I don’t think there are many opportunities for second chances in life—especially once you’re finished with your education and enter society and the workforce. Which is why, two weeks ago, when I realized I had the opportunity to have a second chance, I quelled the uneasy feelings of fear and nervousness and grabbed it.
People say that you are in control of your own happiness. I’ve always doubted this statement, as it resonated seemingly only as a tinge of hope for those trapped in dark places—but as just hope, and nothing more. Life sometimes gets out of hand as we drop the reins on our own futures once the idea of change and instability becomes too risky for us to even appreciate or consider.
I hate change and instability as much as the next person. Yet I refuse to not allow myself to be open to the idea of change, as drastic as it may be, if it has the potential to make things better. If you told me at the beginning of this academic year that I would be just a student attending classes and working a work-study job during the week, I wouldn’t have believed you—I’d probably have laughed at the improbability of such a point in my college career ever happening.
Yet here I am, devoid of meetings upon meetings and with an email inbox that has been frighteningly quiet in the last couple weeks, doing homework and studying at reasonable hours.
Sometimes, after you give everything you have and devote all of your time and attention whilst sacrificing time for other worthy pursuits (in my case, education), the idea of giving it all up seems improbable and absolutely alien. But as I’ve learned, sometimes you just have to.
Along the way, I’ve really learned on how cruel and heartless people can be. I’d like to think that I’m a very patient person (unless I’m behind the wheel of my car) and always try to assume the good intentions of others. Never have I ever felt that someone was out to get me or genuinely loathed my presence and existence.
Unfortunately, those people exist, and they’re worse than I expected.
But I’m absolutely thankful that I’ve been able to learn from my experiences and use the aforementioned difficulties as a wake up call to hit the reset button—I still have the majority of my college career ahead of me, and it’s definitely not too late to reestablish myself in a different way here.
Various people that I’ve discussed this with have expressed to me how this all is very courageous—and I actually don’t think this is particularly courageous at all. Sure, some courage was absolutely necessary to push towards change, but I think at the core of it, it’s not courage but an understanding of yourself and your own abilities that prompt the final decision. And that’s not all that easy either.
When I think about life, I am reminded of a poem by Luis de Góngora, the title of which is “De la brevedad engañosa de la vida”—the deceptive brevity of life. The deceitful and misleading brevity of life. My favorite part, which I have quoted in the past, goes as follows:
You’ll not be pardoned for these hours,
These hours that erode away our days
These days that gnaw away our years.
So if there’s any time to take action, that time is definitely now.