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20 Something: Don’t Let Go of the Unicorn

I just had an incredibly depressing epiphany.

I have a terrible habit. I don’t know if there are a lot of people out there who also do this, but if so, I’m sorry because I just realized that this habit has been negatively affecting my life for some time, and that means it is probably doing the same to you.

I let opportunities slip by without recognizing them as the inherent kismet that they are.

Par example, a couple of years ago, I took a novel writing course where I met an older gent who was very impressed by my style. His review of my work was extremely flattering, but that’s not the real point of this anecdote.

Basically, he thought I would be perfect for a technical writing position that he was supposed to help fill. And I, like a colossal dolt, did not pursue the opportunity. Granted, I was working full-time in retail and taking something like 18 credits that semester, so I had a lot on my plate, but in hindsight, I’m pretty sure that writing contract could have replaced the retail thing.

Anyway, I turned it down. Huge mistake on my part. At the time, I didn’t think I wanted to do technical writing. I thought it was boring. Worse, I thought I wasn’t really qualified, so I discounted myself automatically. Of course now, two years later, technical communications is exactly what I want to get into. But that particular unicorn has pranced away, and now I am missing critical experience and network connections.

I have other examples, but this memory was the true catalyst for the breakthrough.

I am holding myself back. I don’t take opportunities when they are presented, either because I don’t realize what they are, or because of a miasma of reasons that fog up my judgment and make me hesitate until the opportunity passes.

I may be taking this metaphor too far

I may be taking this metaphor too far

I should be grabbing that mythical creature by the flowing mane and hanging on for dear life, but I don’t. I like to think of myself as this spontaneous, outgoing, vibrant being. But I’m starting to think that I’m a lot more dormouse than I ever feared.

However, I think there must be hope. I’ve let a lot of chances pass me by, but there’s got to be something I can do to recognize these opportunities and seize them.

Any suggestions? Or personal anecdotes?

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