Wisdom > Spoiler

What a difference a tough year makes

For our last piece in 2017, some introspection

When it seems nothing is going right in your life, buy a better pair of shoes next time. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The above photo was taken in February this year. It pretty much summed up the state of affairs in my life at the time. I had just lost my job back then—not once but twice. I had no idea what to do next. Everything seemed hopeless. On the outside, I was putting up a brave front for everyone to see; on the inside, I was crumbling fast.

I had plans, sure. This website had been brewing in my head for months, but a one-year noncompete clause was keeping me from doing it. I was stumped. To top it all off, things of an unfortunate nature kept happening to me: broken car and home air-conditioning (yes, both), recurring gout attacks and, of course, detached shoe soles. I was positive the universe was toying with me.

Fast-forward 11 months and VISOR is up, and I’m happier than I’ve been in many years. If you had told me last year that I’d be in this position on December 31st of 2017, I’d be completely incredulous. You’d have a hard time convincing a person who was content to brood and listen to The Wild Swans’ “The Worst Year of My Life.”

Meet the VISOR team of owners, columnists, writers, programmers and artists. We're here to engage you. PHOTO FROM CHRISTINA S. CHUA

When things are falling apart, our tendency is to fear and expect the worst. Very rarely does someone take it on the chin with a grateful heart and an optimistic perspective. The easier thing to do is to feel angry, hold a grudge, become bitter, blame the world.

They say everything looks absolutely clear and makes perfect sense in hindsight. That couldn’t be any truer in my case. From where I sit today, I now understand why things took place when they did and why people did what they did. One, if I didn’t lose my job the first time, I’d still be a corporate slave working for somebody else. Two, if my former boss didn’t threaten to sue me if I put up my own motoring website, I would have launched a haphazard version of VISOR. Three, if I didn’t lose a subsequent job within a three-month span, I wouldn’t have found the time to work on my real plan.

God has shown me in the past 12 months that there really is a time for everything. What we believe to be a setback or even an injustice right now could actually be the key to our future success, progress, freedom. Sometimes we have to go through adversity to reach our goal—it’s just difficult to see it at first. For 2018 and beyond, may we all approach life with a consistently thankful spirit, knowing that things will always work out for the best if we just keep the faith and do what is right.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.