Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When One Door Closes

Good morning, everyone.  A dreary day, sunless, but least it is to me.  I don't like the heat.  I could take year round temps in the 60's and be happy.  Well, this week is already halfway over.  Hard to believe, isn't it?  Time sure does fly when you are having fun.  You know, whenever I see a quote or a poem that I love or has meaning to me, I write it in a book I have filled with this kind of stuff. Hubby got me started doing that.  He jots down all kinds of things.  So, last night I was going through my book and came across the following...and it immediately brought up some memories.

"Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping stones to great experience.  Perhaps some day you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction.  When one door closes, another always opens; as a natural law, it has to balance."--Brian Adams from "How to Succeed".

Those of you who have followed me for awhile have heard me mention several times that when I first moved to the city, I was so poor that I had nothing to eat. When I had come across a few dollars, I bought a loaf of bread and a jar of plan Ragu sauce and lived on Ragu sandwiches for a few days.  When that was gone, I laid across the bed and slept to avoid the hunger.  Oh, I could have gone back home...or called for money, but that would have been admitting failure...and that's something that always had been expected of me so I was determined to toughen it out and succeed.  What follows is a tale right out of "The Celestine Prophesy"...a tale of synchronicity and a series of coincidences--and perhaps a miracle-- which led to my survival in the big city.

I'd run out of Ragu sauce a few days before had eaten the last of the bread before going to sleep.  Morning came and there was nothing to eat.  I drank some water and laid back across the bed.  Depression was setting in.  I'd come from a fairly well-to-do family...not rich, but there was always tons of food in the house and I wasn't used to this.  I forced myself to get up and get dressed and went out for a walk.  I stepped out into the bright sunshine and as I started down the block, I looked down, and, lo and behold, at my feet was a ten dollar bill.  I knew I had to make that money last, but I was starving, so the question was, "What is cheap and filling?"  Across the street was a MacDonalds, and I decided that one of their milkshakes was calorie laden and filling, so I bought myself a chocolate shake.  
As I stepped out of the store, I bumped into a man who was handing out fliers.  A light bulb went off.  "I can do this".  So, I asked him if his boss needed any help and if so, where do I apply.  His response..."Right here.  I'm the boss".  We talked for a few, and before the day was over, I had taken over handing out the fliers.  This went on for several weeks, then one day I handed out a flier to a man who said, "How would you like to come to work for me.  I need someone to hand out my fliers."  I thanked him, but one thing about me, I have always been a loyal employee.  So, when I refused, he asked to speak to my boss, that maybe we could work this out.  Turns out the two of them had known each other for many years.  

I never did hand out his fliers.  Since my boss was good with graphics, he had decided to start his own business.  He'd make the fliers,and I would run the temp agency of employees and drum up business.  No more standing outside for me.  All was going well for almost a year until the payday came that my boss asked me "How much can you get by with this week.  I don't have enough."  Well, I gave him an amount.  Big mistake!  I discovered that because I had agreed once, he was expecting it every week...meanwhile, everyone else was getting their full salary. Finally, I'd had enough; I told him to give me what he owed me, or I quit.  He didn't pay me and I followed through on my threat.

Not expecting anything, I then went to see if the other man still needed me to hand out his fliers.  To my surprise, he said, "I've got something better for you if you want it.  My office manager will be leaving next week, and I need someone to take over."  Wow, I was bowled over.  I accepted and ended  up working there for the next nine years.  It was an exciting position and I met many famous people.  We were an expediting agency.  What we did was get passports, visas, get car registrations, pay tickets, etc. for rich people who didn't want to go through the hassle themselves.  I personally registered all of Ralph Lauren's antique cars.  I got the visas for the James Taylor band's European tour.  I met movie stars, singers, even did work for Donald Trump.  

But eventually, the time came that that wasn't satisfying enough anymore.  I was tired of helping "rich" people who just didn't care.  For example, the time I had delivered the visas to James Taylor's agent, I got a tickle in my throat and was practically choking to death...and they had all kinds of bottles of water around, but didn't even offer any.  That kind of stuff.  Besides, I was getting a man I had met when I delivered fliers for a bar restaurant. 

In the 15 years I was with my ex, I worked tending bar, in catering, as a telephone answering service operator, as a case manager in home care, and went to school.  It wasn't until we had separated that I went into the helping profession. 

So, there you have it my friends, the story of my survival.  Don't know why I felt the need to post about it today, just felt like it was something I needed to do...and as I was writing, I began to get the idea of writing a book on survival.Coincidence?  Or not?

Hoping you all have a great day.


  1. Not coincidence, it's just time. Your story will help others I'm sure, it's time to write that book.

    Have a beautiful day!

  2. well it is a rich live and shows a lot of guts and perseverance.

  3. Great story, full of synchronicity and well-timed good luck. But you know what the common denominator is? You always took the initiative -- asked for a job, sought out new opportunities, took a risk. People forget that, even though opportunity may knock, it's still up to them to open the door!

  4. Done alot, have you?? Gads!! I guess the city will do that though...So Happy that it all worked out for you...and I'm sure it will continue because you are who you are...

  5. A book! What a great idea. What a great project. And having a project is good for the soul, I think.

  6. Inspiring!

    I am woman, I am strong what I am humming.

  7. Mary - you've had a life full of experiences people would love to read about - you really should write that book!

  8. Don't even think about it. Just do it! You certainly have very interesting stories to tell. Wow! xx

  9. Good Morning Mary! I am sure that you writing this post will help someone. Would love to read your life experiences! You have so much to share. Sending you some sunshine.