Have you ever heard the saying, “Opportunity knocks once?” I may not have the saying down correctly, but you get the point. In the short time I have been on this planet, I have lived my life with the mantra to take every opportunity that comes my way. And I have.
More than once I have fallen on my face, wondered what I was doing, and cried myself to sleep. But never once have I ever regretted taking a risk, seizing the moment, living life to the fullest. Even when I received criticism from family and friends, I have stayed true to myself. Holding the pieces of my broken heart together, I have gotten quite good at putting it back together with duct tape, I have pursued my destiny.
Earlier this year, I found myself wondering why I never choose a more traditional life, why I could never pursue quiet goals. Sinking into self-pity, I thought my life would have been so much easier if I could have settled, or dreamed smaller. Knowing I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself, the Universe had a dear friend call. She was not kind, she was firm and stern. She said what I needed to hear and pushed me with all the love in the world. And so, I chose to believe in her, and took my first shaky steps.
A few months later, I met a new friend. As we shared our stories, he reflected on what he heard from me. I always thought I was a fierce warrior, never afraid of a battle. He pointed out that while I have warrior traits, I am a trailblazer. I stopped talking, shocked at his insight. And that is when I realized he was right, I am a trailblazer. I love exploring new places, designing new programs, doing what no one else has done.
I find it interesting how we can never see the best parts of ourselves. We struggle to understand who we are, believe in ourselves, or see what we have to offer. Rather, we see our faults, our weak spots, or we fail to see how our strengths can be used to help others. And sadly, most of us live our lives never leaving our shells, never realizing the magic we have inside ourselves. The truth is, we are all capable of amazing things, of changing the world. Yet we allow the constraints of society to set our boundaries, define who we are, and we choose to live in a box.
What would happen if we all dared to take the leap? If we all truly believed that we could fly? I think the world would be a much better place. When we believe in ourselves we are capable of anything we set our minds to. And the craziest thing is, the more we believe in ourselves, the more confident we become, and the more we are capable of. Believing in ourselves creates a circle of confidence that results in positivity that affects everyone around us.
This year, I had two friends, one old and one new, remind me what I am capable of. When we listen to the Universe, when we take the opportunities the Universe brings us, we are living life to the fullest. And in these moments, we achieve our destinies. The best part of this journey is that when we are focused on our journey, we stop worrying about others, our positivity becomes contagious. Rather than gossiping, or spreading ugliness, we spread positivity and joy. The next time an opportunity comes, take the chance.
Sara Orellana is a former Lawton resident who lives in Oklahoma City.