We open doors all day. And we close doors pretty much all day too. Front doors to our homes, closets, cabinets, retail stores, restaurants, office doors, coworkers’ office doors, bosses doors, bedroom doors.
We open and close in oh so many ways. Some doors lead to opportunities, chance meetings, friendships, relationships. I like to think I open all of the aforementioned doors, but I don’t. Not always. Sad to say, a lot of times I close them. Most of the time I regret it, but can’t say that’s always the case. And a lot of times I don’t open a door just because it’s so very cold on the other side.
I guess you could say I am in a reflective state right now. Today is my birthday and I really don’t know where the time went. I know everybody says the very same thing and I am definitely no different but it gets harder and harder each year to shake that feeling that I closed way too many doors and didn’t open enough. And then there are the times I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and someone closed the door for me.
But what if, just for argument’s sake, I missed that opportunity, or that friendship just because I didn’t open myself up to the new experience. It’s always safer to stay on the same old safe side of the door then to walk through it and right into new territory. It’s always easier to eat the same bologna sandwich every day for lunch because you know you like it then it is to add spicy mustard or potato chips or go hog wild and have an entirely different kind of meal for lunch. What if you don’t like it? What if you get a stomach ache from it?
LIfe is full of examples of those that didn’t open the door. There’s the first book editor that rejected J.K. Rowling’s request to represent her. Al Pacino turned down the role of Harrison Ford’s career as Hans Solo. Decca Records sent the Beatles packing before EMI gave them their first recording contract. There was originally a third founder of Apple besides Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. He sold his stock for $800. Today his share of Apple stock would be worth over $55 billion.
Consequently, what if you succeed? Here’s a crazy idea; swallow the butterflies, tell ‘failure’ to take a flying leap. I’m not saying that doing so would have made me a super rich tycoon or I would ever have had the opportunity to compete with Julia Roberts for the Pretty Woman role. Nor had a chance to team up with the likes of Oprah and become a world class philanthropist. But, then again, will I ever know?
What I do know is that I can celebrate the doors that I have opened. And be glad of some of those doors that I closed or left completely alone as well. I also know that as long as I keep celebrating birthdays I will keep witnessing doors and keep having to figure out if I open them, close them, or just walk away. In the meantime, I’m going to have to go now. My husband is asking if I want to go to dinner for my birthday. I’m opening the door I closed to our office to give him a shout, saying “What’s the matter with you? Of course I do! Just let me get my coat! It’s a little chilly out.”
(I need comments. Please let me know what doors you have opened or closed and what you have learned in hindsight.)