I’m days away from turning 65. I’ve known a lot of people in six and a half decades. They all had one thing in common: trouble. Not one of them had reached whatever age they were, from newborn to newly deceased, without having to figure out how to move on after some kind of trouble.
The list of what can go wrong in our lives is probably finite, and it’s likely everything on the list has troubled millions of us. Still, when it’s our turn to fall off the mountain, we’re the first because we have never lain at the bottom of that cliff and had to figure out how to climb back up.
When we hear, watch or read the experiences of others who have survived the tumble, we feel supported, less alone. We have a traveling companion who knows a piece of the road ahead and can help us read that part of the map.
The young man behind risingbean.com never identifies himself by name, but his experience is painfully common. He was fired, as he puts it: “unceremoniously”. He was ashamed and embarrassed. Although the job was only giving him “mediocre satisfaction”, and he was already casting about for something different, he never expected to be let go.
Three years later, he is grateful. He posted a letter of appreciation on the blog he’s been writing since 2008, a blog that’s thoughtful, questioning, and sometimes downright inspiring. In the letter he thanks the people who fired him:
“Surprisingly, as I started doing what I loved to do, the businesses did well, and I was able to free my time. Now, I have much more time to spend with my family, to learn new skills, to travel, and to contribute back. I believe I would have been on this path regardless, but it would have taken much longer without your intervention.”
Trouble is always ahead, and it is always behind. So is joy. It’s the colourful interweaving that gives our lives texture.
This young man has discovered that. He’s another good companion on our complicated journeys.
You’ll get a flavour of Ki’une’s spirit in the videos he posts on another of his Web sites, pickupdance.com. (Ki’une is a pen name that combines one word in Japanese and other in French: energy + one.) Here’s one that made me smile. Watch for his message in the last frame.