Still trying to open doors

The Grateful Dead

Truckin, like the do-dah man. once told me you’ve got to play your hand

Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime, if you don’t lay ’em down,

Sometimes the lights all shinin on me; Other times I can barely see.

Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.

— from “Truckin‘” by Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Philip Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.

Helen Keller

They mean well.

But if only I had $1 for every time someone has quoted the blind and deaf 20th century American writer, Helen Keller, who said: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens.”

Or some other similarly clichéd — but meant-to-be-helpful — comment about my life as one of the millions of Americans who are looking for work.

My friends, however, usually forget the second part of Keller’s quote: “Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” .

Because it’s easy to overlook an opened door, I’m grateful to the many friends who are still out there, helping in my search for a new job. I appreciate their support. It’s hard to imagine how much worse things would have been without their concern and kind words, which have helped me keep on truckin’

Actually, I have a pretty good idea of how bleak my life could look, thanks to a series of first-person stories that have been published by I read this Monday, some 20 hours after learning I hadn’t made the cut as a finalist for a job I was really hoping to get after having a pretty good interview.

The rejection really hit me hard. One friend told me my head was hanging lower Monday morning than she had ever seen it.

And then, an unexpected door may have opened. A friend called to ask if I remembered meeting the owner of a Muscatine business.

Yes, I said.

He is going to call you this afternoon, my friend said.

To make a long story short, that business owner and I met for a little more than an hour today. It wasn’t even really a job interview. It was just an opportunity for two guys to get to know each other.

And that may have been all it was. But it also may have been a door that was cracked open ever so slightly.

One thing is for sure: It wasn’t the closed door that I’ve been facing for the past six months. If nothing comes from that meeting, at least it helped refuel my determination tank so that I can keep on trucking.

And that’s a much brighter state of mind in which to look for a job. It’s far better than the dark place in which I was stuck a few days ago.

More good news — maybe: Someone from the office of Dr. Benjamin Clove, a Muscatine dentist, called today to say I have been chosen as a finalist in the 2012 New You Muscatine Makeover contest.

This is the third year for the contest, which is sponsored by Clove Dental, Genevieve’s Photography, Salon Incognito, The HallTree Boutique and the Therapeutic Body Shoppe. The makeover, if I remember correctly, is valued at $10,000.

I have an appointment for next week so Clove can take a look under the hood, so to speak.  With a little luck, I could be chosen for the makeover, which could mean I’d finally have the pearly, white teeth I’ve never had to match the world-class dimples my mother passed on to me.

That, my friends, would give me a reason to smile in a way I have not smiled in a long time.

If you happen to know the good dentist, anyone who works for him or the other sponsors, please tell them in the  next few days you read on this blog or my Facebook and Twitter feeds about the contest and my selection as a finalist. It might help my chances of being selected.

But of course, winning could mean that poor Megan Walker at Salon Incognito might have to endure an experience like this with me.

2 thoughts on “Still trying to open doors

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