New life out of tragedy

The path is well worn and defined. But it's not too late to make a new one.

The path is well-worn and defined. But it’s not too late to make a new one.

A customer came in last night looking for a particular item. It was going to be a special order item and the customer was willing to wait. No problem she said.

It was the way she said it that caught my attention. For some unknown reason, I immediately thought to myself, “I bet this woman is a real estate agent.” We talked about the item for a moment and then I got the courage to ask her if she was an agent. Maybe it was the way she presented herself or the way she was dressed. I just had a feeling.

And I was right. Without asking, she proceeded to tell her story of how she became an agent. After 30+ years as a flight attendant with a major airline, the events of 9/11 are an integral part of where she is today. Sitting in a training class, a supervisor addressed the employees about the need to make big personnel cuts in the wake of the terrible events from that day. Before she had time to talk herself out of a profession she truly loved, she took the early retirement deal and left to join her husband in the real estate world. End of story.

But it wasn’t the story that itself that piqued my interest. It was the way she spoke of her former employer. She wasn’t bitter about being pushed out. She was grateful for the 30+ years in a job she loved. She held no ill will for the CEO that announced the cuts. She spoke of him fondly as if he were a childhood friend. She wasn’t angry at the tragedy that changed the lives of so many around the world. She was thankful for the new life she now leads.

I told her she needs to write a book about her experience. It’s the kind of inspiration that could be a valuable lesson to a generation of 50-somethings that have to start a new career due to forces out of their control.

She’s already working on it. 🙂

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3 Responses to New life out of tragedy

  1. Jordan Peterson says:

    That’s an amazing story! Hopefully you can let us know when she publishes it! 🙂

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