Thursday, May 10, 2012

Openings

Grand Opening

This morning as I gazed at the new gaping hole in my bedroom ceiling that brings me closer to my new upstairs neighbor in ways I never expected nor desired, I started to think about openings and connections and their roles in both our daily living and the overall course of our lives.  This is a topic close to home, not only because of the unwanted addition to my bedroom d├ęcor, but because as many of you know, I’ve been seeking employment for the past several weeks, and when looking for a good job that not only pays the bills but also leaves your dignity intact and your spirit free, it’s all about openings and connections.

Patience and Panic

For a long time I’ve had a heightened sense of the phenomenon of cause and effect in my life, the little choices and circumstances, both of my own making and those beyond my control or knowledge, that have brought me to certain pivotal points, what we all think of as being in the right place at the right time.  For me this has always been a long tortured and twisted process, with many instances of wrong places and wrong times required to get me where I was meant to end up all along. Of course, I don’t have the benefit of that perspective until I have actually arrived at my destined end, and every step along the way is, at the time of the stepping, an agony of raised and fallen hopes, a rollercoaster ride in which willed patience alternates with helpless panic. 

Help Wanted

Today my third attractive job prospect since the Great Seeking began has vanished into thin air. I am encouraged by the fact that jobs do seem to be opening up, usually appearing just after the last one slips from my fingers and the cycle of despair and hope begins anew, and that I have even made it as far as an interview resulting in placement on the top candidate list, but offers I have had none.  And for every job I don’t get, I am keenly aware that there is someone else out there who did get the job, whose life has just changed, whose rollercoaster ride is over, and that my loss is directly connected to their gain.  And I’m okay with that, because the second I didn’t get the job, I knew it was not mine to get.

Door With My Name On It

It isn’t as simple as “one door closes and another opens,” though this is indeed true of the patterns of my progress in any number of important ventures. So many times, it took a rejection or disappointment to galvanize my resolve or force me to invent and pursue an alternative plan which proved successful. I think of all the doors I discovered that opened for me, doors seemingly waiting for me, with my name on them, doors I would never have seen had I not been shut out by those other locked and impassable ones. It may have been easier, but where would I be today if only x had said yes instead of no?  And what of the person to whom y said no in order to say yes to me? 

Interconnected

Much like my upstairs neighbor who had no idea that her faulty plumbing was causing rain showers in our bedroom, most of us go through life not thinking about how connected we are to our fellow human beings. We are often surprised that our words and deeds affect even our nearest and dearest, much less all the faceless nameless people out there whose lives can be altered because of the decisions and directions we take.   Filmmakers have played with this idea for decades – the endlessly postponed meeting between characters who are already connected without knowing it, missed because of one lapse of attention or timing, the multiple versions of one person’s history, set in motion by the smallest change in action or attitude, the speculative visions of how utterly different life would have been had one seemingly unimportant person not been born.  One day you are not there to do this, and so, that happens instead, and then a whole series of happenings ensues, spreading like roots from trees separate on the surface but interconnecting underground.  

Vacancy

When a job opens up, it usually means that someone who previously occupied that position has moved on. That moving on provokes a whole flurry of activity they may never be aware of. When I have left jobs behind, I have always wondered what that opening meant to the person who eventually filled it, just as I’ve always wondered about the sequence of events that led to the previous tenant vacating the apartments that opened up at just the right time in the right place for me to claim them as my own and what happened, what changed before I arrived or after I left.  Or in another example, the separate winding paths of heartache, each of them joined to other paths, that lead two people meant to be together to find each other.  It’s comforting in a way to think that we are all so intimately connected and dependent on each other, that if nothing is happening in some area of my life, it is simply because my next crucial sequence of events hasn’t happened yet, or hasn’t quite reached me yet. 

The Search Continues

So, I’ve had three jobs elude me, and out there three lives will change because these doors were theirs to open not mine. But meantime the pursuit and release of each of these job prospects has made me rethink exactly what I’m looking for, revising my search strategy and goals in a way that will prepare me for that final opportunity with my name on it.  I’ll know then that it had to happen just this way, and not just for me.  Everything happens for a reason and in its own time.  In place of the ugly gaping hole overhead as I sleep, there will soon be a new smooth clean white surface  – and no more indoor storms.


25 comments:

  1. I can fully relate to this post and am intrigued by your way of narrating it. It's all in the way we look at things. I have too been out of work for months at a time, and in turn felt disheartened by every knock back I got, despite the fact I was up against hundreds of other applicants. When one is an artist, one must make art, and that is that. You are an artist. And you are making art. This blog post is an example. It would be a wonderful application for a job in itself. Maybe you do see that, maybe not. But we needn't look as far as we think, I have found... those gaps are openings, and maybe do not need to be filled, just explored, walked through, to whatever draws you in, and connects you ... even if you stay in the same spot and get there in your mind. Just my thoughts. I love this post. Thank you for sharing. In fact, I love your blog - and although I don't comment all the time I am always eagerly reading. x

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    1. Greetings Louise! You could not have picked a better time to emerge from your mostly silent following and leave a comment! Right after I posted this I was wondering how many people, other than the faithful few who continue to comment regularly, actually read what I write lately and get anything out of it, and am I just whispering to the wind? And here you are, as if you heard that whisper - talk about connections! Even better that it comes from someone who does as beautiful work as you do.

      I think I write to get somewhere when I feel stuck in some spot, it's a way of taking control of a situation, making sense of it, which changes nothing but also changes everything. But the icing on the cake is when someone else can sympathize with what I've set down. It's more than just gratifying to my writerly ego that I've produced a good effective piece of writing, it's deeply moving and invigorating and grounding to my soul as well, to know these connections are possible, are in fact there all along even when silent or invisible. Many many thanks!

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  2. Hey G
    Long time no see!! : ))) I do believe *when one door closes another opens* or as my mom would say....*when one door closes a wide window opens*....lol. I think that's because she's French and that's how she translated it in her head.
    Good luck with the job hunting. I'm sure that the right thing will come along at the right time.
    xoxo

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    1. What a masterpiece you have created in this illustrated prose poem. Your interconnected image summed it up so well for me. Each action, or non action DOES affect others, often in ways we cannot see.
      I hope so much that the next door is for you and not only leaves you with bills paid and dignity and integrity intact, but that it leads you down exciting and unexpected byways.

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    2. Thanks Manon for the good vibes - long time no see indeed! Hope all is well with you.

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    3. EC - I wish more people understood how their actions affect others, directly and indirectly, for good and for bad - puts me in mind of a recent post of yours about all those toxic folks out there who do so much harm! All we can do is try to put ourselves closer to the positive influences and opportunities, and stay away from the negative, but more importantly, strive to be forces of good in our own actions. Every little gesture or word can carry so much weight! Thanks so much for your comment. May the Universe take note!

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  3. Thanks to that gaping hole in the ceiling we are able to read this great piece about connections and open/closed doors, making me think of labyrinths, we are all walking through it looking for the way that leads us to a certain point were we have to get and stay for a shorter or longer while before we feel the need to get on the road again.
    I wish for you a door that opens to a job where you can make use of all the talents you have, good luck dear Gabriella, x

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    1. Renilde - I like your notion of the labyrinth - sometimes it is not always about doors opening and closing, but simply taking a wrong turn and having to go back until the right turn has been found. Your good wishes mean so much to me, dear friend. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. G......I know, I know, I know what you're talking about....although I have not experienced anything like that whole above my bed!!! May the storm season abate....it's a waiting game....eventually the roller coaster ride will also come to an end, at least the one you are on now. The timing will be right at some point and the seas will part....always thinking of you and awaiting a positive word on the job scene!

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    1. Patti, I know you know - you always do! I must say the ceiling aperture was an apt metaphor and gave me the material for a new post, but I really could have done without it! I suppose it is true that "ills never singly come." All I can hope for is that things can now only improve, right? All the best to you.

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  5. It seems to me that you have given a great perspective to what can be a daunting and discouraging task. I love how life offers you a hole in the ceiling to help you think about opening and closings. But I guess you could have done without it! I like the way you thought of how an opening for you is a closing for someone else -it's so hard to realise sometimes how things that happen to us impact on others - sometimes positive sometimes negative. I hope your positives come thru very soon! Go well F

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    1. Dear F - there are some times when all I can draw upon is the power of perspective to keep me going! It does seem I am often given more than my share of challenges, but I also seem to have been given a special ability to turn them around into something positive - a mixed blessing! I was literally sitting in my apartment brooding and stewing about the job and the ceiling situation on the verge of despair, one of those "what next, oh lord?" moments, and somehow wrote my way through it and back into hope. I really do appreciate that you and others are sending me so many good wishes - it's like having my own virtual cheering squad just at the point when all seems lost in the game. It helps more than you can know. Here's to good news in my next writing! All the best to you and B.

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  6. TT/G - so good that you wrote yourself back into hope. The whole job search thing can be so damaging - often so close - but no prizes for second. Vibing for you from across the globe. Just keep rapping on those doors until the one that is for you opens. Go well and search well. B

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  7. Hello Barry - all these good vibes! I'm hoping they're sufficient to budge what seems as if it will never come unstuck in terms of opportunities. For now, your good thoughts are serving to give me the extra energy I need to stay positive and not surrender to hopelessness - and that means even more. Many thanks!

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  8. First off, I gotta say your optimism is astounding G! And of course, inspiring. The door with your name on it is out there. It is for all of us. Giving up is not an option... taking a break is ok, though :))

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    1. Hey D! First off, I gotta admit that my optimism comes across a lot stronger on the page than it does in real life! Yes, everything I write is true to how I feel and think deep down at my best moments, but harsh realities are always there to challenge me with unerring aim and timing, seemingly at my weakest and worst points. Sometimes I need to re-read my own words to remind myself how strong I really am! Your last words made me think of my philosophy as a marathoner - DNF (did not finish) is NOT AN OPTION! But if conditions are against you, taking it easy is no disgrace, and can actually help you complete the course, whenever, however.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. What a beautiful, eloquent post, Gabriella! I love how you painted a picture of how interconnected we all are with our openings and closings. None of us is an island, and everything we do affects others. What a great reminder with this post.

    I do hope that you see some openings with jobs, and some closings with holes in your home, soon. :)

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  10. Hey T - Happy to report that the ceiling was repaired today and is once more an unbroken white expanse. Unfortunately my job prospects are still equally blank! But, as I seem to be saying way too often lately - it could be worse. There's still plenty to be grateful for - as your last post reminded ME. It's all about attention, how much we choose to give, where and to whom. But you know that. Thanks for visiting!

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  11. Good luck my dear Gabriella..
    It is a hard time to get a decent job and I wish, that you will find it soon..

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    1. Monika - things are hard in both our countries, I think of you whenever I see news of Greece! But at least here I think there are signs of improvement, slow and steady. Jobs are appearing, but there are so many unemployed who have been waiting so long for them, the competition is very tough. But I do have faith that it's only a matter of time before I find the right position. And you'll hear it here first! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

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  12. Gabriella you are great! This post is so great, i love too you way to write your sensations and toughts

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  13. And naturally i wish all the best in your searching of job

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  14. Laura, I see you are catching up on all my old posts! Thank you for being such a good friend!

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  15. So happy to catch up with your posts, your words and photo's/ How i have missed it. This is also a great post and i keep my fingers crossed, hoping you find a nice and inspiring job.

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    1. Thank you M! Brian and I are now both looking for new jobs, so keep thinking those positive thoughts!

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