I had just flown back to NYC one morning on a 6am Spirit flight (my third 6am flight in two weeks) and my head was pounding having hardly slept the night before as I dragged my suitcase up to my apartment. I had to be at work in an hour and every fiber in my body longed to just curl up in the purple and white bed in the corner of my eye. I seriously considered calling in sick but it was just my second week of work and my very tired brain still knew better than that. So, skin looking dull and dry from the flight, hair disheveled, will hanging on a thread, I forced myself onto a cab to race to work. The whole ride I thought to myself resentfully, “I’m just an intern. They can do without me anytime.” Other irresponsible thoughts flitted through my pounding head all day, as I ran errands and edited and organized things here or there. But then, soon after lunch, after my third cup of coffee, one of my colleagues turned to me and asked “Do you want to go to the fashion week party? The boss can’t make it so he said you should go.” I was really excited to go, but I kept thinking, “Of course it has to be the day I’m most sleep deprived and look awful…” Though I cursed the inconvenience of the timing, I was ultimately very very grateful I had chosen to come to work.
Multiple times in my life have I felt that the timing of an event has played a cruel joke on me, that had I not dragged myself out of bed to do this or that, I would have missed something significant entirely. Once, it was when I got to interview one of my all time favorite celebrities (I had woken up crazy late that morning, wore jeans for the first time to work and was incredibly disheveled so of course it to be that day). Another time, I had horrible cramps and did actually have an excuse to call in sick but it was the day my boss told me he had decided to keep me on after the internship and then flew off on a long business trip the next day.
I can’t tell you how many couples I know (including myself) that started a relationship before they immediately had to embark on some long-distance in one form or another, casting an undeserved shadow on a budding relationship. But through the exchange of advice with my friends as they asked whether they should bother taking the relationship to a new level right before they are to part, I’ve learned that just because the timing isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean the relationship, or the feelings are any less valid. So much of my life has been dedicated to planning and preparing for big moments, but I’ve found that some of the biggest moments always come unannounced and on the day I’m least prepared. And all there’s left to do is kind of take it and go with it, and pray that your faith will pay off.
I’m reminded here of a success story that has given me encouragement whenever I feel that I’m planning and preparing to no visible end: A lady named Taylor Tomasi Hill used to be fashion icon, on top of being accessories director at Marie Claire, then creative director at Moda Operandi. In a sudden change of heart, she quit her job in hopes of focusing more on her family, and while doing so, decided to send her past coworkers, bosses and clients flower arrangements as a token of her gratitude, flowers that, she arranged herself. Before long, everyone was ringing her up asking for a reference to the florist who made those beautiful bouquets and, well, I don’t have to tell you that she owns a flourishing business as a florist now. It was a fluke, just a fun idea to arrange the flowers herself, having had an interest in it before, but it turned into a passion that took over the next chapter of her life. There are a myriad of success stories that mirror this one, but more often than not, they are obscured by the neat resumes we read, about CEOs and bosses who seem to have gotten to their position by dutifully climbing the proverbial ladder.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, grand as our ideas for success may be, sometimes it’s easy to forget that those jobs, those opportunities, those life changing moments, do not fall out of the sky on the day you’re most groomed or prepared but start with the most mundane, most tedious, most simple actions, like dragging yourself out of bed even when you least feel like it, because you never know when today might just be your day.