This post comes to you from Vienna, Austria. That’s relevant because I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to practice my German. “Rebekah! How often are you given the opportunity to go to a German-speaking country? You need to take advantage of this!” Nevermind the fact I only speak about three words, have a terrible accent, and am unclear about the sentence structure. Nevermind that speaking to strangers makes me nervous and I’m already stressed about doing my job well covering a conference — the reason that I’m in Vienna in the first place. It seems like a good idea to pile even more on and berate myself for not speaking German, no?
Right. What it boils down to is fear of missing an opportunity. I’m scared that if I don’t take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way they’ll never come around again and be gone forever. Except, that’s not really true. I mean, it is for some things — if a relative is on her deathbed and there’s an option to go see her, yes, do that, but little things like practicing German or attending a concert? That stuff comes around again.
In fact, in my experience, if something is meant to be, it will definitely come around again. The things, experiences, and objects that are meant to be in my life will come into my life and I don’t need to worry about missing them. Here’s a small example. Everyone and their mother has recommended the book to me, The Highly Sensitive Person. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “Do you know you’re a highly sensitive person?” I’d be a millionaire. Finally, a friend gifted it to me so now I’m reading it. I know it’s a small example, but I have larger examples too (see: Just a Girl from Kansas).
One of my favorite quotes, which I’m paraphrasing, comes from Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith who says, “Opportunity doesn’t knock, it will beat down your door.” I’ve found that to be true for me. Perhaps I can relax then about not speaking German frequently while I’m here. Perhaps I can calm down with all the carpe diem-ing I’m doing. Perhaps I’d be better off staying present with myself and showing up authentically instead of forcing myself to do something because I’m scared I won’t get another chance. Maybe it’s time for me to relax into the knowledge that opportunities I’m meant to have will beat down my door and it’s my job to say yes only when I mean it.
I dream of a world where we realize opportunity keeps knocking. A world where we don’t pressure ourselves when it’s unnecessary. A world where we relax and show up authentically for ourselves allowing our true desires to shine through.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.