They say life doesn’t often give second chances — that lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. But how about when you fail an exam — doesn’t your professor give you a chance to make it up by working on extra credit? How about when you get your arm broken? A surgeon is able to fix the tear and put it back together, right? Aren’t these second chances?
As much as these are manifestations of second chances, however, there is one part of these deals that is as true as the ones I mentioned.
Second chances are almost always never extended. Because there are mistakes that are just irreparable and people just can’t recover from them.
Do you remember how as kids, we were taught to be hopeful at things that are sometimes impossible to believe in? Like Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy; our parents forced us to believe that we were the kings and queens of the world and that we could do whatever we wanted. They forced us to hope. But why is it that, as we grow into adulthood, hope has become so elusive, almost always out of grasp when we need it? And why is it when we are given a sliver of hope, we can’t seem to still get a hold of it, as if the world has become dimmer and dimmer every time?
But is it?
We often question life and how it works. We all know it works mysteriously. And as a result, we are all left with the nagging feeling of wanting to know what will happen next. Was it excitement? Anxiety? Fear? What feelings do we usually associate with the unknown?
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to read Origin by Dan Brown. The book, like any other Dan Brown book, was intriguing and full of alternate reality suggestions that can spark conversations in classrooms and elsewhere. Without spoiling the book in its entirety, Brown suggests that our minds are nothing but a massive mess of thoughts and wired to chaos. He supports that it is intrinsic among humans to find order and, by extension, answers to the chaos the mind has created.
With this context, we need only to look at eureka moments, moments that spurred the greatest finds in human history to understand the simplicity of what Brown was suggesting in the book. Newton proved the Law of Gravity; Einstein has singlehandedly proved more or less 10 theories like the Universal Speed Limit and Black Holes.
Order from chaos to answers.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe as we grow older, we encounter more chaos in life and we are simply too blindsided to see order — to form order. And maybe we just have to take a step back to close our eyes and have a change in perspective.
Maybe second chances are not really things people give us. Maybe second chances are what we give ourselves after we have sorted out the mess in our heads. Maybe we lose sight of hope because we face so many conflicts in life that our sights are rendered temporarily indisposed.
Maybe. Just maybe.
So just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and stay still. Close your eyes and picture the view. Identify what life has thrown your way and process them; put them in order. Sometimes the timing will require you to get lost to find the order. Sometimes, the order will simply fall into place. But you can’t choose which one will fall on your lap — you simply have to stay still and sort them through. Because you can’t always control the things life throws your way, that thing that sets you adrift. All you have to do is be open to where the winds will take you next.
There’s no way of telling what will happen next, no way of knowing what’s on the other side when you come through. All you can do is hope. And when you open your eyes, I hope the view is a lot better — I hope life gives you order amidst the chaos.