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Meaning behind a closed door

in Life Lessons, Random Musings

I received an email this morning that broke my heart and left me remembering some the most profound lessons of my life as I found out that the woman who perhaps made the biggest impact in my writing career is now suffering from Alzheimer’s.

As I read the words, I felt my heart cry. This woman was one of the brightest women I have ever known. She believed in me. She pushed me. She celebrated with me. And just as I turned to celebrate her and shine the spotlight back where it was due, I find out that she is not enjoying the life that I had so hoped that retirement would bring her.

By bellemedia on

One of the first lessons she ever taught me as a journalist was very inadvertent, but it has stuck with me for 15 years. On the first day of class, the lab door was closed and the light was off. All of us eager young minds sat in the hall and waited. She showed up and asked, “is the door locked?” We assured her that we did not know.

Without skipping a beat she walked over and turned that knob and said, “First rule of journalism: If the door the is closed, open it and turn on the light. Never take a closed door to mean no.”

At the time I thought that was a very strange rule, but my life has definitely proved its wisdom.

Closed doors are simply opportunities to discover a new experience, but most of us are too scared of failure to open the door and walk inside.

Some of us dare to open the door, but we would rather walk around blindly than seek a light switch.

But as that mentor warned, I have learned not to ever take a closed door as a no. A closed door is simply an invitation to a new experience.

A rejection letter is not a put-down to me personally, it is simply a “no thank you” to that story at that publication at that time.

A doctor’s diagnosis is not a death sentence, it is simply a warning that should incite prayer and preparations rather than fear and doubt.

So thank you, mentor, for investing your time, life, and support in me. Your lessons live on, and many doors have been opened and many light switches have been turned on in your honor.

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