I’ve told this story a thousand times, in smaller circles, mostly family, friends and Facebook. However I’ve never told this story in as big a forum as my blog, but the story needs to be told.
Back in May of 2005 I’ d just turned 26. I was bored, in a dead-end job, and not sure where my life was going, I was simply existing with no real direction when the opportunity to move to New York with 2 of my girlfriends presented itself. You see, my best friend had just gotten a job with JetBlue Airways and one of the requirements was that she had to move in order to perform the position. Being the carefree, single, Sex in The City loving gals that we were she suggested that I move too. My friend had even set me up with 2 job interviews with the company so having to worry about a job wouldn’t be a problem. On top of that she had also found the perfect apartment in a safe neighborhood and near the office, so how could I turn it down? To top it all off I told myself there was nothing in California holding me back. I was young, had no children, no relationship tugging at my heart strings, so my natural answer had to be YES, HELL YES! I could literally see myself in my high-heels, hailing cabs on my way from my dream job to have drinks with my own personal Mr. Big. It was everything I needed to begin living the life I’d always imagined (and seen on t.v.).
So back to those awesome jobs I had interviews for. The first was a flight attendant position and the 2nd a coordinator position in JetBlue’s “Uniform’s and Appearance” department. I didn’t think it could have been more perfectly planned. Both jobs spoke to my abilities to socialize and accessorize so I thought for sure I was a shoe in. Plus I had my “in” with the BFF so I knew what to expect in both interviews. I was sure they’d be fighting over me so I went to Macy’s purchased a $200.00 suit for the interview (tags tucked in just in case) and went there prepared to blow them away.
Now this wouldn’t be a good story if it ended with me getting either job so you can probably already guess what happened. Yep! I was flat-out denied! Denied in my $200.00 grey polyester and linen Macy’s $200 suit. After picking up the shattered pieces of my ego I marched myself right back to Macy’s to return that lovely suit. I know it wasn’t ethical but I had rent to pay and with no other job prospects a girl had to do what a girl had to do. So I’m at the register, receipt and suit in hand and as the sales lady opens the bag the suit pants are nowhere to be found. How could this be? I hung the suit back up in the plastic garment bag that came with it right after the interviews and put it right back in the bag. I’d had the darn thing on for less than 2 hours! I started to panic and began rummaging through the store like a crazy woman on all fours, looking under racks and between displays hoping that my pants were magic pants and had somehow gotten tired on the subway ride over, freed themselves from my shopping bag, and landed on the Macy’s department store floor. You can probably guess this wasn’t the case. So I packed up what was left of my purchase, hightailed it back to my apartment in Queens-a train and 2 bus rides away. By the way, those dreams of living in the big city? BOGUS! Oh and Carrie Bradshaw? Well she has something called ” rent control”and “rent control”is an ancient practice that no longer applies to people who live in that thing called the “real world”, but I digress…
So I’m headed back to Queens, to my apartment by the nothing special save for the bodega and laundromat. I run up the stairs tear through the house and I can’t find the suit pants anywhere! I look high and low and the suit is gone! So here I am, broke, jobless, and now I’m suit pantsless. What’s a girl to do? I did what any respectable 25-year-old young woman would do, I called my mommy and cried. I knew then that New York just wasn’t for me. I didn’t have the money for next months rent, I lived in the boonies so it wasn’t like I was experiencing New York in the first place. So I hatched a plan. I’d move back home to save money, get a job, and pay rent until the lease was up in the Queens apartment and then start over. My mom listened, she entertained me, she never once said I was weak, or I was giving up. She even said I could come home if I really wanted to. But she also encouraged me to try again. She said to have faith, that everything would work out and that maybe this was just a set up for something better. My mom was right.
Broke and jobless? Yes. But that didn’t stop this girl from taking shameless selfies and fashion risks.
No sooner than I could dry my tears, I received a phone call from a girlfriend of mine back home inquiring how I was doing in the big city. I told her about the failed interviews and the missing pants and the far away apartment and before I could finish she offered me enough money to help me get through that next month. Maybe New York was meant to be after all?
I ended up finding a job in customer service at a web hosting company. I was thankful but I couldn’t help thinking, damn I moved across country to do the exact same thing I was doing previously only in a colder climate? Yeah maybe New York wasn’t a good idea. But I didn’t quit, I owed it to myself and my rent payments to keep the faith, and on a fateful summer day the universe conspired to show me what happens when you don’t give up…
My BFF and I were headed to a birthday party in Brooklyn with some of her JetBlue co-workers. I went reluctantly, however by the time we got there my attitude changed. All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming desire to be as social as possible. Like seriously, it was like some super self-assured, bubbly chick had taken over my body and her mission was to be the life of the party (it was either that or the potent rum punch). I made a beeline for the backyard and started chatting people up. I was witty, I was funny, I was pleasantly intoxicated I was on fire, I was…nothing like me at all!
By the end of the night I’d found out I’d been talking to the Manager of the technology training team and she was asking me to interview for a position on her team! It seems she’d liked all that bubble in my personality and thought I’d be a great fit for her team. I of course thought it was the rum punch talking until she tracked the BFF down at work and urged her to tell me to apply.
To make a long story short I did apply. With no real prior experience and a daunting interview process that included multiple presentations, I applied, and I landed that job!
I tell this LONG story because I want it to be a reminder that every single thing in your life is working for your benefit. When you can’t see it or can’t imagine how after such craptastic luck anything good could happen to you, it can and it will. Actually that should be the sign that something HUGE is in store. I couldn’t see it clearly after the 2 interviews I’d bombed or the Macy’s pants debacle, but it was all a set up. All of those no’s were because there was an even better YES waiting for me in the wings. My better yes was paying 3 times what the other 2 jobs were paying and has launched a career that has been the saving grace of my life.
So I implore you, even when you can’t see the forest through the trees DON’T worry. Keep believing in your passions, you need not know how it will work out, just know that it will. Stay excited about your future and when the sh*t hits the fan know that only means the miracle will be that much sweeter.
Look back at some of the things that you wanted badly in your life but were never actualized. When you look back on that thing can you now be perplexed and grateful for how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful-or where you always wanted to be? When you can finally connect those dots in your life you will be grateful to know that things did not work out the way you once wanted them to.
What are some of the things you are glad didn’t work out the way you wanted them to? What dots can you connect? I’d love to hear your story.
Until we meet again, always remember, even when the lights are out and the music stops, and everyone has gone home, continue to “keep the party goin”!