The Eternal Hanging…


…of an uncompleted dream is torturous, painful, and as already stated, never-ending. It is your failure trapped and suspended forever in purgatory, forever for you to look back and wistfully reminisce, because when you had the opportunity you did not take it. You did not dare, you did not try; you had the want but not the will. Often people fear the realisation of their own dream. Sometimes they call it impossible because they didn’t dare achieve it themselves. It is a simple fact that although the future of the world will only be determined by today’s dreamers, very few of today’s dreamers will determine the future of the world.

It’s true that sometimes it truly is difficult or nigh impossible to grasp at every opportunity. But many people aren’t sure what they want, if anything at all, and this second situation is a poor excuse for passing up the opportunities that come one’s way. An excuse in this habit creates an attitude of not striving at all, of underachieving. It is in cases like this that people look back in their older years, wishing for more time which will never come. Because they did not strive then to grasp what came their way, or to create their own opportunities.

Almost a year ago, I received my grades for my final high school year (Year 11). And they were good, but for me they weren’t great, and for a long while I was kicking myself over them. I still do sometimes, because I did not use the opportunities I had to do the best that I could. So now, in Year 12, I’ve made it a point to grab opportunities as they come. I became a class representative, I write for the newspaper, I entered an essay prize which has never been won by a state school student; I’ve applied for both a university and a creative writing residential course. I’ve learnt basic Mandarin, and my green owl friend to the right is helping me learn French and Spanish. I’ve enrolled in an online course offered by Harvard, and on school days I frequent the library so much that the librarians all know me on a first-name basis and chat to me about their children. And yes, I do find the time to sleep. 😉

Perhaps my opportunity-grabbing is excessive, but all I’m trying to say is that it’s better to go for opportunities than to waste them. They often don’t come back, and while it is possible it is also certainly harder to bring about your own. At the moment, I’m working with Year 11s who are failing their English course. The hardest part of the job is not teaching them the material, but convincing them that this last opportunity to improve their grades is worthwhile.

Maybe opportunities don’t always get you where you want to go, but they still leave you with valuable experience. They are not just the career or dream-related things, but also the little things which help you grow as a person. Whether that’s spending time with a family member when you otherwise wouldn’t have, or having a chat with friends when some days you feel you’d rather be alone, they help you as a person. They are experiences you will likely not regret having undertaken.

So chase those opportunities. Don’t over-burden yourself with them, but chase them. Especially if you don’t know where they’ll lead. Ask yourself, how many of your favourite memories were planned? Isn’t it better to turn the corner, blind, than to keep going and glancing back at what could have been?


9 thoughts on “The Eternal Hanging…

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Haha, thanks! I didn’t realise I was doing so much until I listed it like this…I think I need to relax more. ^_^ And definitely use it; it’s awesome! The website teaches French, Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese, and they’re even adding Mandarin at some point. Plus an owl mascot is cool. 😉

  1. The Waiting

    You are so, so wise to be carpeing all your diems! When I was around your age, I did SO MUCH extracurricular stuff and at the time it was exhausting, but now I am extremely glad I managed them all. They really will serve you well in the future, especially because you are so motivated 😉

    1. dlaiden Post author

      I must now use the phrase ‘carpeing your diems’ in a conversation. It just needs to be said. 😉 Quite a few people (teachers included) have wondered why I bother, but experiences like yours are why I carry on. It’s all for the future, after all, whether that brings the daily 9 – 5, a career in writing or both. 😛 I just hope I can keep up the motivation, though!

  2. Deri Pocock

    The best thing i ever did, at age 18, was to go on an Outward Bound course. I learned a few techniques (rock climbing, survival) that have helped since but the best benefit was gaining an ability to face fear and to keep functioning while being scared. Later, at uni, I studied systems analysis. OK it’s a computer nerd thing, but it is also a disciplined way of thinking that can be applied in almost any problem-solving area. So now I can refuse to back away, and I can work for a good solution. Really!
    My advice: learn to sail. Your second book will pay for your yacht.

    1. dlaiden Post author

      I love outdoor/survival courses like that. I went on a two-week one during high school and at university I plan to get involved in a national version here in Britain – the Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions. Hmm, systems analysis sounds interesting, especially what you’ve gained from it! I’ve actually always wanted to learn hacking, as perhaps not-quite-legal as it is. 😀 But haha, let’s hope the second book materialises! The high school course taught us dinghy sailing, so I’ve got some practice in for the yacht! 😉

  3. Thomas

    You’re right, it’s better to seize the opportunities if you have them. There’s definitely a balance between spreading yourself too thin and not doing enough, but striving for more always leads to a higher chance of success. Some people dream of having the opportunities others waste. And even if these paths don’t seem like they’ll take you where you want to go, sometimes the journey may surprise you… anyway, great post, and sorry for that random slip into second person. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m excited to see where you’ll end up for college!


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