There is a new office complex opening 4 miles from my home…the house where I’ve lived for 4+ years that will be listed as “FOR SALE” this weekend because my employer of 20 years chose to fire me three days ago after learning of my arrest (see Day 75). Ironically, the first and primary tenant of the office complex is one of five business units within that company! This business unit is relocating its world headquarters to the town in which I live, situated 30 miles from the parent company’s world headquarters…where I worked until Friday of last week.
This morning, a new traffic light and street sign were hung over the intersection leading into the complex. The name of the main road of the new complex…”Opportunity Parkway.” How fitting for my life circumstances. Sunday, at church, when the minister asked for any celebrations, I offered up a thanksgiving for “new possibilities” — for new opportunities. And, through the work my higher power is doing in my heart, I am honestly able to see this as “Opportunity Parkway.” He’s slowly giving me glimpses and insights in my heart to seeds he has planted…to ways in which I believe He is calling me to use my gifts and skills in a new way. Ironically, many of these gifts — diversity awareness, leadership development, coaching & mentoring, compassionate communication, effective listening — were taught or honed during my 20 years of employment.
So, rather than seeing this decision as a loss, a regret…I choose to see it as a gift, as an opportunity to now take my experiences & skills and use them to more directly help people. Where and how, I don’t know — I must continue to work on my recovery — but I can already see possibilities. It may start with company and community leaders struggling with how to better understand & support addicts out of ignorance — much like corporate america 50 years ago with the alcoholic (Pope & Associate – Consulting Pairs). It may be connecting addicts with employment opportunities — addicts whose consequences led them into a compounding spiral in a system that works against us at times. It may be working with groups people leaving incarceration to reintegrate into community (Choices Team – Faith in Community Ministries). It may be helping equip addicts in recovery or ex-offenders with compassionate communication tools (Center for Non-Violent Communication – Freedom Project). God only knows…for now, I know simply I’m where I need to be. If I continue to focus on my recovery, on being clean and sober just for Today, then and only will Opportunity Parkway open for business.