Road Signs are for more than Driving

I’m happy to welcome another guest blogger. She’ll remain anonymous for now so we’ll give her a pen name. I will tell you that KSS is a 28 year old client of mine and is happy to share some of her thoughts and experiences – ‘paying it forward’ as it were so that more people are assured they aren’t the only ones going through these transitions. Really, this post could be written by one of my 40 or 50 something clients too. You’ll see more posts from KSS as the weeks go by. Stay tuned!

Road Signs are for more than Driving, by Guest Blogger KSS
Several years ago, in the throes of my first real job and its ensuing demise, I randomly turned on my television and was immediately greeted by Oprah Winfrey. Never an Oprah devotee, I quickly decided to change the channel, but something inside me halted my impulse. “Wait”, “Listen” were the words emanating from within me. So, I did. Sure enough, the next thirty seconds profoundly changed my outlook.

For months I anguished over what to do or make of myself since my original intentions – broadcast journalism, followed by public relations – were glaringly unsuccessful. Interviewers repeatedly told me that I was a very bright, accomplished, mature prospect with “everything going for her”. Except, every time the door of opportunity finally inched open and gave me the sense I was about to enter that realm of career bliss, it slammed shut – hard, cold and definitively. It was as though the universe was laughing at me, fumbling around like a fool in search of someone else’s destiny. I could not understand how this was happening to ME. Why did all of my seemingly green lights suddenly turn yellow, then red?

I still don’t really know what the topic of Oprah’s show was that day. All I needed to see was those few precious seconds and obviously someone out there in the greater cosmos felt it necessary to bluntly put the message in front of me since I had been speeding past it all along.

Close-up and looking straight into the camera as though speaking directly to ME, Oprah said, “God speaks to us often, but we choose not listen. When we don’t listen, God speaks more loudly. When we still don’t listen, God yells.”

The hairs on my arms raised in alert. Could it be that I was refusing to see the very signs directly in front of me all along? Was it possible that the purpose, clarity and direction I had been praying for were always there? Yes, it seemed plainly so. The bumpy road of my first attempts to carve a niche for myself in the world were filled with all kinds of road signs – some of them cautions or warnings, others detours or alternate routes. At that moment, I realized I had been seeing only what I wanted to see and ignoring the messages put right in front of me because they did not correspond to the course I had assumed I would travel or the road map I thought I wanted for my life.

That was a defining moment for me. I realized that I had been given road signs to navigate my course all along and finally decided to heed them. That signaled the beginning of my process of self-discovery and it meant I had to follow my own unique path even if, at times, it seemed contrary to the exactness I had envisioned. Life, like a road, is not predictable. There are sharp turns, steep hills to climb and beautiful scenes to take in along the way. The road map is always within us and we have to be unafraid and honest with ourselves if we really want to access it. Road signs will always be there to guide us, especially when we’ve misplaced our road map. We just have to open our eyes and see them.