You got a wish? Bam! Life gives you the opposite. You set an intention? Boom! The universe immediately sends you in the other direction. This is it, you’re going to start living the dream. Kerplewey! The powers that be turn your dreams into nightmares. You’ve just gotten started and all the signs are leading to a dead-end. Better quit when you’re ahead (or at least not humiliatingly behind), right? I’d totally get it, if you did.
Sometimes the road to your dreams is strewn with dewy buttercups, each containing a golden key to unlocking your in-most wish, but mostly the road is twisty, winding-ee and filled with detours to roadside attractions that are just not all that attractive.
But here’s the thing about those unattractive attractions, they grow on you. Sure, most of them don’t contain actual golden-key baring buttercups, but often the World’s Largest Pothole, Museum and Gift Shop provides the metaphorical key to the next step in your success.
Did you know that I owe my current happiness to taxes? It’s a true fact. I owed some. A lot, actually at least for me. And while the IRS was really clear that they needed to get paid back in the coming year, I was still a little fuzzy on the “how” part. So, I made a resolution. I got out my trusty vision board and did my visualizations, quite convinced that I’d be able to nip this whole debt thing in the bud once I truly believed it was possible.
And it was, and I did. But first, I had to get through the fact that on December 26th, my main client let me know that the project that I thought would go on ad infinitum was was actually going to be finitim, at the end of January. Cherie’s roadblock, 1: Cherie, 0. Since my mother was allergic to my cats and my sister has dogs, running away to home wasn’t an option; instead, I had to deal. So I made the random decision that this reversal in fortune would actually be the best thing that could have happened to me, and proceeded to deal.
And it sucked. Hard. I remember one particularly cold and dark January evening, when as I was listening politely to my friend as she said in that sing-song way Minnesotans have when talking about the weather, that the days were already getting longer (um, it was 5:00pm) that I felt despair as a living thing inside me. As I smiled and nodded, I felt it climb into my throat and sit there with malicious glee as it anticipated my capitulation to it. I knew I had to go on, because, cats and stuff, but the call of despair was strong in me that night.
And then it happened, as I sat in the bottom of the pothole losing the staring contest with despair, I heard my friend asking sweetly, also in a sing-song voice, what kind of jobs was I applying for? Jobs? Apply? Huh? I had been an independent consultant for a couple years by then and was convinced I was unfit for corporate life again. I felt embarrassed, I still feel a little bashful about sharing it even now, but as bad as things were, it had never actually occurred to me to actually look for one. I was considering moving in with my Mother, but jobs? That thought hadn’t occurred to me. “So, jobs! Yes. Lets apply for some,” I thought. What’s the worst that could happen?
As it happens, I never found out. Six weeks, multiple resumes and networking coffees-dates later, I started a fantastic new job at a wonderful company using my favorite skills doing work that mattered - and yes, it was more than enough to pay my taxes. I thank my client everyday for that December 26th detour. The new road I found because of it has such a beautiful view.
How are you going to turn your detours into the path to Awesomeville?