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  • Writer's picturejrdreistadt

Giving Up


Not too long ago, I was given an opportunity for which I worked very hard. But it just didn’t work out for a multitude of reasons. So I gave up. I walked away. And I haven’t looked back since.

But at the same time, I feel a sense of emptiness related to this decision. I’m not the kind of person who gives up; I’m a survivor who perseveres. It isn’t about winning or even about being successful — it’s about having the opportunity to try.

A lucky few people are given opportunities. Others voraciously hunt them down. Others are good at spotting and taking advantage of them. Others create them from nothing as a means of transforming energy because it is necessary for survival. The opportunities I have had in my life have been of all four sorts.

This particular opportunity was of the third kind, one that emerged in my life and one which I actively pursued. I thought about it, dreamed about it, for a long time. But those thoughts and those dreams were soon squashed by the reality of the situation. In retrospect, it really wasn’t an opportunity — it was something else, something which I can’t yet fully describe — at least not in public — cloaked as an opportunity. And I naively fell for it.

Yet, I am still filled with regret — not because that situation is no longer a part of my life, but because I feel like I packed it in. And I am too young, too smart, too clever, too kind, too hardworking, too (fill in the blank) to give up. It feels like I not only gave up on this opportunity, but like I gave up on my entire life. On myself.

But not really. I left that one thing behind so that my life could be more full of beauty, happiness, fulfillment, and peace. And it is. It really is. But I also feel like I went from a situation of struggle to one of stagnation. Albeit one that is temporary and transitional. Next stop, new journey: splendid searching and pursuit of new opportunities for learning and growth. That is what it means to be fully alive — to be open to the unexpected unknown opportunities, both subtle and obvious, that emerge from moment to moment. I’ve just stepped off the train for a moment to catch my breath and take in the beautiful view.

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