Missed Opportunities

It must be something to do with the holiday season.  Seems it’s time to think about the one that got away.

I had dinner with a buddy this week who is newly-single and he was talking about his post-college girlfriend who broke up with him because he wasn’t moving forward with things.  Now, a decade later, she’s happily married to some other guy and he’s looking back at his younger self and thinking what an idiot he was.

I also received an e-mail from a guy friend about a moment we’d once had where either one of us could’ve acted and made something happen, but we hadn’t.  And now that chance has passed.

It’s easy to look backward and think “what might have been.”  The past is rosy and full of possibility.  All the reasons you didn’t act at the time have been forgotten and you can imagine an alternate future where things turned out perfectly.

It’s much harder to look forward into the gray uncertainty of the future and make something of it.  The way forward is full of setbacks and challenges.  If you try to create something new you will likely fail before you succeed.  You will get hurt or hurt someone.

But moving forward is the only real choice.  Because the past, as seductive as it may seem, isn’t real.

So, this holiday season, rather than think about what might have been, think about what may be and make it happen.


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