white window blinds on window

Desert Garden


The older I get, the more I realize how much of life is a head game; how you think, feel and choose to see each scenario life throws at you will directly correspond to the outcome you receive.

Every morning when I wake up, I feel a cornucopia of emotions. Sometimes I feel joy. Other times, I feel like a prisoner in a cage that I can’t break free from. This morning was more of the latter, as I woke up to an empty home that was filled with joy, laughter and playtime with the most beautiful child in the world a mere 24 hours earlier.

This morning, I couldn’t magically make Atlas appear next to me. But, I did have a choice of how I’d perceive the day ahead. I bit the bullet on accepting he wasn’t there, and then asked myself a question I ask on most days where I feel off; “How would I feel if I woke up in this exact townhome in San Francisco?”

Like a king. Down to the shabby chic bathroom faucets and small bathtub. Ok, the bathroom faucets can be replaced – and I quickly found a set of 3 beautiful faucets for $20 on marketplace. Perfect weekend project.

For most of my life, I’ve found some solace in music. Either playing it or listening to it. As I dragged myself to the coffeeshop for my morning jolt, I started a trip down memory lane and quickly found myself belting out “Hello” as I watched the rain falling down the windshield. A perfect pairing for the tears on my face.

I’ve had my share of breakups in life, ranging from romantic to the breakup of dreams I thought would one day be my reality. The latter is a lot more difficult than the first – I think.

There was a time when I was 21 years-old and I found myself in a place most people strive for. For me, it was one of the most difficult chapters of my life as I watched a dream shatter like broken glass.

I worked all Summer on a startup project, and felt like it would be the ticket to me finding the sort of life and wealth I hoped for. Everything seemed to be going well, and I walked into a 5,500 square foot Pizzuti office every morning to find 30 people hard at work. I loved those mornings, and I’d go from desk to desk with my coffee mug telling the team “Monday, Monday, Monday! How are we doing today?”

It felt incredible to be the leader of the project. I’d make the long walk to my office, which was a massive corner office large enough to throw a football in. I’d greet my assistant who was ready with a fresh pot of coffee to start the day, then walk into the co-founders office to talk about our strategy for the week.

Then, we launched. Revenue didn’t come in. Layoffs happened. And just like that, I found myself walking into that huge office space to see only a few people still working at their desks. Eventually, they were let go and I was left to that entire space all by myself. The co-founder was nowhere to be found. At least, not at the office – he resorted to drowning his sorrows at the bar.

In a flash, it seemed like it was all over. Barely old enough to order a beer, I had racked up my first massive failure in business, and I remember the way I felt when I sat in that huge corner office all alone while the rain dripped down the huge windows. I listened to “Desert Garden” on repeat as I thought about my life and what was next.

Less than a month later, I was in New York City, working as a project manager for another startup.

Things come. Things go.

What I’ve learned about my life is that many of the experiences I’ve had were there to serve, support and teach me an important lesson while they were present in my life. Can I really look at any one situation and feel like the curtains are closing for the last time?

Not anymore.

A good friend of mine was recently fired from his job because of an embarrassing accident. Without going into the details, it was a mistake that anybody could have made and he simply found himself caught in the crosshairs of circumstance.

I met this man about eight years ago. When he first walked into my life, it was less than 24 hours after losing it all; house, business, cars, opportunities and even a measure of hope. At the time, I didn’t know the details.

He rebuilt. It took him nearly a decade, but he rebuilt his life. He got back on his feet, found a way to love and support his wife, and only recently got back into a home after a painful streak of not having one.

Then, he lost his job – less than 30 days after finally reaching the point where he was able to pay all of his bills and have a little left over. Right when he thought he was in the clear, circumstance struck him and he felt like the curtains were closing in on him again; fearful he was going to lose it all again.

He did what any man in that scenario should do; he took responsibility, asked for forgiveness for the mistake and went into the office to meet with the CEO of the company to ask for his job back. A lot was on the line.

Time ticked by and the days began to wear on him. If something didn’t happen soon, he was going to be back to square one. This time, he had a lot more to lose.

Every day, I called him. Sometimes twice a day. Something told me that things were going to work out for him, but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why I felt that way. Still, I continued to pray for his circumstance and namely – his peace.

Yesterday, I got a single text from him:

“I’m back to work.”

The waiting was over. The time had paid off. And the work he did to get his job back, which many people would have given up on, didn’t go to waste.

I believe that every dark storm will eventually transform itself into a beautiful day. Behind every storm cloud is a rainbow, if you’re patient enough to look for it.

Some days, I don’t quite feel like myself. At least, not the ‘self’ that’s full of joy, laughter or even hope. However, I have a reassurance in my heart that all things work together for the good, and that there will be a day where every difficulty reveals itself as the seed required to grow into something beautiful.

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