“I’ve failed over and over and over in life and that is why I succeed.” When Michael Jordan uttered those words, I thought he was talking about me. My life has been full of setbacks and heartbreaks but through the grace of God I’ve been triumphant.
I spent 10 years of my life in a low paying, unskilled industry. I worked hard, earned two degrees, and strived for excellence every day. Yet, somehow I couldn’t get out of answering monotonous telephone calls, listening to complaints, and solving everyone else’s problems. The perks were low and the pay was even lower, which is why I couldn’t wait to get out of such an undesirable entry level position.
Year after year I applied for every position at virtually every company in my city. The rejection letters came so frequently that I became accustomed to the “Thanks, but no thanks” verbiage that flooded my email regularly. I started wondering if answering phones was all God had in store for me. Little did I know He was about to show me exactly what His plans were for me.
I have always been outspoken. It’s a blessing at times but it has its drawbacks especially in a professional environment. In the corporate world, outspoken people can be unattractive to many employers. I’ve always thought outside of the box and never fed into mainstream ideals. I never knew that my willingness to go against the status quo could pay off in more ways than one.
I used to envy people that could sing, dance, or showcase other obvious talents they had. I couldn’t do any of those things. I didn’t have the aptitude to handle technical applications. I had a low amount of business acumen, and I had no desire to enhance my math and science skills.
My career choices were limited and I became used to the notion that a lifetime of performing menial duties was in my future. I didn’t go to college and go above and beyond expectations for 10 years to maintain an entry level position that didn’t require a degree or experience. I was discouraged and continually questioned God about my purpose in life.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it never occurred to me to pursue it as a career goal. I had no idea that others appreciated my opinionated views until I was asked to write an article for a popular website. People were receptive to my writing which has given me more writing opportunities for other media outlets. If it hadn’t been for those 10 long years in an environment that was less than ideal, I couldn’t now appreciate the opportunities God gave me. I never realized until now that God closed all those other doors to other careers so that I would take the one He opened for me. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there, as long as we get there.
Ashley Brumeh is a contributing writer to Madame Noire’s web-based publication and the Cincinnati Herald newspaper. Her work has also been featured in the Grio, an affiliate of NBC. She is from Cincinnati, OH and currently resides in Dayton, OH with her husband and young daughter.