During my work career I’ve worked with the elderly and those with terminal illnesses. One common theme is that many of them have regrets. These regrets range from something as significant as getting married to something as trivial as having dessert before their actual meal. Many of my patients would talk for hours about what they wished could have been. They wanted a different life but reality and circumstances interfered with their plans. Even though I’m decades younger I still think about how my life could’ve been different if I had made different decisions. While I’m not extremely disappointed in my decisions up to this point, I could probably be at a different place in my life if I made other decisions. More recently I’ve found myself asking this question once again. It’s not a regret and I would call it a wish of sorts. I wish that although the world is small it was a bit smaller in a way that would allow me to pursue an opportunity. I’m not usually extremely disappointed in missed opportunities because it’s a part of the human experience and I am usually able to put that information in perspective. I guess this opportunity was different because it really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity without any chance of it reappearing again. It’s almost as if fate has a mind of its own. Circumstances keep us from what we would truly want in an ideal existence. But that’s not the world we live in. Our lives aren’t perfect and we don’t live in a happily ever after movie. Sometimes we won’t be able to capitalize on opportunities regardless of how much we want to. I think those kind of disappointments are the kind that stay with you for years after the actual event. They color your world and you wouldn’t be who you are without them. Fate is fate and sometimes that can’t be changed.
A million years ago when I was in college I had the opportunity to read a play that a fellow classmate wrote. She was (and still is) a super talented article and the play was somewhat biographical in nature. The story was centered around a guy and girl who were friends but the girl found herself catching feelings while realizing that the feeling wasn’t mutual. If I remember correctly, at the end of the story her guy friend ended up getting a girlfriend and the girl was left alone. The last words of the script were: “The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person.” As I’ve grown older I’ve realized how true those words are. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a big fan of timing. I think that there are circumstances where people meet and they are very compatible with each other. They have similar interests and get along well and quickly discover that it’s easy to tolerate each other. However, despite all the ways that these two people are compatible, there is some glaring reason why something romantic and long term won’t work. It could be distance, family conflict, financial turmoil or something of the like that dictates the decisions made. The timing is all off and there’s nothing that either person can do about it. I think that situations such as those happen fairly frequently and while people can be right for each other, it may just not be the time. It’s almost like life plays a joke on you and you have no choice but to make the necessary adjustments. If there is chemistry but the timing is off, then ultimately it won’t work out. Not because someone is necessarily at fault or because of some glaring red flag but because the right person at the wrong time is (still) the wrong person.