I have a young friend. She’s 26 and she’s getting married in February this year. I knew her from when we lived in Malaysia, via her mother. They are English, but they have lived all over the world.
My young friend knew what she wanted to do from Day 1. Well, from high school. She wanted to work for a particular firm of management consultants, reputed to be the best in the world. She subscribed to the firm’s newsletters, did a summer work experience at the firm’s office in London, and for her degree project, she did a study about the firm’s culture.
She graduated with first class honours five years ago from a reputable UK university. And to everyone’s horror, the firm did not want her. She was devastated, as she had no Plan B.
So she went travelling and changed her life’s direction completely. When she returned to the UK from her months travelling, she started work for an accounting firm with a management consulting practice. In the four years or so, she had done incredibly well in the company that she never thought she would ever work for, not until the door to her ‘dream’ was slammed shut in her face for no reason, with no explanation.
And as an added bonus, she will be getting married to her colleague.
I think her story is so lovely. We see it again and again being played out in real life. Because the grass is always greener, wherever we water it. And also, sometimes, we don’t get what we want, because something better waits for us down the road.
We just have to keep walking, light candles, and BELIEVE.
I should know. In November 2015, I lit so many blooming candles in Westminster Cathedral that I must have contributed to global warming, begging the long-dead saints and martyrs entombed there to give me back my old life, but no, I didn’t get what I prayed so hard for. And I did it everyday.
To cover my bases, I went to a meditation space in Battersea and ‘visualised’ my old life that I was planning to embark on: the cute house, dogs, small garden. I went there to the meditation centre everyday and wrote on the blackboard.
The writing wore off as I lost my attachment to what I could not have. The door was slammed firmly shut in my face. It is said that there is hope until the heart of a woman shatters on the floor.
But the light from the candles I lit never lost their brightness. One day, I turned my head 20 degrees to the left, just past my elbow, and saw a new path opening up for me, that had always been there (ironically). It just wasn’t in my nature to look 20 degrees to the left behind me, that’s all. But when the door in front of me was shut, I had no choice but to turn around.
Here’s something I wrote in June 2016, six months on from the dark days of November. You can sense my euphoria ❤
Yes, life is amazing. Live it, there’s always the greater wisdom waiting to reveal itself x