Those slammed and immovable doors.
This is one of the most daunting questions I ask myself on a regular basis: How are we supposed to understand doors slamming in our face, or doors that won't even open enough for them to slam at all?
Some say that means it's not your door. Others say to fight it, open it, find a window, find a way.
Which is it? What do we do? Do we accept the initial rejection and move along to another door altogether? Or do we persist in pursuit of what we think is behind that slammed or immovable door?
It's not an easy answer, and I don't think it's as simple as saying it's one over the other. I think both answers are sometimes right and I also think they're both sometimes wrong. I think in some ways, a slammed door or a door that won't even open is information that maybe this is for the better, maybe you're not supposed to seek what's in there. I can see how this has played out for me precisely in this way time and time again: I digress from one path at the lure of a new door and whatever might exist behind it, only to find that it won't even budge enough to let me catch a glimpse—or, I manage to open it enough that it slams shut. Either way, I remain on the outside.
By the same token, I know I wouldn't have wanted to pursue those other doors in the first place had it not happened that my initial path made me doubt everything I was doing. That is, doors have been slammed in my face and seemingly immovable here, too—on the road I'm already walking. I didn't turn away from what I dreamed of accomplishing just for fun; I turned away because things weren't working. Things weren't working for a long, long time, and I grew tired. Exhausted. Completely burned out.
But... with every other door I've tried to open along the way, every time I've tested other visions and hopes and ideas of what might be there for me behind a different door, I've felt an even colder rush of air when it slams, the exhaustion of trying to open it every which way, and yet it just won't—because this was supposed to work better than that other thing. This was supposed to be the answer for why the other thing wasn't working.
It hurts at first. The pain is strong and it stings and it makes you feel like you might never be okay again, because if this didn't work, and the door before it didn't work, then what are you doing? What is the point?
Am I just a failure? A lost cause? Purposeless?
But then you pick your head up, you look around, and you remember where you've been all this time: climbing and crawling and crying and celebrating and making your way along this path made accessible to you by that first door—the one that got you here despite all the others that wouldn't let you in, even if they were along that same path.
And that's important: knowing that even on the path meant for you, there will be doors that refuse to budge, there will be doors that slam in your face, there will be people who hate you (most likely because they deeply hate themselves) and there will be a few who want to see you thrive (most likely because they've been where you are).
But that still leaves us to wonder what exactly we're supposed to do with those slammed and immovable doors. So I guess my best shot at an answer is this:
If it opens, say "thank you," step inside and know that this is merely the first of many doors along this trajectory, and that the doors to follow may not be as welcoming.
And if it doesn't open, or if it opens enough to slam shut, maybe try two more times, and if it still refuses you, be sad and angry for a moment. Go ahead, curse the door. Punch the door. Seriously.
Then take three steps back from it, pick your head up enough to stare it down, and ask why. Why won't it open? Why did it open just enough to hurt you?
Ask yourself. This is the most important part. Because when you ask yourself, that closed door will turn into a mirror and you'll have no choice but to look within and around you for any semblance of an answer. And when you look within and around yourself, you just might get a hint as to why you're not supposed to go in there—why perhaps you are supposed to stay and persist out here, on the path you're already traveling by way of that one door you've already opened.
Or maybe those answers will still point you towards busting down that door and finding a way. Only you will ever know. Only you can feel that direction.
Don't get me wrong, you won't get a definite answer; you'll only find possibilities, and at least the way I've experienced it, it's within those possibilities that you'll find yourself, and it's only in finding yourself that you'll find your way. After all, you don't even know what you want if you don't know who you are.
And finally, that brings me to make this bold assertion: I don't think you really know who you are until you doubt what you're doing, until you wander and consider different paths, until doors slam in your face and hurt you and leave you drowning in even more doubt than what got you into this mess in the first place.
But that's the point; the mess is your life. It's the learning curve. That's where it all happens: the doors, whether they open or not, are the things that build you—even when it feels more like they're destroying you. Whether you choose to fight the closed doors, move on to the next ones or persist along the path you're already walking, it all serves to introduce you to yourself. It all leads to further "why's" and "what if's," because with things like this, the answer is always another question.
And I could be wrong, but I think that's how you end up finding the doors that will open to you. You keep asking the questions. You keep oscillating closer and closer to your core, learning who you really are and what that means.
You keep going.