There Goes the Boat. You Should Have Been on It.

Don’t you just hate it when you feel like you completely missed an opportunity?

I have a strong need in life to take advantage of every chance that comes my way. I think it’s a good way to go about existing, and it’s never really done me any harm. As the old adage goes, “You’re far better to regret something you didn’t do than something you did.” 

But every so often, I completely miss the boat. Miss it so much that it is, in fact, already down the damn river and out to sea by the time I think to myself “Huh, maybe I should have been on that.”

And the universe cackles at me with laughter while I watch said metaphorical boat sail off into the sunset, vaguely hoping that it will sail straight into an iceberg so I feel better about missing it.

It’s not often that I miss these boats. I tend to be a more or less self-aware person. I try to pay attention to what the universe is trying to tell me. But when I do miss them, it sort of feels like I’ve spent the past hour staring at the floor of the Sistine Chapel, and someone has just come along and tapped me on the shoulder and said “hey, do you know you’re supposed to be looking at the ceiling?”

And then the moment I look up at the ceiling, they turn off all the lights.

If I’ve missed a metaphorically little boat, then it’s the equivalent of the place going dark and people telling me I have to come back tomorrow. If it’s a moderately sized boat, they tell me I can’t come back.

If it’s a huge boat, the whole place just explodes. 

I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s had this experience. You just want to smack yourself in the face or kick yourself in your own ass for being so utterly blind. And it sucks. It’s like those romantic movies where one best friend doesn’t realize they’re in love with the other best friend until it’s tragically too late – except usually even those movies work out. Unless (spoiler alert), it’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, in which case you just damn well better hope you have a charming gay friend to save you from heartbreak at the wedding reception.

 But I digress.

You could stare at an opportunity for years and still miss it. You could stare at one for weeks or days or months or maybe even only a few minutes, and still feel that horrifying pang of realization when the moment passes and you suddenly understand that you’ve missed something very important, and you don’t know if it will ever come around again.

But that, I guess, is just the way the cookie crumbles.  

Here’s hoping that the next time around, you don’t miss the boat.

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