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Sometimes, it’s good things don’t work out: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

Photo by Jamie Roach

I ran into an old college classmate at the grocery store yesterday. While we were catching up, he mentioned to me that he was beginning a new job and a new master’s degree program, in a new city, with many opportunities to begin to establish himself in his field while pursuing higher education.

Although he started at the end result of that particular journey he made sure to backtrack to the beginning, and the middle (a process that can seem to take ages to us), saying that he’d applied to many different universities, but was not accepted; that he applied for position after position, with no result.

This process, which lasted over a year, was very discouraging to him. Although he may have wanted to give up at times, he didn’t. He continued to network, ask questions, and pursue activities and projects on the side, while being fortunate enough to work at a “job” to pay the bills. As a result of this, he was able to connect with people who could in turn connect him to opportunities where he was able to flourish.

Although he is now in a place where he might have previously overlooked, he is also a witness to results that he would have never thought were possible (and never would have been made possible had he given up).

As I’ve written before, I’ve come to believe that people can be like mirrors because they can help us to gain insight into ourselves by sharing their experiences if we listen carefully.

Listening to his story caused me to think about times in my own life when I’ve been discouraged because it seemed as if something didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to or “needed” it to; situations where things seemed to have fallen apart, only to fall into place after a time.

Celebrating with him and hearing his story reminded me that in many areas of life, in the middle of whatever we might be struggling with…..

Although we might not be able to see it “right now”,

Although I might not be able to see it “right now” (because I sometimes have to remind myself as well)…

Sometimes it’s good that things don’t work out. What we really need might be just around the corner. In fact, the process of getting to “that place” could serve to prepare us for what’s to come.

Think about your own life. Can you see yourself in this story? What experiences have you had where success was just around the bend?

Originally posted here at

Written by Relando Thompkins

Relando Thompkins is a blogger and community activist born and raised in the Brightmoor community on the west side of Detroit, MI. Relando is a product of Detroit Public Schools, and he desire to help those who believe that they are outcast, those who believe that no one cares for them, and those who believe that they cannot change their situations.