July 1, 2019
Word of the Week: Trust
A few months ago, I went home to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my family. I had recently finished my Spring term and was excited to have some dedicated time to work on my business and complete the 100-hour internship requirement for my graduate program. I was in discussions with a very cool start-up focused on closing the gender gap in STEAM professions and nurturing creativity in children through learning-based toys. It seemed like the perfect fit.
It was around 10 am when I went over to visit my 98- and 100-years old (!!) grandparents in their assisted living apartment. They were both sitting at the kitchen table when I walked in. I pulled up a chair and started catching them up on life.
“Have you started that internship yet?” my grandma asked.
As a lifelong feminist, my grandma is one of my favorite people with whom to talk about women’s rights, how to empower women, and why women still can’t get ahead in the workplace. I recently called her on one of my walks and let her know I was jazzed about potentially doing my internship at this STEAM-focused start-up. We had a great time chatting about what the project would entail and the different ways I could propose the company design their product to better support girls’ confidence and reward the learning process vs. outcomes metrics. We were on to some exciting ideas!
“Not yet,” I told her. “I have another call with them tomorrow.” By that time, I had probably spent 20 hours scoping out this project. Countless emails back and forth, several phone calls, an in-person meeting, and peer consultation to make sure I was putting my best foot forward. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and unsure if this internship was a good fit after all.
Two weeks ago, I was on a school bus on my way to a wedding and I received an email to let me know the internship had fallen through. At first, I was crushed. Once I processed my disappointment, I was surprised to feel a huge sense of relief. If I was being honest with myself, I hadn’t actually wanted to do this project.
Something more aligned is waiting for me, I thought.
When I called my grandma and told her the internship fell through, I felt a little embarrassed. Had I let her down? There was a long pause and then matter-of-factly she said, “When one door closes, another one opens.” Grandmas are so wise.
Sure enough, I sent a note last week to the women’s co-working space I am a part of to ask if anyone had any leads for an internship opportunity. Within hours, I received numerous responses. One, in particular, that seems especially promising and will allow me to do exactly the type of work I want to be doing. The process has been fun, easy, and effortless in all the ways the STEAM start-up was not. More details to come soon but, for now, I am basking in the deliciousness of trusting myself, trusting the Universe, and trusting that things unfold exactly as they are supposed to.
Ask Yourself: What is the last door that closed on you and how did it lead to something even better? How can you loosen your grip on a relationship/job opportunity/idea about yourself and trust that things are unfolding exactly as they are supposed to?
Weekly Mantra: Things are unfolding exactly as they are supposed to.
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COPYRIGHT © 2020 ELIZABETH SU
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY
WEBSITE DESIGN BY BRAND PARTY™