My phone buzzed, and I almost knocked it off my desk in my eagerness to grab it.
I looked at the screen, and my shoulders slumped. I barely saw what it was. Just not what I was waiting for. Again. I let out the breath I was holding.
How many times could a person feel this way, excited then deflated, again and again in an endless loop? It was agonizing.
The wait continued. My phone lay motionless next to my mousepad. I willed myself to stop staring at it and get back to work.
So of course that’s when it buzzed again. I snatched it.
It was an email from my boss. Can you come to my office?
Oh my goodness. Could this be it? A surge of adrenaline started pumping through me.
Be there in 5, I typed back.
I could barely breathe as I walked to her office. It couldn’t be healthy for my heart to beat this fast.
The only thought that calmed me was that, for better or worse, I’d finally have my answer. The suspense would be over at last.
My boss sat me down and got right to the point.
“I’m sorry, Heidi, but we’ve decided to go with someone else.”
The world stopped.
“Not that you couldn’t do the job. It came down to experience, and the other candidate had more,” she explained from very far away.
I sank in my chair. My heart mimicked the motion in my chest. I hadn’t realized just how much I’d wanted the new job until I didn’t get it. It was like a physical blow.
It was like that feeling when the home team almost wins a really close game, and then doesn’t. That times a thousand or so. The crowd sighs.
I replayed the job interview over and over in my head. I thought I’d nailed it. It couldn’t have just been a matter of experience, right? I wasn’t letting myself off the hook that easy. Really, where did I go wrong?
I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Was that too much to ask for?
I hated this feeling I was experiencing. Disappointment. Disappointment I didn’t get the job, and disappointment in myself.
I hadn’t felt this let down in a really long time
Six years or so, actually.
In 2005, my husband and I invested everything we had and purchased a bridal gown boutique. The timing was perfect. Some friends of ours wanted to retire early, and they were thrilled we were willing to buy it. They even held the mortgage for us to take it over. We were very grateful.
The first few years were amazing!
Business was good, and days working in the boutique were filled with laughter, tears of joy, and beautiful family moments. I loved it.
But by the end of the third year my sparkly dream started to tarnish. The country was heading into a recession, and we quickly started to feel the strain.
Our accountants explained that wedding gowns were considered a luxury item, and that in times of recession, they’re usually the first thing people start cutting back on. They recommended we sell or close the shop before things got too out of control.
No way. Wedding gowns are too important to a bride, I thought.
Turns out I was wrong.
As predicted by the professionals, the year that followed was difficult. But I didn’t want to give it up yet. We weathered the storm.
And as we headed into our fifth year, things actually started to turn around. The brides were back in full force, and so were their wedding dress budgets. Sales were increasing, and the financial storm clouds were clearing. We’d fought with everything we had, and it looked like it was starting to pay off.
Then, out of nowhere, we were blindsided.
The original owners of the boutique, our friends, suddenly wanted their mortgage to be paid in full. Immediately. The recession had been hard on them, they explained, and financially they couldn’t hold the large loan anymore.
We empathized with our friends, but we were nervous that we may not be able to secure such a large loan with the bank.
We talked to every financial institute, credit union, and mortgage broker who would meet with us, but rejection followed us everywhere we went.
We felt like we were living a nightmare.
With no other option, we came to a settlement with the original owners. We would take a substantial loss and they would become the owners of the business and building again.
After all the ups and downs we’d been through, the battle was over. We had lost.
We were emotionally and financially devastated from this turn of events.
However, those feelings were nothing in comparison to what I felt when we learned our friends had lied to us. They weren’t financially desperate after all. In reality they had regretted taking such an early retirement, and had wanted the building and business back for their own gain.
We had lost everything. Our livelihood, our identity, our friends. And for nothing more than sheer greed.
It was heartbreaking. I cried for weeks.
Then one evening before bed, Mike said something to me that changed everything.
“What a difference 24 hours will make. Just believe it and it will happen.”
Simple words, but I was desperate to feel better and it felt like something to hold on to. Maybe I could feel better tomorrow.
The next evening we both agreed it had actually helped. For the next few months we would both repeat the same hopeful mantra every night before bed.
What a difference 24 hours will make.
It worked. I really began to believe that every day I’d feel a little better than the last. And I did.
With our new-found attitude, things slowly got better, and our finances began to improve.
Eventually, I found an amazing new job working in television, and the sting of disappointment was long forgotten. At one time it had seemed like my whole world was imploding, but now I barely thought about those times. Funny how you can get over things.
Sitting at work now, still reeling from the bad news, I pondered my latest upset, and felt my mood lighten just a little bit. I didn’t get the new job, and sure that was upsetting, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Give it 24, I thought.
Time eases pain, gives perspective, and allows us an opportunity to plan our next move. Because there will be a next move. It’s coming, army members.
So whether you’re down about a job, a crush, or any other disappointment life throws at you, just remember that you’ll feel better with every passing day. I did. Give it 24.
Written by Heidi – Founder of the Positive People Army
If you like this story you will love“I Choose the Roller Coaster”
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