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Not this.

One of the best writers I have ever worked with sent me a note asking me for my thoughts on a freelance story he is writing. He capped it off with this personal aside: “Did I tell you that I’m going to start work as a dishwasher in a fancy French restaurant here on April Fool’s Day?”

I thought he was joking, but when I wrote back to ask, he said, “I’ve done the math and I can pay the mortgage working for $9 an hour. That work will always be there and it gives me something to do and maybe I’ll get a story out of it.”

The fact that the trail has led David to the sink of a fancy French restaurant is both shocking and depressing to me. He’s 61 years old. He deserves the world — not this. But when he gets to the other side of the experience — which he will do — he will know so much about his own fortitude and strength.

thelma louise dvd download The same goes for you, as you are tested in your own 2009 ordeal.

You can either use adversity to beat you down or grow you up. The universe is trying to teach us all a big lesson, and this is our growth moment. We may have thought we knew what it meant to be resilient, tenacious and persistent, but now we are being forced to prove it.

More than anything, we are learning about the greater dimensions of faith. We’ve lost a great deal of faith in the system and many of our leaders, but this is a time we can gain faith in what matters most: each other and our spiritual connection. Crisis can bring us together or pull us apart. Our greatest growth comes when we are forced to operate in our discomfort zones.

Obviously, David deserves so much more than this. But, who will he be when he gets through it to the other side of this experience? Does he have faith that it will all work out? Does he know that he is loved and supported and will not endure this crucible moment alone?

My guess is that, if anyone can adapt to something like this, it will be him. And, he will probably emerge from the experience with a bestseller that will wind up with a movie where he is played by the scraggly, bearded, ZZ Top version of Brad Pitt. At least, that’s what I am hoping.

It’s hard to know now why things are unfolding the way they are, but ultimately, there is meaning in the challenge. Whether you spend time as a writer-turned-dishwasher or dishwasher-turned-writer, you are defining who you are in human terms. It’s no longer about the title on your resume, but the grit in your spirit. That can’t be a bad thing.

Hang in there. Someday, it will all make sense. Be brave, be bold.

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