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When the Bottom Falls Out

forest path

“Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been searching for a business partner for over a year. I interviewed dozens of overqualified people nationwide and engaged in hundreds of conversations about the path that led me to this point and the way forward.  I thought I had found my happy ending right here in my backyard as I have been courting a local successful businessman who seemed the first to be able to support a growth strategy that was clear and achievable.  I could for the first time, actually envision how things would change and was excited to let go of how they were.

I reminded myself that nothing is for sure as I have been disappointed in the past, but still every time I allowed myself to think about the potential held in this new partnership, I would smile to myself.  I was proud of my persistence and was grateful for my belief that just beyond the impossible is the breakthrough.  I felt seen in this relationship for what I had done and a mutual respect that is the foundation required for any real growing.

But then, just as I was envisioning the lovely changes to come, they were gone.  A two line email was all that it took for another promised future to evaporate in front of my eyes.  It was like a blow to the head and gut simultaneously. I struggled to catch my breath and went out walking in the cold wind to clear my head.  In the first hours I couldn’t move beyond despair and fear. The disappointment held me like a full body hug. I came home exhausted.  At home with the people who have loved me through it all, I sat with my head down. Real love buoys you up when you can’t find center. I am blessed many times over to be surrounded by this kind of connection that makes you realize that all that we do every day is just that… what we do. It doesn’t define us.

More inspiring still was how quickly I was able to bounce back. Despair is not always a pathway to desperation. Sometimes it is a brief prelude to another song you didn’t know you had in you. Sometimes it is a storm that says if not this, something better. I am willing to let go of all of it. I know the work that calls me and even if I have to lose everything that went before, sad as that feels sometimes in the middle of a rainy afternoon,  it is not like losing myself anymore.

Gilda Radner, before her untimely death, was quoted as saying:  “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  So true.