Yesterday I was reminded of a job I had for *just a minute* back in early 2009. About 5 months prior, I had been forced to resign from a company I had been with for 5 1/2 years – right at the peak (or valley, rather) of the recession in 2008. Because jobs weren’t plentiful at that time, I went where I knew they would be hiring (for the holiday season) – retail. And after spending a holiday season as a team leader in retail, I was looking for any way out. It came via a man who wined and dined me to join his small company – a local coupon/discount magazine – as his “Director of Operations”. He promised so many things that I yearned for at the time: money, status and a great title, and the ability to create and streamline business systems. Here is a post heading into that first day on the job:
It’s funny. In looking at this post now, I can almost sense that I somehow knew something was “off” about this job. Sure enough, after just ONE DAY on the job, my post looked like this:
(Remember back then that Facebook was like “Jenny……(fill in the blank)…” – hence why I posted in 3rd person perspective.)
Sure enough, about 5-6 weeks later, I went running out the door and into the arms of retail management. Mind you, I was thankful to have a job, but the next 2 years were some of the toughest of my life. I HATED the retail schedule. Working a different schedule every week that included some late nights, some early mornings, and days off that were in the middle of the week and didn’t coincide with my friends – was very taxing on me. (Of course, I know NOW that it’s because I’m BLUE – and BLUES like routine. To learn more about that, go here.) BUT, if I wouldn’t have left that awful 6-week job, and if I wouldn’t have taken the retail management job, I wouldn’t have met my husband, and I wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter. It means that I wouldn’t have moved to Bristol and made the connections that I needed to get my coaching practice off of the ground. It also means that I probably wouldn’t have this awesome house by the lake, and I wouldn’t yet (or maybe ever) have my own coaching practice.
We’ve all heard cliche statements about “fate” and “karma” or “God’s Plan”. People especially love to throw those phrases at you when you’re down and out and being kicked about by seemingly all aspects of life. It’s supposed to encourage us. And yet, when you are really down and out, it seems to have completely the opposite effect and makes us throw up in our mouths just a little.
Trust me: I get it. I know what it’s like to lose a job and struggle with finances and feel that there is no way out but bankruptcy. I know what it’s like to lose all grandparents before I even reached high school, and both parents before I even reached 40. I know what it’s like to wait for that “special someone” until you are in your mid-30s. And I also know what it’s like to lose a child. I get hardship and the emotions that come with it. And I wanted to throat-punch everyone that said something like, “Everything happens for a reason.”
BUT – I also know what it’s like to come out on the other side – stronger, wiser, and more resilient than ever. And when I look back on the experiences I’ve been through, each one equipped me with a skill, knowledge, or strength that I didn’t possess prior to that experience. Or maybe – in the case of that insane job I had for about 6 weeks – we need experiences to get us back on the track that is intended. Think of them as guardrails or those annoying ridges on the sides of the road that make that terrible noise when you veer off too far. These nasty experiences sometimes exist because we have veered off the intended path, and it takes something that loud or jarring to get us going back in the right direction.
Whether or not you believe in God….whether or not you consider yourself religious or spiritual…..you can’t deny that there is a greater force at work here. Civilization has been telling stories of “fate” or “the force” (for you Star Wars fans) or “yin and yang” or some other greater power or being for thousands upon thousands of years. There is a Greater Plan for all of us. We may not know what it is, and we may not know how we are going to get “there”. But we have to trust that the universe knows what it’s doing. It’s hard to trust – REALLY hard. But sometimes to fight against the intended path only creates more obstacles and distractions and loud noise.
Now, I’m not saying that if you go with the flow of the intended path that everyone will end up rich and famous. But I do believe that,when you are on the right path, things just sort of *happen* – in a good way. Proverbial doors open, opportunities present themselves, and life just feels more in balance. But we have to TRUST “The Plan”.