Lately, I have been immersing myself in words and stories around finding courage. It comes to me at a time I need it most. Read: This new chapter in my life has me self-doubting all the friggin time. My quantitative side thinks a pit in your stomach may positively correlate with growth and self-purpose; I’m still working on the final numbers.
So I came across Alexander Graham Bell’s famous quote: “When one door closes, another door opens.” If I may paraphrase ever so slightly, I believe he was reminding us to stop the wallowing, and look for other opportunities already.
Basically when you find yourself at a closed door, a stop, a no, or an end, you need to look for the ‘another’ option or door. The idea being that perhaps even a better door waits, one that is adorned with a wreath, and ‘thresholded’ (can I make that a verb?) with a welcome mat. Yes, the ‘another’ door always, always, is waiting. It has to be, or else we would all be wondering halls for the rest of our lives.
All that said, let us consider something. Maybe the person behind the closed door is in the furthest room upstairs, or heck, in the washroom. Maybe that person needs time; time to get down to the door, look through the peep hole, and finally open it for you. Maybe you left too soon.
Is there a standard measure of time from moving to one proverbial door to another? I often think people give up on one path too quickly.
Keep trying, are obvious words of wisdom I know, but not always easy to do, especially in today’s world; a world, where our attention is tested constantly; a world based on immediate and abundance. Are we almost too quick to give-up so we can a) forget one goal and find another more easily attainable one, or b) just find a work around? Both hold merit in growth by the way, as they are destined to be a part of the journey.
The idea of not taking no for an answer, does have its perils. I mean sometimes the answer will always be no, and the process of trying is hurting you – hope can leave scars if you let it. Or sometimes tenacity turns to annoyance, turns to ‘blocks’, turns to restraining order! Um, that is definitely overkill. As per Mr. Bell’s idiom, it is important to have the sense and knowledge that other paths do exist. Just don’t give up without a fight. This oh, so, obvious but rather challenging concept, is near and dear to my heart in various aspects of life.
My first employer and now very good friend still laughs at my hiring story. She had no intention of interviewing me, let alone hiring me. But she, along with my would-be, future colleagues had to meet me. You see I was the kid graduating from University who had submitted a resume for a job opening. I was the kid who called and asked if they received that resume, and asked WHEN they were starting interviews. I was the kid who called and said I had another job offer but was WAITING for my interview with their company, before I made a final decision. Who does that? Apparently the kid they hired is who.
Believe me, at that point in my very green life, it had nothing to do with being audacious or leading with extreme confidence at all. It was purely naive and logic based. See, I knew I would be a good fit, and I really wanted the interview to learn more about the company before I took another offer. I had to knock on the door that wasn’t opening.
When my marriage was in turmoil, I astounded many a people with my tenacity for logical answers, problem solving and hope. I refused to believe the unexplainable until it hit me in the face like a hardball. We all know that door slammed closed. Clearly my plans had to change. Now do I think trying was futile and wasteful? No, the fact that I tried helped me with acquiring knowledge, comfort and the time I needed to start my new journey; a place that landed me here.
And here I am, in the act that has inspired these very words. I am sending my printed guided journals to THE independent publisher and distributer I am hoping to work with. They publish and distribute the most unique, funny, beautiful books and journals. Oh, did I forget to mention that I already sent them my manuscript idea last year, to which they declined? How is that for tenacious or naivety, or both? For many reasons I feel compelled to knock at their door, another, time.
Regardless of what happens, the take away is simple. When a door closes you get a battle-ram; no, no, you don’t. You assess your goal, arm yourself with new knowledge, passion, and yes, maybe a dash of audacity. With all of that, you keep trying to make purposeful decisions towards that goal. And who knows, maybe it will open that once locked door, or perhaps more doors than you even imagined.