One Door Closes and the Journey Begins.
By Jacey Eckhart
Right after one door closes and just before God gets around to opening a window, there ought to be a ginormous BANG so you know that part of your life is over.
There should be a BANG the last time you kiss your grandma goodbye. The moment you leave school forever. The first time you pack a diaper bag. Or let your kid drive away in your car. Or quit a job. There ought to be a great big BANG signifying the end.
That never happens.
Instead it is like you left your hotel room in the middle of the night to get a bucket of ice and came back to find your key doesn’t work, and you are standing outside the door rattling the knob in your flannel pajammies with the pink pigs on them.
With no bra.
And no pajammy bottoms.
In real life, one door closes and then there is a LONG FREAKIN’ WAIT before that proverbial window opens—especially after 40.
Sure, a window opens somewhere to let a little air in while you are gasping with shock and despair. But you can’t go out the window. You have to go down that long narrow hallway full of nothing but one door after the next. You find out that a lot of those doors you thought were open are locked and bolted to you. Mostly because you are braless and that scares people.
When my husband got transferred to Norway, a career door locked silently behind me. Five thousand miles will do that for you. (I wrote about that for the Armed Services Arts Project, and I’ll be reading that piece at their Performance With Purpose at the DC Improv Comedy Club on December 5. You can get tickets here.)
Now I’m back in the States only to discover a lot of my friends and work colleagues standing in hallways of their own. We all feel like we are alone. Especially the people whose hall of doors came equipped with those creepy little twins from The Shining.
Cuz life is fun like that.
I’m thinking if we are all stuck in these hallways at the same time, then we can’t be alone exactly, can we? Our hallways full of Next Doors must be some kind of gauntlet we all have to work through before we get to the next good stage of life.
So in the next few months I’m going to be working on the Next Door Project. You can come with me if you like, and we can go knock, knock, knockin’ of some of these Next Doors together to find out what we are supposed to be doing to get to meaningful work and a fulfilling life now.
Because no one is coming to rescue us—not our husbands or our kids or our parents or our friends and not, by God, our employers. The Next Door isn’t going to find us. We are going to find it. Flannel pajammies and all.