Oh, sure, easy for THEM to say.
Have you ever had this conversation with your detailer?
“You’re sending me WHERE?”
(Detailer) “Needs of the Navy, shipmate. There’s nothing I can do.”
“But that’s where careers go to DIE. You are singlehandedly killing my chances of promotion.”
“Bloom where you’re planted.”
It is how a detailer tells you that yes, he knows he is tossing you into the pit of doom, and there are no words to assuage the fact that you both are witnessing the inevitable decline toward the bitter end of your career.
Bloom where you’re planted is a noble thought, as long as you are not the one who has to bloom. I would rather be the flower who gets planted in the rich, nutrient deep soil of, say, Hawaii.
“Jeff is delicate. We can’t just put him anywhere…he would shrivel away for lack of attention. No, let’s put him in a cool, comfortable place where anything can thrive.” That’s the conversation I would like to be a part of.
Instead, I got “Bloom where you’re planted.” Tough luck. Have a nice life after you get out.
But then I found this flower (the one at the top of the article). I don’t know what it is (I’m a guy). It could be a weed, or maybe Columbine. But all summer long I have watched it grow and flourish in my driveway. The closest sprinkler is fifty feet away. The driveway is hot and inhospitable, and yet the flower lives on…even thrives. It has become the manifestation – literally – of bloom where you’re planted, because it has. If I were half the man the flower is, I would have done the same. I would have accepted my orders with enthusiasm and looked for opportunities to excel.
Instead, I pined away in self pity and despair. So now, when I look at the flower, I see a reflection of what I should have been, and am left with the only conclusion a man in my place can draw. There is only one thing left for me to do.
Pull the flower.