Have you heard the quote attributed to, Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes, another one 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.”? Or any variation of the expression?
It has become a popular saying for many decorative items. Its one that I have heard from as far back as I can remember. I really thought, I understood what it meant.
Funny how we can stroll along relying on surface information. That just enough to get by on knowledge. I have in the past couple of days come to a deeper understanding of the what and why of that expression. It was a somewhat painful lesson, but one I had known deep inside was coming. Once full realization of the quote’s meaning struck home. It seemed that understanding became a bright light, clearing away the darkness of confusion.
In March of 2020, I was laid off from my job. A job where I had become quite comfortable. When I was first let go, I was told that when things picked up, I would be called back. For seven months I have been staring at that door, waiting for the promised opening. All the while in the back of my mind were feelings to walk away. That little voice telling me that I wasn’t meant to go back there.
There was something else waiting. Still, I stared at that door. Since my husband died, not counting blood relatives, I have been alone. Then, I got into a conversational, over the phone, friendly relationship. This was before Covid-19. It held red flags, but feeling the need for some form of companionship even if only conversations, I ignored them. Each warning I ignored, shrugged them off as negligible. Then the relationship crashed and burned spectacularly. A door closed.
Months later and mere weeks before Covid, I began talking with another. We even actually met. A very nice person whom I still respect. Made a plan or two. Then the door was closed.
I had an online acquaintance with whom I had been texting off and on for over a year. Then we began talking on the phone. The conversations long, sometimes day long events. No topic was taboo. They reminded me often that they felt I should start writing, seriously writing. There was a book waiting. I acknowledged their encouragement and began again, working on a manuscript that I had started two years ago. It wasn’t the right project. It was a struggle to find the words that would express what I was feeling. I didn’t argue though with my friend as I knew they were right, I just needed to know what it was, that I was meant to write. So the conversations continued, time was passing, and nothing was getting accomplished. Then not so suddenly, a door that I had been watching creep closed, slammed shut. Slammed with a force that could be heard. Slammed with a physical force that could be felt, leaving pain of loss in its wake.I stood, staring at that door. Of all the doors that have closed, this one hurt the worst. Staring at the door, I knew that I had lost a special friend.
Then, as I stood there, a glimmer caught my attention. Turning away, I felt drawn. Still, I wanted to wait at the closed door, I wanted it to open and the voice I recognized call to me. Then, again, I felt drawn away, called away. An almost audible voice telling me to leave that closed door alone. I walked away slowly and reluctantly.
Then, facing that new door, I opened a computer program and a new file. I began to write. The topic something I have dealt with for years. The topic one I have felt deeply, had lived with most of my life. The topic, was the project that had been waiting. I had to be broken of will. I had to face my own demons. I had to want what was waiting. I had to turn away from the closed door and walk through the open door.
I knew what was behind every closed door. I have spent a large part of my life staying where I felt safe and knew what was in my comfort zone. This new door, is a waiting adventure. I’ll admit that I hope the closed door isn’t locked as I do miss my friend. But if that is irreparable, if there will be no opening of that door, I accept that and respect them enough to leave that door alone.I have a calling and an adventure waiting. When this project is finished, maybe someone will slip them a note under the door and let them know, their advice was spot on and encouragement appreciated. That I have accomplished what they knew it was I was supposed to be doing. For now, I’m leaving that closed door alone.