I had lunch with a friend after church on Sunday and boy have I missed her! Life has gotten far too busy this semester, trying to keep up with deadlines and such, fearful I will fall behind in homework, and admittedly, trying to keep myself busy so I won't wallow.
So anyway, we were talking about an opportunity she has to move out of state for a year and how everyone is encouraging her to do it because she has nothing she can't put off for a year, no one making her stay in Michigan, and nothing but new experiences waiting for her. It got me thinking about taking opportunities or missing opportunities, and I realized, the only thing you can really count are the opportunities taken.
I am finishing my second year of classes for my doctoral program and while I knew for a while that I wanted to persue that degree, when I first applied, it was at another school than the one I am attending, while I was working at another school than where I do now, and at that time, I thought not being able to enter that program, or not even finishing that application process was a missed opportunity. In hindsight, it was not, it was simply an opportunity that wasn't right for me at the time. So, when I came to work at my current institution, I felt like it was time to start my Ph.D. partly because I had nothing else going on at the time and no one else to prioritize. So, I took the opportunity. I started the program and could not have been happier! I love school - the classes, the homework, the challenge - adore it. Shortly before starting my second year, I met someone and we became involved to a certain extent. He lives in another state and there was talk about moving there, which I was totally willing to do if things became very serious and very permanent, but I didn't think I needed to move to date someone and I had obligations here. We are no longer involved, partly because of the distance (I never realized how important proximity is to men), and I wonder now if that was an opportunity missed. I've decided it's not a missed opportunity, it was another opportunity that wasn't right for me at the time. That is not to say I don't regret it, and I wish I lived there...it's one of my favorite places in the whole world. And maybe if I did live there things would be different with the relationship aspect, but probably not. And I chose my opportunity, school, for good solid reasons, and it's not a permanant thing, so perhaps one day I will end up moving and taking that opportunity.
I hate living in regret, and I'm glad I don't. I'm pretty happy with my life, and am secure in the fact that the things I don't like will change. But take advantages of the opportunities, if they are good ones, that come across your path. You never know the experiences God has for you in some other place than you are now.