Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Opportunity of a Lifetime

So yesterday sometime a week or two ago (oops) you got the background story on the Dean's List.

Let me give you the story on the Congressional Internship that I was invited to participate in.

So I get this email from someone telling me about this internship in Washington, DC where you work with a member of congress for a semester as an intern.

It's a big deal, you live in a house with other interns from the same college and you all work on Capital Hill for a whole semester. How freaking cool is that?

Really cool.

It's so cool that I debated, and I wondered and I tried to imagine what kind of opportunities would be opened up to me if I were to apply and be selected. Because even though they sent me the email, I still had to apply and be accepted to get selected to go.

Then I prayed about it. Then I told my husband. Then I told everyone on facebook about it. And how I wasn't going.


It's the chance of a lifetime, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. Just not mine. Part of me would have liked to have gone, just for the experience. Plus to have lived in Washington DC for a semester, and played tourist on the weekends to all the fabulous places nearby, it would have been wonderful. It would have been breathtaking. But I couldn't imagine doing all of that stuff without John. I couldn't imagine giving up my life here, for a temporary life there. I couldn't imagine putting all my heart into it, when it wouldn't be.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime for someone else. Some other student at Tech has dreamed about this internship. They want it so bad that they can taste it. I know how that feels. I know how it feels to want something so badly, to have dreamed about it, to have planned your life around it, that when the opportunity slips through your fingers you wonder what just happened. Your entire existence is questioned, every plan, every dream, everything is suddenly very different than the life you wanted. It's hard having to pick up and move forward from that. It's hard to give up on something that you want that badly.

And deep down, when I had that realization, I knew that I couldn't take that dream away from someone else. I couldn't do it because it would be a good opportunity for me, but my heart just wasn't in it. I wanted to go for purely selfish reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with the actual internship. My heart wouldn't have been in the internship. Sure, I would have still worked my butt off, but it's different when your heart isn't in it. There's no passion, there's no joy, it's just mundane and routine. And life's to short to have given up 5 months of my life for something that my heart wasn't fully into, when there was another student whose heart is set on going.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime, just not mine.

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