn’t work out in the end, why shouldn’t you be sad? But be sad and grateful for the knowledge. Be humbled and excited about what you could do differently next time.

Did something get in and destroy your whole crop this year? Do you need to build a new fence or just repair a spot in the old one? Do that. It doesn’t matter if you got lazy and did something careless. If you didn’t know you needed to make your fence stronger this year than it was last year.

You are not responsible for predicting what everyone else will do. Just learn from it. Make sure intruders know you have your boundaries clearly marked. Get back up and dry your tears and put the pieces together a little differently this time. And go try again.

There are some things that other gardeners in my area grow every year and they have beautiful harvests. Some things that I have tried several years in a row to grow and failed. It just isn’t meant to be for me and my garden. It was disappointing at first but at least now I know. I still keep planting them hoping they will surprise me and grow well, but I don’t spend any time worrying over them anymore.


I plant other things I know will grow here because they always do. And each year I plant something new and experimental just to see if I can. What will it be this year? I haven’t decided. It’s too late to start some things. I know this. That’s what all the books say. That’s what my gardener friends or mentors will tell me. But I also know that my whole life has been a series of the world under- estimating me, telling me I can’t or I shouldn’t. So, I might try it anyway, just to see if I can.



Enjoy the time you spend making the callouses my friends. Let them heal for a season and start again. You and your garden are worth the daily watering, every day you got up just a little early to beat the heat, every fence you built to protect what’s yours, every repair you’ve made to the landscape and every tool you’ve bought that you bought because you needed it for one specific purpose. All worth it. Pay attention and enjoy.




~Karen Bradberry

Hi! I am the owner and sole writer for “DisturbingClarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.disturbingclarity.com. I began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like myself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. I have also found myself writing about food and gardening and living your best life! I hope you enjoy these articles and please feel free to make suggestions. I would love to hear your ideas!



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Make nutritious, protein-packed versions of the classic comfort food.
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Traveling Links 


To be continued 

Once upon a time I went away. I went away to reinvent myself. I went away to find out who I was where no one already knew the answer. 

Growing up in a small town never allowed me the luxury of feeling like I could be myself. I wasn’t anything outrageous, I just didn’t fit in. It’s a real shame that so much of who we become is based on what other people decide we are. It’s too bad I didn’t figure a lot of it out sooner. I’m jealous of those people who do. 

I came back home to be near family, family I still rarely see. My father, and the last of my parents, passed away only a few months after I moved back to be closer to him. Why didn’t I just stay to begin with? Why did I have to miss out on all the advice he could’ve given me just to run off and discover myself?

By the time I was 25 I had lived in 5 different states and accomplished nearly nothing. I still haven’t written a book, I’m still in school. I’m still trying to figure it all out and I have a lot of regrets about a lot of wasted time.

Every morning I still wake up with the urge to run. The only difference is, now, I have people I would take with me. I will probably always be a flight risk. That’s not very settling, I know. 

Today I wish I had never moved back home and uprooted my daughter from a place where she was thriving to bring her back here. (So much for small town sentiments) I don’t really know what to do with that regret and that guilt. I keep waiting for the tides to turn so I can say it was all worth it. I keep waiting for people to drop their double standards and give a kid the break they got. Because I truly believe, there is not one person, of all the people who so pretentiously wag their fingers in her direction, who would be in the position to do so if all the cards were on the table. 

Not every blog post is full of universal truths. As a matter of fact, I hope this doesn’t ring true for anyone else. If you live in a bubble where it all works and it all makes sense, and double standards don’t rule the universe, stay there. I’m envious.

Lactose Intolerance Diet: The Best Cheeses to Eat if You’re Lactose Intolerant – Thrillist


Jamaica 2017

Outlander – Voyager 

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Scenery, Bluefields Bay Villas, the Hermitage



Imperfect Parent- You are not alone…

Ok, so I know this is a travel and health site I have created here, but who needs to get away from reality and be exceptionally good to ourselves every now and again more than parents? I want people to understand that there is more to me than my last funny vacation blog, last song I wrote, my job, where I buy my organic veggies and where my band is playing next. So please, if you are an imperfect parent, or know one, please continue reading that my experience won’t be lost with my passing.

I Apologize 

Sometimes people just do bad things. It doesn’t have to mean they had shitty parents or a crazy home life. It doesn’t have to mean that kind of behavior was seen or condoned in the home. In fact, in hindsight and in regard to all the times I may have passed judgement on a person’s parents because of their own atrocious behavior, I owe a few apologies.

Perfect Children

I hope my struggles will help someone else, because I don’t want anyone else to have to feel so alone. Like they cannot identify with anyone in their peer group because their peers have perfect scholarship children who come home on holidays and actually show their parents they love and appreciate them. I’m not knocking that kind of child, we all want that.

You Should Put in the Effort Anyway 

What I am saying is that many many of us did put that kind of time and effort into our children and had the same hopes and dreams and the same blood and sweat sacrifices were made, but our children decided to go against it all.
Sometimes we kid ourselves or listen to others tell us, “if you just put in the time” “if you just put in the effort” “if you stay home and be constantly present” “if you go to work and set a good example” your children will follow a righteous path and all your dreams and wants for them will be realized.

Guess What!? 

Well, no. That would imply that life was fair and deserving people always rise to the top. I should know this. I know a ton of people who are so wealthy, they never have to wonder where their next Louis Vuitton bag is coming from, have been spoiled their whole lives and turned out shitty. I know people who don’t have a pot to piss in and treat everyone they meet like gold and always have, but still struggle. Life is not fair. Deserving people don’t always or even often get what they deserve. Why should I think that would not apply to child rearing? The desire to leave a legacy through the good works our children carry on after we die, does not guarantee their realization.

My Decisions Probably didn’t Matter that Much. I gave myself too much credit. 

You can pick apart my life, my decisions to move around and experience the world, to not stay with people who mistreated me, to sing in a band, to not join a church, to live without credit cards, to sometimes put myself first, to not buy my kids a million gifts all the time, to refuse to let them sleep over at people’s homes, to spend too much money on organic food that could have been spent on things they could play with and I could trip over … all the good and the bad decisions… none of them should result in this phase of my life where I wonder each night and day if I will see my child alive again. And if you’re going through this, then I just want to tell you that there are other decent parents out there who raised their children void of any major traumas or abuse, who are also hurting right now. I don’t know what to tell you to do about it. But I want you to understand and find peace in the fact that you are not alone.


Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Really Traveling”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.clearlyiamdisturbed.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: clearlyiamdisturbed@gmail.com
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