I've been thinking recently about opportunities. How they come and the go. How I, we, come face to face with some and how we create others. It seems to me that some opportunities come because we used others.
I have a hard time saying that I took advantage of the opportunity. To me, taking advantage of something has the connotation of exploiting a weakness when really, you can't exploit an opportunity because it's there to be used in the first place.
So today, as I settle into my third day of summer and semi-unemployment, I'm thinking about how I can use of all the free time I have now and create some opportunities for myself.
And maybe another way of looking at it is, I have this opportunity of free time so how can I take advantage of it? Except my mind doesn't really work that way. This opportunity of free time didn't land in my lap by chance, I created it. So now I have to think on how I will use this free time to my advantage. Take advantage of having all this free time and make some headway, get some experience, do something useful. Exploit my free time? Hmm, maybe I really am taking advantage of it.
Either way, I contacted a mentor and lined up some experience for the summer. I've used one opportunity to create another which, hopefully, if I play my cards right, will get me more opportunities down the road.
The point is, if I did not take the chance in the first place and try my luck at one opportunity, the one or two, that I'll soon be up to my elbows in would not have become opportunities at all.
Which brings me to one of the things that frequently comes out of my mouth: If you don't ask, you'll never know.
Currently I'm sitting in a coffee shop. It's the middle of the afternoon, I've had lunch and I'm sucking the last bit of iced chai from between the ice cubes at the bottom of my cup. I'm reading some homework in prep for tomorrow. We May Be Giants is streaming through the too-warm air and it would take drastic measures to get me in a better mood right now. Thanks to a couple opportunities, I think this summer will shape up pretty nicely after all.
And I'm sure there's something to be said about opportunities and Constantinople becoming Istanbul, but I'm too indifferent about it to look it up.