The Closed Door Paradox
Once upon a time, a man said “When one door closes, another opens.”
This man was Alexander Graham Bell and what he actually said was “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
This summer, I joined the millions of university graduates searching for a career, financial liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in less than a month. It's just as daunting as it sounds– and even more discouraging is the sound of “doors” being shut in your face.
As my inbox filled with returned applications that included phrases like ‘but unfortunately’ and ‘not the best fit’, it was hard to see a bright side. Disappointment begot distress that turned into desperation that grew into delusion.
A delusion that the rejecting HR department was right. I wasn’t the best fit for this particular position and I never may be -- but somewhere out there, I knew there was a position with my name on it.
Toward the end of my career hunt, I came to enjoy the sound of the closing doors. While open doors lead to an unknown world of what-could-be’s, closed doors reflect straightforward no’s or simply not now’s. Each rejection was a step in a process of elimination that would expedite me to finding my own best fit. With persistence, prayer, patience, and even more prayer, an unbelievable door opened that has lead me to experience an opportunity I’d never considered before. In the moment I accepted the position, I was glad that I’d been denied by all the others.
It wasn't a delusion after all. This experience taught me that closed doors aren’t Renaissance paintings worthy of pensive staring and awestruck wonder. Resilience grows when we follow the light of opportunities, even if we’re marching to the rhythm of doors closing behind us.
[cover photo cred ©Visbeen Architects via Houzz]