This is an apology to the man I was waiting for the bus with this morning.
You were smartly dressed in a grey suit with a briefcase; probably late forties with short salt and pepper hair. You said good morning to me as I arrived at the busstop — a kind and rare gesture.
A couple minutes later, I asked if it was supposed to clear up later today. He hadn't checked, didn't know. He didn't need to know, he explained. He worked in a cubicle investigating credit card fraud. He said this as if he were dismayed with himself. He said he spent some of his youth working outdoors. He turned back to himself perhaps reminiscing about those times. Taking a page from my ex-wife's playbook of interacting with strangers, I asked him the big question.
"What work do you really want to be doing?"
He paused not long at all. "Something with plants and dogs." He brightened up at the thought; at saying it out loud.
"That sounds pretty chill," I said, inwardly cringing at using the word "chill". And not sure how to encourage him without sounding trite or unrealistic. My ex would have said something encouraging and hopeful, but I was not practiced at this. Instead I said something not encouraging.
"...although, I know from experience, dogs can be difficult to work with." My heart sunk after I blurted these words. Just then the bus pulled up and we got on saying no more.
So, sorry man waiting for the number 2. I too need encouragement to follow my dreams. I, too, go to work at a job that doesn't inspire me or utilize my skill or passion.
Next time I see you, I will try to encourage you. I will share my goals and passions, the ones I am working towards, and maybe tell you about this blog.