When I was a senior in high school, and had been rejected by the very last college I had yet to hear from–Barnard, which ironically became my alma mater after I transferred there two years hence–an old friend of my dad’s was visiting from Scotland.
I was lying length-wise on my childhood bed in my childhood room, sobbing. I was a kid and am now an adult who tends to hide her feelings from all but the most intimate in my circle. It was a sign of how heartbroken I was that even as this Scotsman sat on the edge of my bed, trying to say goodbye to this out of control, angst-ridden adolescent, I couldn’t pull myself together.
I had been dreaming of going to college for a long, long time. Only one thing penetrated my caul of sorrow, and that was when Jim said the following in his thick brogue.
“Jenny, I know you won’t believe this now,” he said. “But sometimes, the things that seem the worst to us turn out to be for the best.”
Then he patted me fondly if a little awkwardly–remember, out of control teenager, and Jim had at that point only a four year old–simple, easy–and got up and left for points east.
(Scotland’s east, right?)
I applied late to Bard College. I went there for two years and left for a reason that still seems divinely steered given how much I loved Bard–but that’s for another post.
What’s for this one is that Jim was so right that I remember his words these many years later, and still recount them for basically anyone who will listen.
Sometimes the worst things turn out to be for the best.
If you really take that to heart, you can weather a lot of blows. You can anticipate that what seems like a big ole punch to the gut just might turn out to be exactly what you needed.
We’re at a point like that again now. It’s not anywhere near as bad as that final rejection letter felt. But things are a bit in upheaval, we’re not sure how the next step of our lives might shake out.
I’m trying to remember Jim’s words. I’m hoping that for anyone who’s in a similar place, those words might have meaning, too.