Sliding Doors: The entrance and exit of people in your life

13 Jun

I’m trying to be more diligent about blogging… can you tell?  I imagine you are wondering where this story is going with a title like Sliding Doors.  Do you remember a movie called Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow?  A good friend of mine recently recommended this movie as a therapeutic for my ailing mind; for my constant analyzation of why things happen as they do and how I possibly can or cannot change the course or path set before me.  I do not want to give away the movie if you haven’t seen it, but I will simply say that, no matter what side paths you take in life, I believe you will eventually end up in the same place either way.

This brings me to my point: the entrance and exit of people in your life.  At this very moment I happen to be sitting in Grand Central, the most beautiful train station in New York City, and quite possibly the top 5 in the world.  I am enjoying a cup of Oren’s Daily Roast while thinking about the people that have entered and exited my life over the course of time.  I woke this morning with an unshakeable desire to blog about this topic, and I think it is rooted in the slightly spontaneous meeting of an old friend in Central Park last night.

Several years ago, as a newcomer to the diagnostics sales arena, I found myself at the National Institutes of Health desperately searching for someone to hear my story.  I wanted nothing more than to show my new employer that I, Carissa Jones, could catapult their sales into the next universe while creating relationships to last a lifetime.  I met several people that day, although one person left a lasting impression on me.  He was a young, aspiring MD with hopes of changing the world as we know it today in the field of diabetes.  His inviting, warm smile provided instant comfort in a world where I was surely to fit in eventually, but at that point I had very little to offer in the way of medical knowledge and knowhow.  We sat down to lunch in Bethesda at a delicious tapas restaurant (my favorite so far) called Jaleo, discussing selected work topics as well as our backgrounds that led us to that particular day and time.  I remember that day clearly; it was a warm, sunny day and the food was spectacular!  Due to my friend’s extensive expertise in foods (which I didn’t have at that time), I ventured out beyond my usual boundaries and enjoyed a mouth-watering dish of thinly sliced raw octopus drizzled with olive oil, spices and pine nuts.  As we began to share the last bite of octopus, I remember asking a simple question: is it okay if we share the last bite?  You know, kind of like the ‘don’t double dip’ at a party… and his words were, “it’s nothing that the stomach acid won’t take care of.”  

As you can see I am setting the stage for what became a very rewarding and beautiful friendship.  Since that time it has been the kind of friendship that, even if we spend months without speaking, I know the next time I see this person it will be equally as genial and special as the first time we met.  Last night we decided to meet in Central Park, briefly, to catch up with each other since our last interaction was over 2 years ago.  As usual we had a pleasant talk, providing advice on our personal paths, making assumptions as to what the end result will be depending on which path we choose.  We left with a casual good bye, each knowing that someday our paths would cross again.

This interaction left me analyzing the people in my life, scattered here and there, on multiple continents, multiple ethnicities, multiple personalities… why did they enter my life?  And why is it that, at certain times when I am approaching a stage of self doubt or possibly embarking on a path of self discovery, some of these people present themselves and unequivocably alter my course?  I’m not saying that I am naive, gullible or impressionable.  I am simply stating a fact that certain people present themselves, at the perfect time and place, offering guidance that is sometimes inferred, not directly spoken.  Would I have come to a similar conclusion without the guidance of these individuals?  

It is truly my belief that I am destined for something, and no matter what I do, what side paths I take, I will eventually end up where I should be.  The people that enter and exit my life have a purpose, and sometimes that is momentary… they will fade away once they have served their purpose.  Still yet there are others who will be a constant presence, a counterpart in my life long journey.

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