It Will Be Okay
When I was growing up, my mom often quoted her favorite movie. “When the Lord closes a door,” she said, channeling Maria Von Trapp, “somewhere he opens a window.” Though I’m not one to live my life based on corny lines from The Sound of Music, I do think that there’s something wise about this particular platitude.
I am not a very spiritual or superstitious person. But I do believe in reasons and balance and meant-to-be’s and some great cosmic order dictated by the universe. This vague belief in some regulatory force saves me from writing life off as a chaotic and cruel mess and stokes some hope in me. It keeps me believing that no matter what, things will be okay. I am not naïve enough to think that life will be perfect. But I firmly believe that it will be okay.
Last December, I had my heart broken and landed my first job in the same week. I was grappling with a profound loss, feeling directionless and gutted and crushed. Something—someone—I loved had suddenly disappeared from my life and the absence was excruciating. Door closed. Then, just as suddenly, the career I had been striving toward for so many months materialized in the form of a dream job offer. Window open.
The universe took some love but gave some purpose, took my best friend but gave me the best job. It countered suffering with success. Balance was returned to my life.
Life won’t be all right. But it will be alright. I know that I won’t have every piece in its perfect place—the friends, the guy, the job, the accomplishments. But I will—I do—have enough beautiful pieces to cobble together a good life. Maybe not the one I dreamed of in my striving millennial imagination, with its gorgeous Instagrams and kickass resume and perfect boyfriend, all flawlessly actualized. But a life that is enough. The universe will make it so. It will slam doors in your face but it will open windows and let the world in.
So on the days that feel impossibly dark, I try to think like Maria Von Trapp. I trust that the world will give me what I need, that it will balance the good with the bad, that it will not break my heart without fixing me in some other way.
Coming home from the first day of my new job, I wanted nothing more than to celebrate with the person I loved. His absence was conspicuous that night, but my life held a thousand other wonderful things that filled me up. Making dinner with my roommates, fielding excited calls from my family, eating the cookies my friends had sent to my door, I was okay. Not perfect, but happily and gratefully okay.
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