Sunday, April 11, 2010

Missed Moments

I pulled up to my 38th St ghetto-fabulous CVS a couple of days ago. I was in a rush and just had to pick up a couple of things before heading out to school. I remember I looked down to grab my wallet, but when I went to get out the car there was a woman standing outside my door knocking on my window. I screamed and jumped about 6 ft., as the woman backed away from Black Beauty, my lovely Chevy Cavalier, and waited for me to get out.

 I already know what you are going to say, " You didn't get out of the car, did you?" But yes, yes I did. The woman then began begging me for money or food for her children. Normally on any other day, I would just walk on by, telling myself she really has a job, has food stamps, or is just going to go buy liquor with my money. But something inside my gut told me that this woman was different. Perhaps it was the hopelessness in her eyes, or the desperation in her voice but I couldn't help it. I came out of the store with my gleaming golden box of Cheerios, but the woman was no where to be found. 

I will not lie, I was a little upset that I had bought this economy sized box of over priced cereal from the drug store, but I was even more distraught because I had missed an opportunity.  I feel like many of the regrets in our lives come back to our willingness to act in the moment--to take a chance. 

What I have learned over the last couple of years is that time is only going faster, and with it the opportunities.  It reminds me of this time when I was six and it was snowing outside. I was all bundled up in my neon pink snowsuit, and I was on a mission to collect all of the falling snow in my mouth.  I would stick my tongue out and dance around the yard trying to catch all the snowflakes in my mouth, but the snow was coming down too fast. My mother states how entertaining it was watching me run around the yard frantically with my tongue out like some rabid dog, but even more interesting is that it never crossed my mind that this was an insanely impossible task. I just knew I needed to try.

This is the problem we spend to much time analyzing and calculating how logical  the opportunity is and whether it  will help us or not. This is where we need to stop. Because every opportunity offers some sort of possible gain. I believe the real problem is that most of us, perhaps unknowingly, deep down have commitment issues. I will be the first to admit that I fall into this category. I use pencil instead of pen because you can erase. I eat vanilla ice cream when there are too many flavor options. I get incredibly uncomfortable with the thought of being tied down. Yet, my awareness to these issues has only made me more cognizant of the opportunities that surround me. 

I have gotten much more courageous in the last couple of years, and I have learned that in life, as well as in love; it's worth taking a chance-embracing the opportunity. As a woman I will be the first to tell you that we dwell on lost opportunities, because in our minds everyone of those opportunities could have been our future boyfriend or husband. 

Yet, I also cherish travel and see it as an amazing opportunity to discover new things. I went to Portland over a year ago on my first solo trip, I didn't know a soul, but was going to run a marathon, and see the city. This ended up being one of the most terrific and life altering trips. 

On my four day trip, I went on 2 dates with two different men, ran a marathon, and cried at a farmer's market.  I mean what else could you ask for right? But more importantly it taught me to seek out opportunity. I will admit that you will not always feel confident with your choices you will wonder if you are making the right decision. I mean there was one point on one of my dates in Portland when I thought I might be chopped up into little pieces and never to be heard from again, but I still don't regret it.

I guess what I want to say is that opportunity is all around us, it's waiting for us. This week I encourage you to push yourself to reach out for those things you are scared to do, to say, or even to dream. Don't be ashamed to dance in the snow. I think you will be surprised by what doors will open when you are eager and open to new opportunities. 

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