The opportunity in loss

The people who are the best at something – the most knowledgable experts, the most passionate lovers – had to forsake other endeavors to get there.

Did you know Tony Hawk gave up the violin to ride a skateboard?

Among word people, most of us lean toward writing or editing.

The most committed and deeply talented had to turn some things down, make some choices, focus.

Or so we assume.

What if some virtuosos found their gifts on accident, because forces beyond their control slammed doors they may have intended to keep open?

What if theirs were opportunities discovered in loss?

I know what it feels like to have choices stolen from you. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your life is; in those moments you dwell on the ways it can’t be more fabulous.

It doesn’t even matter if you wouldn’t have chosen the “stolen” path anyway, you mourn the lost option, the loss of control. Whether it’s a career path, a love interest, or some other personal pursuit, “no” is painful when it isn’t yours to say.

But there is often more freedom when the choices are limited. You can explore the fewer with so much more enthusiasm. No obligation to try on every shoe.

I know this is hard. I know, I know.

I am the woman who wrote a week ago how I prefer “definitely” to “never”. I have a difficult time saying no.

But that’s why people like me are exactly the kind who need to look at fewer options as a case for greater opportunity. An argument for depth over breadth.

You can’t go to the stars. So what. You can explore the sea.

A hell of an awesome sea it is.

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