Friday, 21 February 2014

Missed opportunities

I had a dream last night. In the dream, I was many things; a zombie hunter, an ex-footballer, a theosophy expert and much more...It annoyed me. It annoyed me because I look back at those things with (zombie hunter aside, because, you know, there are no real zombies...yet...) and it saddens me that I probably should have followed through with them.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am happy with the path I am currently on. I think I've mentioned previously that I've wanted to be a journalist since about the age of 14 and I've worked hard to turn around my life and get it back on track, so yeah, I am happy on that front.

It's just that I think about all the opportunities that I spurned. I wouldn't have had to do this series of trials if I had just chosen to do the right thing at the right time. When I was but a wee, young Terence, I got into a prestigious athletics club on merit. My running times (for my age at the time) put me in the top 2% nationwide. The club found me at a cross-country event my school was a part of, they offered to give me training and these people were the guys who send people to the Olympics. I turned them down, well, actually, I just stopped going after the first or second meet. My mother always thought it was because my friend (who was also picked) stopped going, but really, I was just lazy.

There was another time where I very nearly got a trial for Liverpool FC. At a school game, there was a scout for the club watching. I was noticed and they got in touch with my family over it. Now, the football team at my school was a shambles, they played maybe four matches a year, and the team was picked by the...let's be polite and say...less civilised students....the students whose brains rebelled whenever they were forced to think...anyway, so the scout asked if I played for a local youth team and could they come and watch. "No, he doesn't play for a local team" "Can he sign up for one?" "I'll ask and get back to you." So they asked and I said no because of two reasons, one, laziness and two, it meant being awkward in a new social environment. 

I'm not saying that if I'd have followed through with either of those things I'd be at the summer Olympics or playing for Liverpool or whoever, it's entirely possible, if not probable, that I would have failed or at least be one of those who didn't quite make it to the highest level but kicks about in the minor leagues. I'm just annoyed at myself for not taking the opportunity, you know. Because, if you look at it, I kept getting these opportunities. In school I was offered a chance to take part in a cooking contest to earn a chef's apprenticeship with the Marriot, didn't take it up, even though I was begged to do it. Another chance I had was to go to Bluecoats private school; I had the results for it, but decided against taking the actual test because reasons I guess. Then there was the time Liverpool Community College bent the rules, twice, to get me back in after I left halfway through the year, twice, because laziness. Then there are all the other times...

I kept getting opportunities and...I think that's what did me in. Now, a little disclaimer for the next part. I am only blaming myself here, others may have had a hand in it, but it was entirely how I reacted to that that was my downfall...okay? I think it was down to being given these opportunities time after time that led me to becoming so lazy and indecisive. I mean, imagine it. Day after day, week after week, you have people telling you how brilliant you are, you are getting offers from Liverpool Harriers, Liverpool Football Club, renowned private schools and the rest. Sure, things aren't perfect, but they are working out in everything else, so it will all click into place right? She's not noticing you yet, but she will, one day. Those bullies are only jealous because they don't have your future, they are unwanted by anyone, they don't get the opportunities you've been given and will continue to be given. Sure, your home-life isn't fantastic, but who cares right, you'll be out of that house the second you turn 18, never to come back....

Then you fail. Your GCSE's aren't quite what you expected because you didn't put in the work because people had been telling you all throughout your school life that it would be easy for you. The girl of your dreams then takes a shit on your heart. Then slowly but surely everything starts to fall apart. The course you were on is pulled, the jobs you apply for reject you, most of your friends are gone, abandoned you. You mope around the home you hate, in a fugue state, barely reacting to the world outside. From a lifetime of opportunities freely given you now find yourself shuffling listlessly through the days, having never had to motivate yourself to achieve, you wait for the opportunity to arrive rather than actually going out to look for it.

It is a horrible existence. It was a horrible existence. People have tried to make light of it by saying that it is in the past, that perhaps having gone through it has made me mentally tougher, that things happen for a reason...and maybe they do, but still, I would much rather have just taken what was presented to me all those years ago instead of making mistake after mistake until I could, quite possibly literally, make no more...and yet I still seem to do.

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