For a moment, think about all of the gatekeepers in your life. They could be the insurance adjuster approving or denying a claim. The college admissions board examining your application to decide your entry into the school of your dreams. The doctors deciding if you’ll be allowed to participate in a trial cancer study to test an experimental treatment. The religious figures determining whether to preside over a ceremony for a second marriage. The underwriters at the bank determining your eligibility to qualify for a home loan. The literary agent sorting through a growing slush pile of manuscripts, while making a subjective decision whether your story is worthy of trade publication. The human resources administrator deciding whether to hire you or your boss deciding whether you’re work is worthy of a raise. The course of our lives hinges on these gatekeepers just as much as we guide our own fate with our unique abilities, inherent skills, and often a spurt of luck. And, for that reason, my contempt towards the unavoidable gatekeepers mounts with age.
Maybe the countless expressions we’ve been told to bolster our confidence came about to counteract the impending letdowns in life. When one door closes another one opens. Don’t give up, because those that quit were just about to make it. Yada, yada, yada. There are those people who, after realizing their dreams, look back on the journey often evolving by accident, with serene contentment that everything worked out as it should. And then there are the rest of us trying to realize our dreams, while feeling deterred and at the mercy of gatekeepers we wish we could bypass. So today I’m a little frustrated, but there’s always tomorrow. I’m hoping my somber mood will pass if I just realize that my own internal fears can be the most impactful gatekeeper of all.