To the Girl Who Missed Her Opportunity...
Can I debunk something for you really fast? Yeah? Cool, thanks...
You didn't miss your opportunity. Nope. You might feel like you did, but that feeling is false and needs to be rejected.
You might have missed an opportunity. You might have screwed up. You might have made a poor judgement call. You might feel like your voice isn't needed. You might feel like you're out of time.
Or maybe you actually are out of time.
But friend, I'm a firm believer that where one door closes another opens, and opportunities can come again. They might look different or be packaged as something else, but don't mistake what they are: an opportunity coming around to you again.
Perhaps you want to be a Mom, but you just received news that your body's fertility window has closed.
Perhaps you saw a posting for a dream job but didn't act quick enough and the position has been filled.
Perhaps you met the man of your dreams but didn't speak up or put yourself out there, and now he's with someone else.
Or maybe you have a dream in your heart, but someone else achieved it first and now you feel like you'll be labeled a copy-cat if you go for it as well.
You may not think that any of these apply to you (or maybe I'm speaking painfully clearly to you), but hang on. What I have to share is applicable to all of us, no matter what our story is. And truth be told, if you clicked on this blog post, chances are you feel like you missed an opportunity at some point in your life. If that's the case, please friend, keep reading.
I'm a firm believer that where one door closes another opens, and opportunities can come again.
Opportunities are like falling leaves.
Growing up our back yard was filled with maple trees. They were massive, old, and every autumn they shed an overwhelming amount of leaves. It often felt like they would never stop falling! I remember our Dad using his loud, orange leaf blower to create giant piles for us girls to jump in. When we got older we got a tire swing and would use that to fling ourselves into the leaf piles. We'd have to pick them out of our hair, clothes, and oftentimes we wouldn't get them all off and would have to clean them out of the house too. The leaves that these massive maple trees would drop were relentless.
Imagine your life is one giant maple tree. It has seasons of growth, maturity, and old age. But all throughout it's life, as it grows, it goes through seasons.
Now imagine the leaves on your tree are opportunities. Sprouting, growing, falling, and then eventually being replaced with thousands of new ones. Over and over again in a wonderfully relentless pattern of growth, falling, and regrowth.
You see, life isn't filled with a limited number of opportunities. They keep coming, over and over again. And just as every leaf is different in it's own beautiful way, so is every opportunity. Some are vibrant and exciting while others are muted and warm. Some bloom early while others bloom late. Some fall before they even turn colors while others cling to their branch well into winter. The only thing certain is that as long as the tree is standing, the leaves will keep coming. Beautiful. Relentless.
Those leaves are your opportunities. You may have missed one but another is coming. You don't have just one shot at anything--keep going! Look for the other opportunities that are there for you! Position yourself so you're ready.
Can I speak towards the topic of romance for a brief moment?
We are often led to believe in the idea of soul mates and that there is "one person" out there for us. Believe what you want, but personally, I think this is a load of bologna.
You're saying, that in the WHOLE WORLD, there is only ONE PERSON I could possibly live a happy, fulfilled, wonderful life with? Heck no! So if you're feeling like you met the perfect person but it didn't work out because of x, y, or z reason, guess what friend, you DIDN'T miss your chance! That's not how this works!
There are billions of people on this planet. Hear that? BILLIONS. Sparks may not have grown into anything with one person, but you'll meet another. And another. And another. You don't get just one chance at finding love, friend!
Keep your standards high, live with the expectation of meeting people, and when you find someone who you're ready to commit to and they feel the same towards you, COMMIT (the real secret to a lasting love story) and make it happen.
We are unique, beautiful, and none of us the same, just like the autumn leaves.
"Or maybe you have a dream in your heart, but someone else achieved it first and now you feel like you'll be labeled a copy-cat if you go for it as well."
I'd like to speak to this sentiment directly for a moment because guess what...this was me. If you've felt this way before (or are feeling this way now, hear me, friend! You are unique. You are beautiful. None of us are the same. And you have a seat at the table.
Let's use another leaves analogy because I am FEELING the fall vibes right now. Can you tell?
The next time you're outside and see some fallen leaves, I challenge you to find two that are identical. Heck, even close to identical. I'm sure you already see the problem in this exercise--identical leaves don't exist. They're all different, all perfectly unique, and all breathtakingly beautiful.
We are like the leaves. Whatever course of action one person takes, even if you do the exact same thing, it's going to look and feel and be different because you are not them! You are YOU and NOBODY else can be YOU! So take action. Do the thing. And don't try to be anyone but yourself along the way.
You didn't miss out on any opportunities because someone else did your dream first. Their dream is not your dream, even if it looks similar! You aren't a copy-cat; you're YOU. Own that.
Own your seat at the table.
If you're feeling like you missed your opportunity for x, y, or z, just look outside. Look at the leaves, and remember that another opportunity is coming, if not already here.