Differing Opportunities

We met up with some old friends this last weekend. Late in the day, I found myself having a conversation with someone I didn’t remember sharing much of a past with. We’d moved in very different circles in high school, but we’d shared the commonality of singing in the boy’s choir group. He brought it up with some fondness and waxed reminiscent of days when the ladies of the larger choir basked in our jocular glow. He said all this with a wink and nudge as if I must have had a similar experience to the one he described. Imagine his surprise when I contradicted his assumption. “Well, it was happening. You just didn’t let it happen,” he said. Not being one to argue (have I ever mentioned that I’m awefully passive-aggressive?), I simply nodded and breathed a sigh of relief when the waitress interrupted to take our order.

But I couldn’t forget the moment. This insinuation that life was happening around me and, if I had just taken the leap, I would have had the same experience, is an awful thing to consider. Had I really been that blind? It wouldn’t surprise me entirely. I led a very sheltered childhood and was prone to conservatism. But, as someone who was always looking for inclusion in the right crowd (and often not finding it), it’s hard for me to believe it was right under my nose all along.

I didn’t date in high school. This is a statement that has surprised more than one person in my life. “Seriously? You didn’t date?” It’s not like it was an active choice! Tall, skinny, red-haired, geeky, self conscious to a fault. It was a poor combination. Looking back now, I also went through periods of depression and suffered situational anxiety. Heck, I didn’t kiss a girl until I was 19. Then I married the next girl I kissed and she’s still a pretty damn good kisser. But I digress.

None of us like to miss out. But, there’s missing out on a free lunch, or that 50% off sale at Target, and there’s missing out on life. Not everyone has the same opportunities, whether it is in life or love or money. Each situation, no matter how similar, is unique. Have I missed opportunities in lfe? Sure, we all have, but, in my eyes, this wasn’t one of them. Yes, I was in the same place and time and situation as you, but I wasn’t blind to something. It just didn’t happen to me that way and that’s just how life is sometimes.

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