When One Door Closes (You Find a Different Door)

A few years ago, I interviewed for my first job out of the classroom as a math specialist in my hometown. As qualified as I was, I didn’t get the job. That moment was one that I would consider a low point in my career because it seemed as if the job itself was crafted with me in mind…so much so that I had already mentally closed the door to my classroom with no plans to return. I was devastated for many reasons and it was difficult at first to move beyond this moment. I was stuck staring at a closed door, however to me…it was the wrong door.

Eventually, I stopped sulking and started looking at my life from both sides. I loved teaching and I knew that part of my not getting that job was because of the classroom teacher that I was. At the same token, I felt myself moving in a direction of teacher support way more than my school wanted to allow. That closed door to the opportunity that I didn’t get, told me that I needed to continue to work towards getting there. Whatever it took, including moving, I was more than willing to do. Giving up was not an option…not by a long shot.

A month later, I was offered a math strategist/department chair job in another school district. Without hesitation, I accepted the move and of course the rest is history. I’m sharing this story because of its connection to meeting closed doors and finding the open doors and windows that we often ignore.

Looking back, I realize that had I NOT met that closed door, I would not have made the career moves that I did beyond that point. In other words, without that NO, I would not have encountered the plethora of Yeses.

Perspective is amazing, isn’t it?

Moving Beyond Closed Doors

When you live long enough, you learn that not everything in life is a guarantee. This is one example of a closed door but I’ve definitely faced many more. You deal, decide what YOU want and move on. The door doesn’t determine your fate. YOU do.

Do you meet the roadblocks and stand? No…you find another way. That’s what the “open doors” and “windows” are about.

My mother used to say that God doesn’t close one door without leaving an open one in its place. I believe that wholeheartedly. When faced with missed opportunities, I am immediately inclined  to evaluate the situation and work towards the next goal because there will always be one.

In my high school classroom, this is a lesson that I had to teach my students on multiple occasions. While their “doors” were different from mine, the reaction is still the same. You don’t focus on the non-success or failure…you focus on the journey to the next destination.

I believe we call this grit.

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