I remember having a conversation with my father about him being forced to leave school at 12 and that it was his biggest regret. As he continued to harbour regret, the sad reality was that he didn’t see the life he could have had, but then lots of us don’t.
We’re too obsessed with what we don’t have, to turn things around. Just because something isn’t afforded to us, doesn’t mean we can’t make it happen at a later stage. It was never on the cards that I would go to university or at least study to diploma level, but years later when the opportunity arose, having never given up on the idea I decided to go back into study.
Just because the opportunities aren’t there initially, doesn’t mean we can’t make opportunities happen. There’s no point in talking about something constantly if we’re not going to change it. Talking makes us miserable and tends to reinforce where we are and what we already know.
It never registered as a child that university would never be on the cards for me because of my parentage. I chose not to see it as my problem. I believe it’s often far easier to let go of something, when the decision is out of our hands, because the other person becomes accountable.
I also think that just because we don’t achieve something or have the opportunities, doesn’t mean we never should or aren’t capable. There is an element of conditioning brought about by our environment, our childhood and what decisions our parents makes for us, but as the adult the choices are ours for us to make.
Blaming our parents, our past and our environment won’t help us go on to create new opportunities. Life itself brings new opportunities into the equation. There will always be time to make up for lost opportunities, but it’s down to us to act on them.