I’m an aspiring interior decorator. And a few weeks ago I went to WithIt’s (Women In the Home Industries Today) annual professional conference. There were many highlights throughout the conference, and one of them was author and motivational speaker Leslie Haskin.
Leslie’s story is truly amazing. She was a high powered executive at Kemper Insurance Company in New York City, and one of only two black women to hold an executive position within the corporation’s eastern region. On September 11th, she was talking to her assistant when the tower that housed her office started to fall. Leslie and her co-workers frantically started to make their way down thirty-something flights of stairs, but not all of them made it to the ground. It took Leslie years to get past the depression and post-traumatic stress to rebuild her life, but she did.
I was blown away with Leslie’s personal account of 9/11, but I was even more blown away about what she said next.
After years of rebuilding her life, which included finding peace within herself and becoming an author and motivational speaker, Leslie was ready for love. Leslie had an older brother in Chicago that kept insisting that she meet one of his friends. But Leslie didn’t want to have anything to do with any of her brother’s friends because she figured they would be just like her brother: stiff. Her brother was a minister.
So, for years she refused to meet this friend based on the assumption that he was square.
Leslie’s best friend also had a friend that she claimed Leslie had to meet. From the way Leslie told the story, she was also apprehensive about meeting her best friend’s friend. But she agreed to it any way.
It turned out that they met for dinner, and by the end of the night she concluded that she was kinda digging him. So, they kept in touch and kept dating.
On one date, they had a picnic at sunset and then laid down to watch the stars. Her boyfriend started playing with her hand and in the process slipped on an engagement ring. After Leslie’s hooping and hollering when she took at look at her hand, they were officially engaged.
Great romantic story, right? Right. But, here’s the irony. Her new fiancé that she loved and adored so much turned out to be the same friend her brother wanted her to meet years prior.
Moral of the story: there’s no escaping fate. This particular story is about love, but it holds an important lesson relevant to many aspects of life. It teaches the rest of us goddesses that fighting life is futile. Too often we try to guard ourselves from life’s disappointment and roadblocks, but in that same effort we may be preventing ourselves from learning life’s best lessons or experiencing some of its best opportunities. We can either choose to roll with life or fight it. This story shows us that regardless of what we choose, what is to be will be.