“I don’t know how I could not come to send my CV,” said a dear friend, in a recent conversation we had.
She shared how she had come across a job that caught her eye, but did not send her resume, and just like that the deadline passed.
I had been lurking in the same alley of not being able to bring myself to do the things I have wanted to do, to take the necessary risks and pain to stretch out. So many of my plans had all ended up in the drafts folder of my life, like so many write ups in this blog.
I began pondering over this very idea of missed chances. Big and small. I tell myself, you could have resumed the conversation with the nice person who began a conversation with you in the elevator at a conference, you could have walked over to the speaker and said how much you admired their presentation, you could have been a tad bit nicer to everyone. But no. My throat runs dry, my feet auto locks and my smile freezes.
But what can I do about it but wait for the next time by when I might have hopefully learned from the experience and could perform better as a human?
That is when the game of darts hit me. I was particularly worse at it. We only had magnetic darts to begin with, because the pointed one was deemed too dangerous, I was just a kid. But whenever I played, I remember the dart flying beyond the board. But the scores I had missed would make me want to try more. It was, in some way, about the chances that I had missed that made me pick up the instrument a second time. Here, I hadn’t picked up the instrument yet and the chances had still flown pass by, just like that. But maybe the shots I hadn’t taken would themselves also make the ones that I do, count.
I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many stories of ‘could have beens’ – the the exam they never had the gut to appear for, the instruments they never learnt, mostly the youth that went by without giving a tell tale of passing. But something interesting has been happening in my family. My aunt thousands of miles away, has been attending a poetry club. She has been tagging me in all of her poems. Another of my aunts has joined a singing class as she waits for her kids to finish their own music routines. In the past one and a half decade, my mother cleared two levels of music exams as she learnt to play the Sitar. We, the kids, have been coxing our uncle to join a music class as he waits for his kids outside the music school.
I cannot help but imagine, the chances they missed has a huge role to play in their current actions. We, the kids, are super inspired and super proud.
In my last year of undergraduate study, I walked into a finance class where the first line our instructor uttered was this:
We all meet here because of a big confusion.
We all meet because of the actions we take, and also equally (if not more) because of the actions we do not take. The chances we let go, for whatever reasons, do have a role to play in our lives.
It is perhaps impossible to live a life without regrets. Maybe we need them. Might as well own them.