Perserverance, May 2014
From the Publisher - May 2014
“You can never regret anything you do in life.
You kind of have to learn the lesson from whatever the experience is and take it with you on your journey forward.” - Aubrey O’Day
Have you ever stopped and taken an aerial view of your life; pondering exactly how you got from there to here? Here, where you are today in your relationships, career and overall satisfaction with life. As the creator and owner of Pink Magazine, I am often asked how I did it or what motivated me do it. I always reply: When I step back and take an aerial view of my life, thus far, the path is clear and precise; that is the path that lead me straight to it.
What do I mean by an aerial view? It’s looking at your life as if you were floating over it with a perfect view of exactly where you have been. Let me paint you a picture. When I think back through my career and life, in general, I have visions of stepping-stones perfectly carved out through a thick forest leading me straight to where I am today. Not all of the stepping-stones have been easy or happy ones, but when I look back, and put a time and place to each stone, I understand why each part was required. Sometimes, when you’re in the thick of the “forest,” you feel bounced around and beaten up like a pinball, but the aerial view helps to make sense of it all.
When I was first married, I had a wonderful job as a pharmaceutical sales representative. I only worked 25 hours a week and probably made more money than most who work full-time, much harder jobs. It was ideal. Unfortunately, I was eight months pregnant when the company permanently laid-off 1,400 sales representatives across America…me included. My plans were shattered. I was shattered. First of all, who hires a pregnant woman? Secondly, Why me? I did a good job and produced successful results. I wanted to hold on. I wasn’t ready for that not to work. Thirdly, what now? I felt lost, empty and afraid.
A full year and one-third the salary later, I found a job—the first job that proved to be clear stepping stone to the future of Pink Magazine. That was in 1994, before I ever had one thought about starting a magazine. One more child, four moves and seven jobs later, I started Millen Publishing Group, LLC. Was I scared? You bet! But, in going back to aerial mode, this step shines bright. Like the Park Avenue space on a Monopoly board, this is the step upon which I wanted to roll the dice and land. Though I have no idea what or when my next step is, I know without a doubt there will be a next step. I am a firm believer that there is a plan for me--a plan to prosper me--and I have faith.
As women, we work hard to get where we think we need to be going. The thing we don’t know is if we really should be going there at all. We tend to forget that the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry (John Steinbeck). Most of the time we lose sight of our aerial view. We are in the depths of the forest and can only see the stepping-stones behind us. Unsure of where the next stepping-stone is or where it will take us, we often choose to hang on to the familiar stone, instead of taking the next step to possible greatness. Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
Want to see something interesting? Take an aerial view of your life. See the path. Notice how perfectly one step leads to the next. Know that every step along the way was the right one at that time. Don’t be afraid to move forward to the next step. Remember, you can never go wrong; if you get off course, you will find your way back!
Elizabeth Skenes Millen