Friday, 4 April 2014

Missed opportunities

Have you ever felt like you have just missed to do something that could have made your day? Have you felt like there is a great opportunity, one step away from you, but instead of going for it you have just sat there, unable to move or say anything. Have you ever watched an opportunity walk away from you, leaving you with the feeling of emptiness and regret that you haven’t done anything and the moment is irrevocably gone? Is this something you have experienced more than once in the last month, for the last week?

No matter how many times you felt this way, it’s sad because you have missed an opportunity, and you will never know what it was going to be like, if you had gone for it. Not taking the leap of faith you might have missed something great, meeting a new friend, rekindling old friendships, finding true love or maybe even to change your life!

In our early years we learn how to walk, talk, eat, play, we even learn how to smile! But do we learn how to take risks, is there someone to show us how do deal with fear, shyness and insecurities, how to be brave and adventurous, how to dream? It’s interesting how free spirited we are born, only to become adults and start surrounding ourselves by walls and shutting ourselves from the world, in our small comfort zones.  

Take a child the most sincere and honest human being. Children are fearless, as soon as they start to crawl; they climb stairs, chairs, and tables. They want to touch and taste everything, to get to know the world. But the more we grow the less brave and adventurous we become. Because we have been stopped too many times to craw “in dangerous places”, we have been told off too many times because of touching fragile and expensive objects, we have even been told off when we go and speak to strangers. Until one day we find ourselves sitting on a table alone not making the effort even to smile to the stranger next to us. Where has the child smile gone? Where did the free spirit disappear?

What inspired me for this post is the realization how much I miss my friends, especially now at this very important moment in my life, becoming a mother for the first time. As soon as we started going out on a stroll, I start imagining how nice it would be if I am sharing this moment with a friend, complaining about the sleepless night or the baby traces on my clothes, giving her to hold the baby and feel part of my excitement.

Unfortunately, my life hasn’t turned like a movie where the 2 best friends are raising their children together, sharing every bump on the parent road. Not only this, but it also happened a great distance to separate me from my loved ones. But life is all about adapting and overcoming challenges, so once more I was put in a situation to adapt in a new environment – the world of new mums.

Overcoming the difficult first weeks of caring for a newborn, I started missing social life more and more and was really looking forward to meeting new mums, maybe even making friends. But what a sad realization it was when I saw it won’t be an easy task.

While our babies were smiling away, looking with curious eyes at the surroundings, not afraid to crawl towards and touch everything, the mothers were distant and hard to reach. Except for the small talk “How old is your baby” and “He/She is very cute” it was very hard to start a real conversation. My enthusiasm vanished, we weren’t like the children, and we were adults, all carrying our own issues and sending different messages across the room. All surrounded by walls.

I remembered how hard is actually to build a friendship, for all of the previous times in my life when I had to build some, neighborhood, primary school, high school, university… This was going to be a whole new situation in which I had to adapt and finding a friend was a whole new lot of experience.

The days were passing, but having the first coffee with another mum was still just a wishful thinking. We knew each others names, we were meeting accidentally in town, but no one was making the first step in breaking the walls. There was this pair of mother, who was waiting for each other, not interested in making new friendships. There were the mothers who were hurrying to go home, not interested in going deeper. And there were these mothers like me, who just didn’t know how to open and reach to the others, how to “go for it”.

Until… One day I was entering a coffee shop and saw a mother who was just hours before in the same baby class as we. We didn’t know each other, but we didn’t go for it, we didn’t make the effort, maybe we missed the opportunity for a great chat.

Naturally, I regretted for not overcoming my shyness and making a conversation, after all I wasn’t 5 years old, but wait?! If I was, I would probably be chatting away, making friendship after friendship, what have happened then? I have been in so many situations before adapting in a new environment and I have been so much more communicative. Was I becoming an adult, scared to reach for others, shutting myself into my own world?

I haven’t given up on making a new friendship; I will just give it time. I feel I missed an opportunity today, but I will keep trying until it happens. Because, it always does happen… In the end!


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