Detours and Dead Ends


It’s really weird how things work out.

A little more than a year ago Steven and I decided to move to California so that I can more seriously pursue my screenwriting career. Steven was working in furniture sales and doing fairly well. It allowed me to stop working as a “wage slave” and pursue freelance writing, which finally gave me a chance to do what I love and get paid for it.

This was something we wanted to see continue so we decided to move back to California just to see what would happen. Steven’s job at the time was almost inconsequential. He knew he could get a job anywhere doing anything and he wasn’t thinking too much of a “career” path.

So we made a year-plan to save up the money to move. A month later he was informed he was getting laid off from his job. Undaunted he decided to try another furniture store in the town where we lived. We had done our research and knew that though this particular store was a franchise, the it was under the umbrella of a nationwide chain that had stores in Southern California, including Orange County where we ultimately decided we wanted to live. He thought he could just work there in that town until it was time to move and then transfer, no muss no fuss.

The manager in the franchise store told him sure, come on in when you’re done closing out the other place and we’ll put you to work.

A couple of days after that the owner of that franchise committed suicide and his stores across Texas were shuttered.

It was a real crap shoot after that to decide even if we should come out here. Money was our biggest issue, and since Steven lost the really good paying job that remained our biggest obstacle. Eventually we had to come to terms with the idea we wouldn’t have as much as we wanted to do it the way we wanted to. For a little while that looked like an excuse to stay, especially after I ran into some complications with my own freelance career at the end of last year.

Eventually, though, we gathered our courage to make it happen. As you know it wasn’t an easy start. Steven went to apply at one of the furniture stores closer to where we ultimately landed but they didn’t have any immediate openings, which left him without some options for about a month, leaving him to “settle” on a lesser paying job way below his capabilities just so he could be employed.

(A familiar refrain for many Americans.)

Again fate stepped in. Though the initial store didn’t have any immediate openings another that did snagged his resume and called him in for an interview. This was the VERY same store we had wanted him to go to initially while we were still in Texas. He started at the beginning of January and things have been going pretty well, putting him on par to make up what he lost and get us where we needed to be with his tracking to sell more than a million dollars of merchandise for the year.

Even more remarkably, and unexpectedly, after three months on the job, he was approached by the district manager to discuss management possibilities.

That was at the beginning of the week. It’s Friday and he’s already had two interviews with district managers and interviewed with the VP of the company. Even with any loss of commission pay for what he’s tracking to sell this year, with scheduled bonuses this would put him about double his pay what he made in Texas at another company.

And it took that crazy road to get us right here at this moment so that this could happen right when the opportunity arose. Talk about things being “meant to be.”

It really is remarkable to me that we came here for me and it’s worked so well for him. He’s back with his family, which has been very good for all of us. It has rewarded every single decision that we made on blind faith.

Meanwhile one of my kids is making inroads networking for his art with gigs to build his portfolio and the other is working at a job where he makes more money and works less hours.

In every way the universe, which looked like it was conspiring to keep us away, has shown us this is *exactly* where we need to be.

And the best thing is I’m watching my own success grow. The more I reach out and do things toward my goal the more I’m being rewarded. The fact I lost my biggest freelance client at the beginning of the year has given me more time to do things for my author/screenwriting career. I’m on track to nearly double and maybe even triple what I managed to do last year when I started.

All that I thought was going so wrong ended up being exactly what I needed.

This applies to interpersonal relationships as well, maybe even surprisingly so. There were things that I thought I could depend on once I moved here that pretty much dried up like a desert when I finally landed in Los Angeles. I realized many things I believed to be true were just carefully cultivated lies built upon the fact I was far enough away to be blissfully deceived for the benefit of others. At first this was a pretty big blow but really, I can’t even complain. There is no amount of money you could pay me to change what I really have for something everyone else thinks is real but I know now isn’t at all what it was cracked up to be.

That’s the irony of my life. There were a lot of people who used to covet what they thought I had they never saw the true treasures I had in my life. Whether my own contributions or the amazing people I allow to populate my life, everything I knew was good and true and worthwhile became secondary to a bigger, “better” illusion.

(Considering most of these people were women out to get “the perfect guy” I guess I should be grateful that no one went after the hubs, who really is one. But the difference is because he’s so perfect even if they had he wouldn’t have let anyone get in between. Yet another huge difference between what I thought was real and what has proven to be really real.)

And here’s the best part: though it’s been a tough few months and a really bitter pill to swallow…I’m really grateful for the lesson on which was which. I spent enough of my precious time chasing after things that were nothing more than mirages in the desert. I thought in the end it would benefit me to prop up others, but in the end I learned that by propping up anyone but me is a waste of my talent.

I’m at the point in my life and career I can no longer risk the distraction. It finally hit me I don’t need to live vicariously through anyone else or “climb” the ladder off of anyone’s fame. I have everything I need to live the life of my dreams already. I didn’t need someone else to see it… *I* needed to see it and own it all for myself.

Getting a little closer to what I thought was so shiny and perfect gave me this much needed perspective. The limitations of others (and their disdain of me as inferior) no longer have to define me. I get to make those rules for myself, and I’m finally in a position to do so.

(And I got here all on my own, not on the back of anyone else. This makes it even more rewarding.)

So the moral of the story is if life is kicking you in the ass, don’t gripe about being kept from what you think you want. Fate is guiding you exactly where you need to be.

Don’t bemoan the dead end.

Celebrate the detour.

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