September 2, 2015 by Kambili M.A. Chimalu
Opportunity comes but once.
My good friend reasons that “Opportunity waits for no-one,” so if opportunity comes in and you are still asleep, she will get up and leave because she cannot wait for you to come awake. [Read her poignant words here].
As I think about this common saying, opportunity comes but once, it continues to unsettle me because it casts me as being at the mercy of opportunity and “narcissus me” cannot comprehend or process that.
So, can I capture opportunity? Hold her hostage? Imprison her until I am ready to avail myself of her offerings? Once she enters my abode, does she not become mine to command as I wish? If I let it in, can I not hang onto her until I am ready to let her blossom in my tender embrace?
Opportunity knocked, I answered, surprised at its unannounced arrival, but managed to make space for her on my bed. I like to sleep on the right side of the bed, but so does opportunity, so I gave it up for her. I prefer to glide in the darkness, where my imperfections cannot be seen or perceived for what they are, but opportunity loves to glow under the blazing spotlight, so I open my curtains to welcome the light that blinds and burns me with its fiery blaze. I have let opportunity bring her strumming trumpet into my quiet solace. I have kept her warm as she shivered in the winter of misuse. I have kept her dry in the pouring storm of overuse. I have offered her an oasis in the barren desert as she stumbled along for life.
I have been a good host, have I not? So, shouldn’t opportunity be a grateful guest? How much more room do I have to make for her? How much more should I sacrifice at her feet to entice her to stay awhile as I close my eyes for life to be breathed into me? Should she attempt to roll away as I slumber under the weight of her intrusion? As she entered my home, I helped her plant her roots deep into the foundation, and watched her intertwine with the walls until she sprouted from the roof, so if she leaves, she will reduce my home to rubbles and fragments of what had been. Should a guest reduce a welcoming abode to a site of nuclear destruction that no one dares approach it again for fear of being wiped out of cosmic existence.
What if as she attempts to roll away, I lasso her and tie her to my waist? What if as she gets up to leave, I push her back down? What if I can outrun opportunity, so that no matter which way she goes or how far she runs, I will always catch up to her and drag her back with me?
As she crosses into my threshold, does she not become as bound to me as I am to her? If she attempts to cut me off and leave, does she not leave behind half of her essence? Will she not go out into the world incomplete and in a perpetual search to fill the void that has been created by her abandonment of me? Will I not be the only one capable of filling the void I created?
Should opportunity not wish to get the very best of me? Should I embrace her hunched over and cowering, afraid to gaze at her directly in the eyes? Should opportunity not stay until I am ready to take her by the hand, march into the street and hold her up for the whole world to behold.
Do I belong to opportunity or does opportunity belong to me? Do I bow to her or does she bow to me. More importantly, do I create opportunity or does she create me?