Search for more Everyday Power
Just a few years ago, I was traveling from the U.S. to Spain to meet my mother and step-father for a much needed vacation. At that point in my life, I was working one full and two part-time jobs and simply wanted a break. I was tired mentally and physically and in desperate need of a recharge.
How Meeting A Prince Changed My Life
On the way there, I had a scheduled layover in France, which was exciting to me because I’d taken French in high school (some 20 years earlier, mind you) and had always wanted to see its beauty up close. However, what was supposed to be a couple-hour stay in that glorious country wound up with me being stranded there for the entire night due to a strike that had been initiated by the airline workers.
Stranded In Paris
Unfortunately, the only thing I could recall how to say after roughly two decades was “It’s raining” and “It’s snowing” and since it wasn’t doing either, I was struggling. Somehow, I was able to communicate well enough with the airline staff to learn that I would be given accommodations for the night and also that I had a phone card I could use to call my parents and give them news of my delay. (To this day, I still have no idea how I was able to make that phone call on a French-speaking payphone, but somehow I did and was able to pass along my new flight information.)
On my way to my hotel room for the night, I met up with a couple from my home state who were also stranded due to the strike, which made me feel a lot less lost and alone. But we also met up with another person…a man who claimed to be a prince from Nigeria. Admittedly, he did dress nice and seemed to be fairly well-educated, but the law enforcement side of me was highly skeptical. A prince?
With one eyebrow still raised in disbelief, the four of us decided to have dinner that night at the hotel and, in an effort to make the most of our impromptu stay in Paris, we made plans to grab a cab together and go see the Eiffel Tower. After all, you can’t go to Paris without seeing at least one of its iconic sites, right?
You could see it glitter from miles away, and I could feel the excitement growing the closer we got. Once we arrived, we all purchased our tickets to go up and while standing at the highest point that we were allowed to go, staring down in wonder at the city below, the prince and I spoke briefly about how beautiful it was. And, without warning, he did the last thing I ever expected. He proposed to me. Yes, marriage. To say that I was completely dumbfounded and speechless is putting it rather mildly.
Me? Marriage? Umm….
Once I could find the words, I came up with every possible reason as to why we absolutely could not enter into a sacred union together. “We’ve just met so we don’t know each other well enough to know whether we’re compatible,” I pleaded. “Besides, I don’t particularly like the idea of being royalty and am not entirely comfortable with the prospect of people waiting on me every day all day.” My list of objections went on and on but he kept insisting that we’d be fine because he just knew that we were perfect for each other.
He even went so far as to explain how gorgeous our wedding would be and how they would prepare my hair for the ceremony (braids, in case you were wondering). He also made sure I understood that I would have to kiss his father’s hand every time I saw him and that I would have body guards wherever I went. While this may be some women’s dream, it certainly wasn’t mine so, needless to say, I couldn’t get out of France fast enough, which I am glad to say that I did the first thing the very next morning.
Upon returning home a couple of weeks later and sharing my almost surreal story with my co-workers, they graciously bought me a crown in honor of my newfound status as princess (even though I declined the prince’s invitation, they felt that it was close enough to give me the title). With my new head jewels in place, they snapped a few pictures of me giving my best royal wave and, in a matter of seconds, it was published on Facebook for the rest of the world to see.
Although it certainly got lots of comments and likes from all of my family and friends, one in particular stood out. It was from a man I had known in high school who had never commented on anything of mine before. Intrigued, I looked at his page to see where he was living and what he was doing and I was surprised to learn that he resided in a city that I had visited on work business that very same day. Was it fate?
I decided to reach out to him and just say hi, not really sure where it would go—if anywhere. Well, we hit it off immediately and, long story extremely short, we’ve now been married for just over two years. He is my very best friend, the one who makes me laugh and smile, and the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.
Everything Happens for a Reason
Now, before this happened, I had always believed that everything happens for a reason and this whole proposed-to-by-a-prince experience just reinforced that notion for me. After all, sometimes you do have to be in the completely wrong-for-you situation in order to find your way to the right one. In my case, it was finding Mr. Wrong that led me straight to Mr. Right, the man who turned out to be my real prince in the end.
Certainly, not everything that happens in life is this dramatic or such a stand-out lesson, but even the small day-to-day things can impact your life in a rather large way. So often though, we miss them because we’re so busy constantly doing that we don’t slow down enough to see how everything fits together; how one thing leads to another which leads to another which puts you right where you are today.
Even now, when I find that I’m struggling with a certain situation and feeling like it is too big or too difficult to handle, I remind myself of this time in my life…of how things had to kind of fall out of place in order to fall into place in the end. This makes it easier to handle the not-so-pleasant times because I know that they have a purpose for me. Just as yours have a purpose for you.
So, if you are in a difficult place in your life right now and feel like you’re struggling a bit, remember that sometimes you have to go through the hard times to get where it is you need to be for something truly wonderful to happen. Life is not a straight, flat road, but more of a winding highway where you can’t always see what’s ahead. However, if you can learn to appreciate each twist and turn and where it may take you, the journey becomes much more enjoyable along the way.
In the meantime, make it a point to live your life to the best of your ability and, as my husband always says, “Never waste a crisis.” Take your unpleasant situations and learn from them so they become a benefit to you and not a disadvantage. And, above all, have faith that they will propel you forward, placing you right where you need to be, how you need to be, and when you need to be.
Oh yeah, and one other bit of advice: Always remember that sometimes the “real thing” can be standing before you, but if it isn’t right, then it’s not the thing for you…