Note: this post is meant to be accompanied by the music accessed through this link:
Imagine with me, would you, that you are on a beach.
On the beach, there is a house. You are standing in front of it.
From beneath multiple layers of sun-bleached paint, whose original color you can only guess, a plain wooden door peeks out at you. The door, although weathered, is inviting. Without knowing why, you feel welcome.
Looking down, you discover why you feel like you belong; the doormat at your feet says it all with capital letters: WELCOME. It’s a sign. A sign stuck to the ground rather than a wall, but a sign nonetheless. And everything happens for a reason.
The doormat is also plain and inviting. But not wooden. In fact, it is made out of woven material. You notice that, amid the straw-colored strands, threads of different colors weave in and out. Green, gold, azure. It is not an intricate design, just a diamond standing on a point with a circle in the middle, but it catches your eye.
Smiling, you notice that it resembles the Brazilian flag. Cute, you think. But then your attention returns to the door.
You want to see what is inside. You lift the door latch. You are speechless… shocked.
No welcoming party. No hot tubs. Nothing.
Nothing… except for the smiles on the faces of an aunt and uncle.
This isn’t what you were expecting. You’re a person of conviction, and the house, the door, and doormat… It all felt right. But it’s not. Or is it?
What do you do?
You cowboy up, humble yourself, and stick with it.
At least that is what I did when faced with this situation.
You see, three months ago, I arrived at the threshold of the edifice that is Brazil. What was waiting to greet me was a nice, thick slice of denial topped with a slab of reality, all packaged prettily as a Christmas present. The job I was promised was given to someone else. My housing arrangements had to be improvised. My pocketbook had to be excavated to fund three weeks of job interviews and living expenses.
Arriving in another country, all I had was a load of hopes and an abundance of luggage. The hopes made a knot in my stomach, but at the same time, they bore me up to the sky. My luggage was the extra 100 pounds I never knew I had, and it quite literally weighed me down. I drifted somewhere in between anxiety and wonder, with the hopes and luggage pulling me in opposite directions.
I needed a place to process it all, so I went to my aunt and uncle’s apartment. The rest is recent history.
I know that many of my readers already know some of these details. But I want to make sure one things is understood. What has happened was the best thing for me.
I may have been mislead by a quaint and enticing offer from a doormat of an educational institution, but that is OK. Everything does happen for a reason.
I really don’t care why I didn’t get the other job. Why? Because I have moved on. I am currently working at a bigger, better, more welcoming location. I am not making the amount of green and gold I expected, but I cannot complain. The treasure that I have gained, in the form of quality time, quiet time, and classroom experience, outweighs what the other place offered.
I write this as I sit in my aunt and uncle’s apartment (which has yet another doormat). Now, three months later, I’ve finally processed that moment of shocking news. And I have to say that, no matter how much people might try to discredit metaphors, they unquestionably do something for the soul that is searching for balance.
This wasn’t exactly an easily digestible serving of text. No pictures or anything. More like a protein shake with raw egg. True, it might not have been amusing… but it was a heartfelt musing of mine.
Thanks for musing with me.