Life has a wicked sense of humor.
I have this friend, a regular guy, happily getting through the week, in a high profile IT job with a multinational company hoping to catch some beers with his friends.
If you have ever been friends with a software engineer, dated one, or better still were brave enough to marry one, you know that for most sane engineers out there, computers are merely a rebound fling. Their true love almost always lies with their ‘mistress’.
For some it is sophisticated art of writing, for others it is gentle love of painting, for some others aromas of cooking, etc. But there is always this ‘other woman’ who provides solace and retribution from the maddening world of technology. Our friend in the story had a similar predicament. He was married to his job but his heart was eternally captured by the beautiful maiden called theater. He was an actor, a director and a playwright to his core. Theater is where he belonged.
Under normal circumstances no person in his mind would venture into this illusive stream of theater which is characterized by long rehearsals, unpaid work and a history of savage struggle. But the universe having the amusing sense of humor that it does, woke up one day and decided “hey… this guy doesn’t belong here!”.
And woosh! Just like that my friend was left high and dry when there was a ramp down in the company and he was left without a job. Now, this situation would definitely shatter the best of the men out there; because in the regular world, no job was equivalent to no future. But not this guy.
What is the best thing about starting at absolute zero? It makes you completely fearless! The daunting fear of loss disappears because you have nothing to lose. So, what can then possibly stop you from making a complete fool of yourself? What can possibly stops you from doing ridiculous things to make ends meet? What can possibly make you re-think an action because people would judge you for it? Nothing flickers you anymore. You don’t care of the consequences because you are already living your worst fear. And its only when you live out your worst fears that you realize the thing you were most afraid of isn’t that bad after all; That you were missing out on so many wonderful things in life because of ridiculously irrational fear; that you will survive this unfortunate situation and come out on the other end of the tunnel a new person… stronger and wiser.
If you look at it closely failure is the best thing that can happen to you. It blesses us with wisdom. It teaches us the art of acceptance. It nudges us, sometimes rather violently, on to the right path. It makes us stronger so we can finally realize our true potential.
What happened to our friend you ask? Well, though it took him some time, this sweet friend of mine has bounced back and what a comeback it has been. Now he spends his day doing what he absolutely loves doing; Theater, Salsa, teaching, reading. Now, he is happily married to his mistress. Even though they sometimes have their off days, there is still contentment in knowing that he was able to turn a potential failure into one of his greatest treasures.
Rock bottom can be the best place to start. When you are down, there is nowhere else to go but up.