Ok, that title is a little misleading, as I’m really not much of a one for believing in fate or astrology. I’m a little more open to the idea of luck, and a lot more open to the ideas of hard work and good planning, but hey, to each her own. Sometimes, though, it feels like something — destiny, if you will — is on your side. And for me, this was one of those weeks.
Me, I try to maintain vigilance in the search for opportunities. Life, I think, gives you opportunities all the time. Some of them are better than others, but the important part is recognizing them for what they are and — if they appeal — grabbing them before they fly by. Because almost all, if not all, opportunities have expiry dates. And they are usually seconds after you are even aware the opportunity exists.
Now if you are anything like me (and I choose to believe that everyone is), instead of grabbing an opportunity when you see it, you think about it. A lot. And while you’re thinking, someone else takes it. And you’re back where you started.
When I was in the third grade, my teacher had a sign on the wall that said, “Think, THEN do!” This made sense at the time. So I internalized it, because that’s what I do. Now I’m sure she meant well and was probably referring to actions like stabbing the person next to you with your pencil; but in retrospect, not only was it more than a little insulting to our intelligence, it’s also something that really only applies to certain situations and shouldn’t be used as a blanket motto to live your life by. Sometimes you have to stop thinking and just do. Or you’ll miss your chance. Don’t get me wrong here – this thinking thing has its merits. If there are risks to an action — financial, physical, whatever — they should be assessed. But if there aren’t any risks and you’re just thinking out of habit, grab away. Think later.
Easier said than done if over-thinking things is your typical modus operandi.
See, last week I saw an ad in the classifieds of the local entertainment paper looking for a volunteer to review shows in Vancouver. This one jumped out at me because it looked like an excellent way to do stuff for free that I couldn’t usually afford to do. Also, being a reviewer has always been one of my dream jobs: I like shows; I have opinions; I can write more or less coherent paragraphs. (That was the stars aligning, in case you missed it. Keep up!) What could be more perfect? (Getting paid, you say? Yes, well, you just hush down there in front.)
So why not? I’ll tell you why not (says my extremely vocal and bossy inner pessimist): this is too good to be true. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There has to be a catch. It’s probably some kind of code for one of those sex trade jobs. If there isn’t a catch, then other people will have already taken this. This paper has already been out for four whole days. Zillions of people read this. What do you think, they’re waiting around for you? Why would anyone care what you have to say about shows? Who do you think you are anyway? (My inner pessimist is kind of a pain in the ass.)
But something in me rallied against this assault and said, what can it hurt to email the guy? So I did. And guess what? It’s legit. And I got the gig. So starting with some classical music in the middle of August, I’m going to be doing reviews for a review website. Two words: Dream. Job. That’s right, inner pessimist, you’re going DOWN.