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Turning The Knob


When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. ~Alexander Graham Bell

It’s easy to be the supportive shoulder to cry upon when you tell someone who has been disappointed over a missed opportunity that as one door closes another opens. It’s much more difficult to look in the mirror and tell yourself that the opportunity you have been hoping for, the one you have been seeking the past three years was but a shadow, a wisp of smoke that dissipated as the winds of business changed direction yet again. 
Ever since my life took an unexpected turn a few years ago, I have been wondering what door was opening, what opportunity would come my way that would take advantage of my current life circumstances. My kids are pretty much grown and pretty much independent so there is little limit to the direction I can take my life.
The most exciting part of my job is working with people from other cultures, learning about them and and  being able to work in the context of their culture. I would like to move my job more in that direction by going on a delegation, preferably, a delegation to a country that is as far from my cultural comfort zone as possible, a yin to Americas yang. The Far East would fit that bill very well. My second choice would be to go to a Western country that spoke minimal English which would require me to immerse myself in a new language. Spain comes to mind or Portugal. I want this language/culture challenge because I feel I will grow more than at anytime in my life outside of childhood.

So, when Senior Management asked three years ago if anyone was interested in a delegation, I immediately put my name in the hat. Nothing happened until last month when I was asked if I was interested in going to India on delegation. Of course, I said yes. I thought this was the open door for me to walk through until a conversation I had with senior management today. It seems the plan to put someone into India is not going through. It was, as I feared, more a fishing expedition than a ticket to India.

Yes, I am disappointed. This disappointment is particularly hard to take because I view a delegation to India as one of those opportunities of a lifetime. I had already planned on continuing my blog while in India with an eye toward the blog becoming a book. My working title was, “May I Take Your Picture?” after my experience of being stopped a couple of times to have my picture taken with a couple of the locals. Alas, it’s not to be.

So, I again experience the disappointment of unmet dreams. But I’ve had bigger disappointments all which I have survived and then thrived. Each time when new opportunities, new doors presented themselves, I made sure to avail myself of the opportunities. I have a strong belief that there will be another opportunity coming along in the not too distant future and it will be one that will be perfect for me. It may not be a delegation. I may never have the opportunity to live and work in a distant land. It may be that the current trajectory of my Chicago life opens a door that I was afraid to believe existed. I don’t know, so, In the mean time, I will continue turning knobs until one of them opens my door.

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2 comments on “Turning The Knob

  1. david you should write a book. You are very articulate. Your blogs which I just found are very interesting. Keep uyp the good work

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