Leave only footprints

Missed Opportunities Are Not Always Bad

If you could go back in time and change anything about your life, what would you change? For me this is a simple question. I’m sure most of you have an answer already. I would change______ I wouldn’t have dated _____, I would have tried harder at _____, and the list goes on and on. Sure, there are things that could have gone differently in my past, but without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So my answer is: I would change nothing at all.

It’s always fun to daydream about what your life would be like if you made different decisions early on. For me, it was what college I went to. I went to Daemen College (originally for Bio-Chemistry) for Political Science. But that wasn’t my first choice. Originally I wanted to go to college for music composition. And I would have too, if it weren’t for my high school band and choir teachers. They both told me that I wouldn’t do well at a music school. Now, it wasn’t my talent that was the issue, it was actually that I loved it too much. Music just came so naturally to me. During my music theory classes I would spend most of my time doing side work for the teacher; either re-arranging songs, selecting pieces for the jazz band and concert band to perform, or just taking extra time to work on projects.  One project we had to do was write a basso-continuo piece that was at least 12 measures long and we had 40 mins to do it. After the 40 mins, the other 6 people in the class had their 12 measures (about 10-20 seconds of music) and I had a full 4 movement piece. The reason I was told not to go to school for music was because music was my love, not my life. I wouldn’t have handled the pressure of structure in a music college. It would turn from a hobby to a job and music, to me, shouldn’t be work.

I agreed with what they said and backed out of the Music School race and settled on my next top skill, Chemistry. What a job that was, halfway through my first semester I changed from bio-chem to biology, then during my second semester I changed to Political Science and that is what my degree is in. As you can see there was one extremely different path and two less different paths that didn’t work out for me.

One day I sat down and thought about how my life could be different if I actually went to college for a degree in music composition. I thought about where I would be living, how I would be living, who my friends would be…and then I realized something that made all my day dreaming moot: I wouldn’t know anyone that I’m currently friends with. The best part of my life is my fiancé Nicky. If I went to a different school I wouldn’t have met her. I don’t want to think about how my life would be without her in it. We’ve been together 7 years now and she’s my best friend. I also thought about all of my fraternity brothers and all the stories we have together. That would be a huge loss. Right now, this life, this present, I am happy. I can’t say how I would be in a different now, a different life created by different choices, because I didn’t make them.

All of the mistakes you make, all of the hardships you face, all the people you meet make you who you are. Don’t wish you could change something about your past. It’s not worth it. You are stronger from your experiences and the universe will do its best to get you in the right direction. Just listen up and go with it. I really like my friends right now and none of them would be in my life if I didn’t go to Daemen.

The majority of missed opportunities happen for a reason. Yes, the universe wants you to be happy and to succeed, but if you miss an opportunity it’s ok. You learn from your mistakes and gain from your successes. All you did was choose a different path and that path could lead to the trail that leads to your happiness, success and realization of your personal legend.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


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