"Turning points, while they often come from moments of darkness can steer us in the direction of great light...or light bulb moments." Sir Richard Bramson
Thinking of what Richard wrote, I realized some of the best things happened in my life after a dark moment sparked that light! In one case an actual light bulb moment!
I was working at a university here in NYC for 3 years, when the then current governor, Pataki, cut funds to education and 1200 people lost their jobs with one day's notice. I can only imagine how hard that must have been for people with families. It was definitely not good news for me either.
I had left graphic design that I had enjoyed doing for years, leaving because while the financial rewards were great and I enjoyed the projects, the hours were long. 100 hour weeks the norm. And I wanted to focus on my dream of writing. So I didn't want to look for another demanding position, but didn't know what to look for. Still I trusted that I would know.
Then one day, it was a Monday, I remember, when I was wondering what to do, I suddenly felt a warmth over my head! Just when the thought popped into my mind, that I should do childcare!
I looked upward, the direction I believe all inspiration comes from, and said something like, 'You're kidding!' I went on to explain to the Powers that Be that I did not believe I could support myself doing babysitting. And besides I hadn't cared for a baby or young child since I helped with my brother a sister quite a while ago. So I was left hoping I would get a better idea soon. Because I needed a job now.
The following Saturday, I was grumbling to myself as I dressed to go to a poetry reading way downtown and on the west side. I had never gone to that venue, did not want to go, did not want to travel, wanted to stay home. But someone was definitely pushing me to dress and leave! So I went.
When I got there I saw a another poet I knew from other venues. Hadn't seen him in a few years. And glad to see a familiar face. Before the reading he invited me to join him and another woman poet to coffee afterward, and I agreed.
Turned out, she was leaving a childcare position at a church that provided childcare for parents attending the service and a social afterward. I took that job. Just two hours, one day a week. And relearned diapering, and had a lot of fun with about 5 children aged infant to 4 years.
Then went on to walk up to mothers and their young children in my neighborhood if I had a good feeling about them as I watched how they interacted with their children.
That light bulb moment led to 15 years of full-time and then part-time and then only Saturday nights with some of my very favorite people in the world! Parents & kids! Two of them are now 22 and 16 respectively and we are still in contact. Zach and I among other fun activities wrote and performed 12 plays together complete with puppets, costumes, a program and tickets for his parents to watch! With me as guide, Paul began painting in tempera and did his first oil paintings when he was 3. Going on to stretch & gesso his own canvases, working in oils to larger and larger sizes filling his families home with his enviable, gorgeous, abstract paintings.
So far, those were the most fun-filled, meaningful years of my life.
And all that happiness came after an event that seemed like terrible news but led me to change my life for the better., when that light - bulb moment occured.
Teaching me that in a dark time, be open, and listen. Because the light and the answer will come.
Have you found this to be true?