Ever been fired from a job? I was, twice. Both times were when I worked in media. The first time, I was shattered, as I had never been fired from anything, not even a babysitting job, in my life. In fact, I went on a week-long drunk. Ah yes, during the first couple hours, I was so hot, I called the vocational school from which I had graduated, and pretty much told them all to go straight to hell! Naturally, I had consumed a massive quantity of “fire water” prior to dialing that phone. Let’s face it, I believed that this was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me and I was seeing RED!
Now, I must say, that job I had was NOT something I aspired to keep for the rest of my life. I was working as a disc jockey at a small town, mid-Michigan radio station. It was quite the experience, took me out of my comfort zone. But I saw it as paying my dues. When I was enrolled in the vocational school, my goal was to work in television, NOT radio. However, we were told that the industry was so competitive, that we should be grateful for whatever work came our way, as we had to get some experience and prove ourselves. Guess what? My first job out of broadcasting school was in radio, not television. Rats!
I left the small, friendly town and relocated back down-state, deciding to take control of my life to make some sense of what had just happened. I joined a weight loss group, signed up with a talent agency and decided that there had to be something else out there. While I was busy losing weight, auditioning for parts in movies, etc., something wonderful happened. Never saw it coming but I couldn’t look away.
One night, I was watching television and I caught an episode of a local program that I created four years earlier. It was still on the air! Grabbing the phone quicker than trying to stop a child from running into the street, I called the station. Naturally, they pointed out that this was a tape and I needed to contact the station of origination. The next call put me in touch with the people I had volunteered with all those years ago and I was on cloud nine.
We set up for me to take their workshop and the next thing I knew, I was working there on a part-time basis. Finally, I was doing what it was I wanted to do and having the time of my life. In less than 6 months, I was full time and 3 years later I was saying goodbye to my chums and heading off to design and run a television studio for a southern Michigan city. Whoa!
That’s right, I got to live the dream. That studio I put together is still running even though I left in 1994. Funny thing too, the school I called that drunken day back in 1986, brought me in to sit on a panel of their success stories when they opened their brand-new school! Imagine that…
It was obvious, that I could not see the gift of being fired. All I saw was that I was being pushed away, dumped and left to fend for myself. Considering I had sent out a rocket of desire 3 years before that to be somewhere other than where I was, it was merely a matter of timing. They weren’t ready for me to work at the television studio and when they were, the Universe saw to it that I was available. Yes, I saw red for a while, burned hotter than the asphalt in the direct sunlight of a July afternoon. However, when the smoke cleared, I was enjoying myself more than at a fireworks celebration. I had new life thanks to a baptism by fire.