Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
I’ve been speaking with a few friends lately and the subject of doors being closed in our lives has come up with each. Every one of them has a desire, a talent, and a will to do a certain thing with their life. But they have faced what seems to be a solid no. And staring down that door trying to will it to open has been my own personal experience. Crying about the door, wringing the locked knob, forcefully knocking in hopes it would spontaneously break open. Sometimes just sitting, back leaned against the door wondering why I wasn’t worth it opening. What did I do to make that door shut?
But my question is, do shut doors mean that it is over? Or could they simply mean to turn around and find one that is open?
Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor said he, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He was later rejected 302 times while looking for financing to create his dream theme park.
Stephen King would hang publisher rejection letters on a nail above his bed for motivation. “By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it,” he wrote. “I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”
Recently I made a big move to follow a job as a flight attendant and move to the midwest. I’m east coast girl, Maryland raised, NYC made. What was I gonna do in DETROIT? How would I ever survive without good sushi?! And yet closing that door in NYC and following that open door has led me to new experiences and wonderful people. Things I never thought I would be doing. And finding an open door allows me to bring my tried and true friends from the past as well as my new ones and new experiences into a new season. New life. I’m through one door searching for the next.
So what are these closed doors really? Are they a no, or perhaps just a not this way? Can we learn a lesson from them, and if we allow it, can they direct us to turn and try a different path towards our goal? I am thankful for some of the doors that closed in my past. Because they directed me to something I never could have foreseen. Sometimes we can’t see what is good for us until a door finally opens and stares us in the face.
Instead of rejection, I prefer to look at that closed door and think of it as a happenstance. A fortunate but led coincidence that leads my life to a hopeful better alternative. Which I’m not gonna lie, can be hella scary at first. Moving away from what you thought your destiny might be. But if you are moving with you dreams, then following that path is not only the key to eventual success, but also the key to keeping that door in your heart open.