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Article by Wendy McCance
I am one of those people who believes that when things don’t go the way you were hoping, it’s because it wasn’t right for you. I have seen this way of thinking play out for me, my family and friends over the years time and time again. I also believe that when something really bad happens that throws your life into a tailspin, what comes out on the other side will be unexpected, but simply incredible.
Maybe you are sitting there reading this article and shaking your head in disbelief. Looking back, I can’t tell you exactly when I began to see things in this way myself. I think I was in my 30’s before I started seeing a very distinctive pattern that made me look at bad times differently.
Just the other day I was talking with a friend who had landed what she thought was her dream job. Months of frustration trying to find a job that would work around a busy family life and she found a job that promised that she could work from home when needed and the hours would work well with the juggle of having kids.
After two interviews, she was let down when she found out the job went to another candidate. My friend continued to look for a job, but the one she lost nagged at her. It became her mantra to say if only and then talk about the virtues of the lost job.
Several weeks had passed and one day, out of the blue, she got a call from the company she had pined so hard for. A job had opened up and they hadn’t forgotten her. Would she like the job?
My friend was over the moon with excitement. She began working for the company and within a few weeks was miserable. Other job offers had been rolling in, but she had been insistent that the job she wanted so much would be her everything job.
It turned out that the hours were long. She worked past dinnertime and missed helping the kids with homework. The amount of work was intense and overall, the job was tailor-made for a person with no outside responsibilities. Just full dedication to the job and nothing else.
It was sad because my friend had been straight-forward in the interviews letting the hiring managers know she had a family that would need her time as well. The managers seemed fine with it and said they understood, they had families too. She was misled as to what would really be expected of her and she ended up having to leave the job. Her home life had been thrown into chaos because of the long hours she was putting in.
When I spoke with my friend, two things came to mind. She had other offers that she had wanted to pursue and now she could. Everything had fallen in her lap simultaneously. All that hard work looking for a job for several months had created a windfall of opportunities. What was really incredible to think about was that the job wasn’t meant for her. She didn’t originally get it. A summertime of wishing for that job and it actually appeared. For her, she got quite a gift. She got to put her mind at rest by finding out what the job was really like. Working for the company, she was able to understand why it really hadn’t been the best choice for her. The way the universe worked by denying her the job to begin with should have been enough. But, at least she understands now why it wasn’t what she was meant to do.
If I had more time and I wouldn’t bore you with endless examples, I would make a list of all of the times I have seen something similar play out in my own life. It’s happened so often that I now get excited when something doesn’t go the way I anticipated it going. There is always something better that comes next. And, like my friend, I have had those wishes for something I thought would be a dream come true. Later, finding out just how wrong I was.
My advice to you? When dark moments appear, take a breath and be reassured that there is a reason something didn’t work out. You might not have the good fortune to find out why it wasn’t a good choice (as my friend did) but, something better will show up. The trick is to have a little faith, keep plugging away and keep your eyes open for what’s next.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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