“Opportunities always pop up, but taking a shot at them is always another matter.”
Opportunities are always there. In fact, they occur constantly. Many of us just happen to miss our chance for whatever reason. Just think about life as a series of said opportunities, and you are in for a heavy dose of hindsight and potential regret.
You think about that one person you liked but didn’t ask out.
You think about that one club you could have joined.
You think about that activity you could have learned at an earlier stage.
You think about all of the friends you could have made.
You think about all of the potential memories you passed on for other things.
All of this and more… It’s what life is about if you really break it down. There are numerous chances to take your shots at all kinds of things. Even if you miss your mark completely, I do believe now after many years of sad and dark days that it’s definitely better to go nuts and try as many things as you can while you still can.
If you don’t do stuff while you can, then what are you doing? That’s the real question here.
I recall a particular situation that happened near the conclusion of my senior year of high school. It was part of a special senior ceremony of sorts where the principal gathered the kids on the cusp of graduating to meet up in the gym and talk about how monumental graduation was for us.
She asked us to participate in a little activity of sorts. She would list out a bunch of random things we could have done in high school to stay involved. The kids who did any of the things would stand up and remain standing.
They were typical, high school-related activities.
Did you play in a sport?
Did you go see a high school play?
Did you take advanced classes?
Did you volunteer for a school-related function like a dance?
You get the idea. All the principal was doing was trying to highlight us special kids who actually did activities within our four years of being students.
To my surprise, there were a lot of kids who remained sitting after the principal was done asking questions to us seniors. To this day, I still wondered…
What the heck did those kids do?
Did they just go to school, go through the classes, eat lunch and then would promptly go home when the bell rang? Did they not try to join one club at some point?
Christ, what kind of high school experience did they have… Or so I thought to myself.
Mind you, I was technically a student athlete who got good grades in advanced courses, I did other school activities and tried to make my time in high school a decent one and so maybe I shouldn’t be one to talk.
And if you disregard the fact that our principal just indirectly shamed those kids (well, I would feel bad if I were them), there was a good point in all of this.
Those particular kids did not take any shots at all. Literally, they just did not try. If you don’t try, there is no chance you will succeed, let alone reap any rewards.
Even if you have less than one percent to hit your mark, if you at least attempt to fire at something that may be seemingly out of reach, there is technically some hope, right?
For instance, one random sport I picked up was soccer. By all means, I was a crappy soccer player in a lot of ways.
My worthwhile attributes as a soccer player?
I had easily the best slide tackle on the varsity team my senior year, and I was a very tenacious defender who would always be on your tail and get in your way whenever you tried to take shots at the goal. However, I was mediocre or worse in just about every other facet.
I had poor coordination to the point where I was very clumsy. I had lackluster technique. I was not particularly fast, nor did I have the best endurance, but I still tried my best out there on the field.
Even if my athletic skills were a bit spotty, I made it a point to continue with the sport because I liked it.
I am glad I took a shot at soccer. I never played on a team like that before until high school, so it taught me a lot of different things that I otherwise would have missed out on.
Anyway, what my principal said that day stood out to me. High school is what you make of it. And if you replace the high school part with life, it’s the same darn thing.
Ugh, I have been so oblivious. My high school self was much more aware of this than I am now. I should have been bolder in place of being so cowardly. I should have remained daring when it was just a cop-out to be wimpy and “play it safe.”
What am I playing safe for? Safe doesn’t cut it right now!
Especially in my recent blog posts, I have become more aware of this all. I had my share of new targets to aim before while I was falling apart, but I basically did not take the shots when they appeared.
And I wish I did.
Basically, a lot of things could have played out very differently had I just fired after targets that I did not find that desirable at the time.
Oh? I needed any job to keep me sane?
I could have just gotten a job at Walmart or something after graduating college as a just-for-now job. I could have been stocking shelves for a year or something like that instead of sitting at home being miserable because I wanted my big break to happen magically one day.
And sure, as the silver lining I always bring up, I am definitely glad certain things worked out in the end. After all, I never would have discovered how much I truly enjoy cooking if I did not let myself sink into that horrible depression.
Still, I can’t be so hard on myself. All of that stuff happened and more for a reason, and all I can really do is focus on what is ahead of me.
A lot of certain opportunities could in fact never appear again in my lifetime. Some chances are technically one-time deals, and if you don’t aim for them when they’re still available… Well, to put it bluntly, it’s your loss.
Then again, maybe we shouldn’t think of them as losses necessarily.
By all means, I have not had a miserable life as a whole. There are elements I wish I could have spruced up a bit here and there. But looking back at it all just tells me I have a lot of time left to live in the best possible manner I can muster.
It is just a matter of changing how I approach this journey. I believe there are always plenty of motivations and logical reasons to seek different paths down the road. There will always be new targets to aim at, and thus there will be additional opportunities to hit a bull’s-eye or two along the way.
I just have to keep my eyes peeled.
“Complete the process.” – Nhan Fiction