It never fails to amaze me that when one door closes, often another (or several) one opens. Sometimes the one that opens leads to you to a dead end, like the last one did, and the door shuts. Other times it leads you to something incredible, amazing and fulfilling.
Fate has been quite timely lately. Yesterday morning, I woke up to a door that closed. Without going into much detail, something I have been working on for several weeks, proved that it wasn't going anywhere. I was disappointed, but I am over it given there are many other opportunities down this particular road. Fast forward to the afternoon and I receive an e-mail from a friend. Ok, this person is more like an aquaintance given that I only speak to her when I see her out, but nonetheless, she is such a terrific person and a breath of fresh air and I feel justified in calling her a friend, so I will refer to her as "my friend". The purpose for the e-mail was that she was "thinking" of beginning a Girls on the Run program in Harrison. She had heard that this was something I had thought about and wanted to know if I'd be interested in helping and coaching with her. The group of students would not only not include girls from my daughters age group, but also not even from her school. After an extensive conversation with her, I said "Of course. I will help in any way possible." Girls on the Run is a fantastic organization targeting girls from grades 3-8. It is a 10 week program that "trains" the girls to run a 5k. The objective is to help build self-esteem and encourage fitness and well-being in the lives of these young ladies through running. I had been approached last year by a fellow parent at St. John (my kids' school) asking me to "get it started" there. I loved the idea, researched the organization a bit, filled out an assistant coach application (thought it'd be best to get my feet wet before soaking my whole body). After weeks of nothing, I began to get e-mails about coaches meetings and I realized I would be assisting in an area not even close to Harrison. Home life just would not permit me to commit to the kind of time I would need to commit, so I put it on the back burner. Life got busy, training for Columbus was in full swing and it was just something that was back there, but not revisited. Until yesterday.
Throughout the course of conversation with my friend, she mentioned that this was something she has wanted to do for three years and that something was now "really pulling her" in this direction. I told her I could completely relate to the feeling. She is the mother of four and believes very strongly that her children see her do something for others that requires a good amount of hard work and dedication, but offers "no tangible reward". I loved her wording on this as I sometimes get frustrated with the things I do that offer no compensation, yet require a terrific amount of my time and energy. I tend to get caught up in the "I am not getting paid for this so why am I bothering with all the crap that comes with it." At times I compare and place my value in society with those who "work" for a living. Meaning they earn money for what they do. I struggled quite a bit when I made the decision to leave my job two years ago and "be home for a while". I actually resigned and then went back to my boss and said I'd changed my mind, only to realize several months later, it was what I needed to do. It was a frightening decision and thank God, it was the right one. I love being a nurse and I LOVE seeing new life, but it was a job I needed to leave. I value my nursing license, will keep it current and one of these days, weeks, months or years.... go back to it.
In the meantime, like my friend, I feel new doors are opening and I'm being pulled in a completely different direction. Of course they include running (I'd question your IQ if you could not figure that out). Walking through these doors is scary. Risk is involved. The risk of failing. The risk of criticism. The risk of being judged (by those who never take risks I might add). The risk of not getting the outcome you were after. After all, the surefire way NOT to fail is to do nothing, be nothing, learn nothing, stand for nothing and talk to no one. And the surefire way to set yourself for failure is to speak up, act out, try new things, make mistakes, say what you feel, reach out, put it out there, have opinions, be hasty, be vulnerable, be real. But this is also the surefire way to set yourself up for kick-ass success doing something you love! As you can guess, I prefer the latter.