It has been a bit. I apologize for not posting in over a month. I wish I had a more valid excuse but I have been pretty slammed with life. Life has been filled with a lot of work and preparation for the big move, which is a month a half away! It is coming up faster than I would like it to. Also, it has been a little over a year (two days, in fact) since I FIRST posted on WordPress! A very warm thank you to those of you that keep up, comment, share my posts, and have become my inspiration behind writing. Y’all rock!
Today I want to discuss opportunity. Opportunity is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a favorable juncture and refreshment; a good chance of advancement or progress. Each one of us is presented with opportunities throughout our lifetime. As a 20-something year old, I view opportunity completely different than I did as a youth. We also tend to respond to opportunity much different in our “old age”.
When I was about 11 or 12, I remember my dad approaching me with an opportunity. He asked me if I would be interested in taking climbing or kayaking lessons over the summer. I have enjoyed spending time outside since I can remember. As an 11/12 year old, I loved to go hiking, biking, scootering (razor scooters of course), shoot hoops with my little brother, toss the baseball around at night, and ski in the winter. So when my dad offered one out of these two lessons to me, you would think I would have jumped on that opportunity right away! I did not. I told him I was not interested in kayaking or rock climbing. To this day, I question myself on why I said no. I can honestly say that I wish that I had said yes to that opportunity.
I have a small fear of water. I had a very scary experience with the Yellowstone River when I was younger and since then have not fully enjoyed being immersed in any sort of lake, river, or ocean. I hope to one day kick that fear, so of course I wish I had taken kayaking lessons. To this day, I enjoy climbing. I am comfortable with heights and love being in the mountains. However, I would not say that climbing is one of my favorite hobbies. A small part of me wishes that I had taken the opportunity to learn about the climbing knots, the geology of the rocks, and how to become a better, smoother flowing climber.
This offer from my dad turned out to be a lost opportunity. It was something that I said “no” to. I know I was young and it was easy to make rash decisions, but I wish I had thought it through. Obviously my future was not at the forefront of my mind at that young age, but I regret my decision. We all have these moments. Some are missed opportunities, and some are opportunities that we later found out were the right call to say no to.
Two summers ago, I was offered a job with an outdoor company representing five brands. The job would have let me reside in Bozeman, but also would have allowed me to travel around the state selling multiple well known brands. I gave this job offer a lot of thought, reaching out to many of my friends that were in the industry, as well as asking the opinions of my family. After much thought I decided to continue with the job I was at, keeping my loyalties there. Five months down the road, after turning down the opportunity, I found that the two individuals in the company parted ways, leaving their relationship and the company in shambles. I was so thankful that I did not say yes. It would have left me jobless and back to where I started.
So, what do we do (as we are all getting older) with opportunities that are presented to us? How do we approach them? And how do we filter through those various opportunities that approach us? How do we pause and think through what the opportunity is?
In my more recent experience, I have found that the key to approaching opportunities we are presented with is patience. Patience has always been tough for me and I am sure for most of you reading this. We are in a world that seeks instant gratification. Two-day free shipping with Amazon Prime, likes on our Instagram or Facebook posts, relationships, moving up positions within a job, making money, going on a vacation, the list goes on and on. So when opportunity hits, we do not know what to do with it. But we do know what our heart wants…instant gratification. We take the job, buy the product, start the relationship, end a relationship, throw away our values, become angry, start a fight, spend the money we do not have. We do not take the time to stop…pause…and think about the potential repercussions of our actions. This is where accidents happen, we overspend, our hearts get broken, and mistakes are made. I have had many opportunities (above and beyond the two listed above) where I have lived within the excitement of the moment and made mistakes. There’s always a silver lining though: You learn! You pick up the pieces and move on.
Fortunately there are good opportunities. There’s joy in beginning a new job, finding a new place to live, starting a new relationship, finding new shoes, going on a vacation, etc. We take those ones because we have thought it through, weighed the pros and cons, and moved forward. April 2016 to now of 2017 has been a big year for me with amazing opportunities that I have taken! I moved into a new home earlier in the summer that was better than any place I’ve lived in Bozeman. I took the opportunity (after saving up money) to travel in May to Hawaii with my closest friends. I began three new jobs throughout the year, taking all the opportunities I could to receive the necessary experience within my college degree. I began an awesome new relationship that has been one of the biggest blessings in my life so far this year. Oh and I also bought new shoes…plenty of new shoes. Opportunities I could not pass up!
And now…I have fully taken the opportunity to move to Seattle in a month and a half, hopefully be able to take a job I was offered, and begin a new life in a new city. Patience was key in this decision. I waited for the opportune moment and took it once it presented itself to me. I could have easily moved to Seattle last Spring, but the timing was not right. I am thankful that I waited and found the right season in my life to move. And I know I will have plenty more opportunities thrown at me that I will say yes or no to…hopefully making the right decision!
What sort of opportunities are you being presented with today? I hope you are patiently waiting for answers and seeking out advice through all the right avenues.
Have an awesome weekend, friends! I’ll try to be better at posting a blog every week or so. Thanks for bearing with me!
Featured image by Sarah Tuma.