The Catalyst

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“When one door closes, another one opens.”

“Nothing happens by chance.”

* * * * *

We’ve all heard these platitudes. Heck, we’ve all said them hundreds of times. I know I certainly have. But do we really believe them to be true?

Does everything really happen for a reason? I mean, “everything”? I can think of many examples of things that appear to have to no reason whatsoever. And yet, I can see how some things might spur one in a new direction. I might feel better if this statement said: “Some things happen for a reason, but not everything. And it might take you a while to figure out.” Rolls right off the tongue!

Does the other door open because it’s supposed to? Or does it open because you selected a door, turned the handle and pulled it open? Don’t we make our own reasons? Open our own doors? (No, I’m not covering the debate of free will versus destiny.)

I have been thinking a lot about this since the middle of May when I received notification that my job had been eliminated and I had only 60 days left in Corporate America. This was not a surprise to me given some other events that had transpired, so I was emotionally and mentally prepared for it. But since then I have had so many people declare the quotes listed above. I’m not saying I completely disagree, but I view this change in my employment status as a catalyst (“an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”) rather simply fated.

New things aren’t just going to happen to me. I need to do something with this change. I need to come up with a plan, take action, educate myself, and work hard if I want to look back on this and say, “there was a reason this happened”. It’s not going to just happen to me – the door will not just open all by itself. (Although it would be fabulous if it did!) J

So what doors will I be pulling open? What direction is my catalyst sending me?

I plan to pursue a career that focuses on my passions – plant based nutrition, coaching, and writing. Stay tune for more information over the next several months because I need to do my homework first. What are my options? What’s the financial investment? What’s the market? I don’t know what I don’t know about starting my own business, so education must come first.

I already started with my certification in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell that I completed last week. I have also already started working with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Scranton, as well as taken several courses with a career-coaching program offered by my (soon-to-be-former) employer.

I’m super excited about the opportunities ahead and I guess none of this would be happening if not for this reason, this catalyst.

I do prefer the following platitudes, however:

“When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” ~Dale Carnegie

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” ~ Dr. Seuss

“Life is what you make it” ~ Anurag Prakash Ray

original_life-is-what-you-make-it-wall-sticker

IMDb: The Catalyst (2010)

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7 thoughts on “The Catalyst

  1. Hi,
    How well said, I am excited for you, I can imagine that you will be successful at whatever you try. Since you do have a brain ( getting educated) and feet, not afraid to make that move, I will be excited to see what you will do with this opportunity.

  2. Michele,

    A wonderfully honest reflection of what I know to be a difficult time. While you don’t need me to say this, I never the less well…especially since so many said it to me a few months ago, and I foud it comforting (although I also found it sometimes difficult to believe): Welcome to the other side, there is life here, you know, after that place we both grew up in, career-wise.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help as you undertake this new journey. My bet, based on experience, is that you will begin to see parts of the world with a different set of eyes before too long. You’ll look backward sometimes scratching your head, and you’ll look forward seeing things you previously never imagined possible.

    All the Best,
    – Steve

    PS – Please blog more.

    • Steve,
      Thank you so much! As one who has gone through it, your words mean a lot to me. I’m quite excited for the future, and I do promise to blog more. That’s part of the grand plan. 🙂
      Looks like you had a great vacation!
      Take care!
      Michele

  3. Life is indeed what you make it – but then you’ve known that for quite a while now. May this catalyst and your passion lead you to a place that fulfills your dreams. Thinking of you and sending my best.

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