The work in blossoming

It sounds so inevitable. For flowers, and for some rare people, perhaps it is. For me, and I suspect the vast majority, staying in the bud is what’s inevitable. The bud is so much safer than the peril of blossoming – being exposed takes so much work.

I see plenty of people around me who will never leave the bud. One of colleagues is turning 60 next month. He is a lovely, gentle man with a wry sense of humor. Over the past two years I’ve shared an office with him. I’ve come to understand what he loves. He loves rare wines, good food, music and detective novels. He has a deep attachment to Italy where his father was born. But all of these things only make fleeting appearances in his life, they are not what his life is about. He’s not living in Italy on a vineyard where he longs to be. He is lives in Melbourne, working in a public servant job he is increasingly annoyed by during the day buying an occasional bottle of rare wine he’ll drink a glass of on the weekend. He is living a small version of his life. It’s like he is sitting on a bus looking longingly out the window at the person he knows he should be – as the bus drives away.

My colleague inspires me. I look at him and know that if I don’t take the risks I need to the live the life I want to, I’ll be deeply sad, trapped in a small life. It becomes crystal clear that the risk to remain tight in the bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.

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