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Archive for the tag “chance”

Where a bridge could lead

under-bridge

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was under the rubble of an old bridge that it all started. A bright rainbow-filled day that followed a rainy all-nighter. The clear, still water under the bridge reflected their smiling, still shy, faces.

No-one ever really knows what they’re getting themselves into.

At first sight it was all ideal. It was a meeting dominated by charm, delight, humour and those sneaky butterflies that roam around in your stomach when you’re super excited about something.

Intuition was asleep. Or, like us all, wasn’t sure about where all this would lead.

A bridge, though, is symbolic. It joins two parts.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Blank pages

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ba/28/60/ba2860f4ea87cf3aae1e15aab7ffb8a8.jpgWriters know it best that it is always difficult to face a brand new blank page. It is imbued with so much potential that it is sometimes frightening. Because you fear you may not live up to the expectation that lies within that blank page. You fear what you will write will not be good enough. But you will never know unless you try. Unless you write that first word and let everything else just flow onto the page.

Just like that, in life too, we need to be bold enough to take risks, to make new decisions, to change things. We will never be able to reach our true potential if we are too afraid to change even the slightest in our routines, to make new opportunities a reality. It is only when we exit our comfort zones that great things will come. And we will realise what we are truly capable of.

Just hours away from a new year, perhaps this is the time for reflection – of how the 365 days that passed were filled with moments of happiness, laughter, love, excitement, new experiences, but also of remorse, sadness, of wanting to painfully creep under something and disappear. This is the time to fill ourselves with determination and hope to make the New Year the best one yet. To make it the one that will improve our lives and of those around us. To eliminate as much as possible those bad moments that overshadow all the good and be decisive enough to make those moments to come ones branded only by smiles, laughter and happiness.

Make this start one worthy of who you are and the goodness that lies within you.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Almost

The showdancer’s new dress

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7a/7e/e4/7a7ee4a84d90dff7853d57b0a4863948.jpgNow that she had reached the top of her profession, the renowned showdancer was able to laugh at the reminder of her most embarrassing and agonising moment in her career. “It was during a royal Christmas ball,” she confessed. “I was astounded by the luxury of the ballroom, the immensity of the hall, the gold, the silver, every carefully placed ornament”. “I remember my jaw dropped open at the mere sight of it all”. “One of my co-dancers nudged me to say that she would organise the showdresses in a wardrobe ‘upstairs’. I didn’t know where that was but I entrusted her with the dress. I was gobsmacked with where we had come. But then the real show began. Because as soon as the light dimmed, the host announced that a ‘dance programme like no other worldwide’ would appear before the guests’ eyes. I was trembling with excitement. I suddenly flinched and realised I had very little time to get dressed. But where on earth had the girl placed the dresses?

With just a few minutes away from the show, I couldn’t for the life of me find neither my co-dancer, nor the dresses. Everyone else was getting ready, but no-one had seen the girl who had taken charge of my dress. I was the lead in this seasonal dance-story. There was no way I could not appear. And I needed that dress. I raced up and down the ballroom, in and out of the changing rooms, and as I saw that all the other dancers were almost ready, I panicked all the more. Suddenly, I found myself on another huge princely-like staircase with a red carpet neatly laid on every step. I sprinted up (or down, I can’t recall) and sprang into what appeared to be the world’s most elegant and spacious cloakroom. But I was not alone”.

In the middle, on top of a square pouf sat a man, slim-figured with grey hair and a corresponding goatee, with a measuring tape hanging from around his neck. A royal tailor, I wondered. I had most probably looked pale from agony and fear. He was the exact opposite: restrained and composed. He got up and calmly walked towards me. ‘Are we looking for something in particular?’ he asked with a voice that emanated tranquillity. A recount of what had happened raced out of my mouth as he watched me unfazed. He then turned around and headed towards a tall wooden cupboard, he opened one door-flap – I couldn’t see what was inside – and pulled out the most beautiful pink showdress I had ever seen. pink strass showdance dress.jpgIt seemed custom-made for the exact role I was to play that night. He helped me put it on and I was so excited and panicking at the same time that I was not embarrassed that a strange man was helping me dress. I ran out of the room and – I still don’t know how – managed to get on stage at exactly the right moment. What is more, I remembered every single step I needed and gave the best performance of my career. It was the one that sky-rocketed me to the top; the one that filled me with confidence and made me believe that I was destined for more”.

The funniest and even stranger thing that happened that night was that the girl and the costumes appeared as we were packing everything to leave after the performance. She asked me where I was hidden, as she was searching for me all night”.

Some things come into our life inexplicably, but always at the right moment. We simply have to be open enough and prepared to go with the flow of what life throws our way.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Confess

 

The book on the shelf

http://onlinesalesstepbystep.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/book-on-a-shelf.jpgIt stood there longing to be read. But instead its pages crinkled with time as they gathered dust. If it was ever opened now, the reader would be able to see the passing of time imprinted on the yellowing of the paper. Yet it remained on the shelf, unopened, unread.

Potential readers passed by its location daily. Their eyes always passed over it but none focused on it for more than a second. And that was never enough to grab their attention.

Books on either side of it were removed and returned frequently, but that persisted always firmly in place.

The book had now aged. But its content was always timely. If only someone chose to pick it up and open it, they would experience the wisdom in its pages diffuse into their mind. A closed book is hardly of any use. Just like a parachute, it works better when opened. When read. When understood. When applied.

You never know the inspiration and the knowledge you may find, unless you actually fall upon it, by choice or by chance.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Shelf

The coincidental start

Blue umbrella rainIt was raining on that Tuesday morning. But as she prepared to go out, she remembered that her umbrella had been broken by the previous day’s whirling storm. So she had to run to the little store around the corner which she was certain sold umbrellas, because she had her eye set on one particular one every time she passed by – it was large, blue with white polka dots and a curving gold ornate handle. That was the one she was going to buy.

She splattered out into the rain, and ran to the store as fast as she could, trying not to fall head first into any puddle on her way. As she reached for the door handle, raising her right foot ready to step in, the door swung open and she was inadvertently pulled in. A tall gentleman expressed his sincere apologies and rushed out. He had obviously just brought a long black umbrella, which he now put into use. She hadn’t managed to fully retain the features of his face, though. She was still a bit shocked by her own entrance into the shop. What she hadn’t noticed, however, was that her long blue scarf had swished across the nostrils of the man leaving the store. It had the perfume of wild lilies.

As she got ready to pay for the merchandise she happily purchased, she saw that the little old man running the store was reading a newspaper. He had left the page open at the career vacancies section and her eyes fell onto a bold, black-framed ad calling for an external associate for a large tech company. She asked the old man if she could take the ad, and he gladly ripped out the page and gave it to her. On the back of that page was an entire feature on how technology is ruining the life of small children. Yet, technology was the very reason she didn’t read the paper anymore – news was faster and more current online.

She ran back home to send her CV and details for the position. She knew it was silly, but she spent the next couple of hours waiting.

In the meantime, the rain stopped.

But the minute she decided to finally go to the supermarket, her phone rang. It was the tech company, inviting her for an interview the next day. They were in haste to fill the position, as it was an urgent contract.

It was not raining the next day, but she took the umbrella with her anyway. She had to ask for directions twice before finding the building’s location, and realized she was running circles around it once she finally got to the door. She was escorted to the manager’s office. When his secretary opened his door to usher her in, she saw the surprise taking over his face. He was stirred by the smell of wild lilies that infiltrated his office. A smile found its way onto his otherwise strict appearance and she felt relieved. But she had not recognized the stranger from the umbrella store. Her glance fell instead onto his computer screen. He was reading an article that asked, “Is there such a thing as a coincidence? Or is it a carefully devised cosmic plan that has some hidden purpose we don’t understand? Do things really happen for a reason? Or are we the ones who give reason to the things that happen?

Interesting question, she thought, and smiled as she recognized his black umbrella from the previous day, standing tall by his desk. She looked up and saw him gazing at her, mesmerized by the turn of events. “Well this is an interesting start,” he laughed.

A worthy meal

champagne-and-oystersHe spent his last £30 on a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne.

He didn’t mind that he would now be broke. It was worth it. The oysters were exquisite and the champagne was bubbly and fruity. Not that he had anything to compare them to.

He had just arrived in the country he now called home. He was one of the thousands who believed fleeing from the only home you know was the single chance you had for a tomorrow. The future was all he would think about when he stepped his trembling body into that rocking boat. He didn’t know where he was heading to, but looking back at the fire burning his village, he knew forward was the only way he could go.

Life is full of surprises, they say. For when he reached the shore, the informal “welcome committee” consisted of one of his cousins who had arrived a couple of years ago. Following a reunion that alternated between tears and jumping jacks of joy, he soon found a new home, even if just a temporary one.

However, finding work was not easy. There were so many unskilled workers asking for jobs, the competition was so great, that it all came down to who would accept less.

His first job interview failed because he couldn’t understand what the employer was saying.

His second because he couldn’t respond fast enough.

His third because he did not give adequate replies.

His fourth because his reply to the question “where do you see yourself in five years” was “alive”.

His fifth because he was too old for the job.

His sixth because he had no experience for it.

His seventh because they had already hired the person before him.

He needed money somehow. He needed food. His stomach was already grumbling and he could not continue to live off his cousin forever. It was not proper. All he had left was £30, which he insisted that he would soon pay back no matter how much his cousin refused. His meals had consisted of bread, cheese and apples, as little as he could eat a day in order to save the cash. But he was now drained. He needed a proper meal.

Autumn had settled in and the brown crispy leaves crackled under his feet as he tottered pensively along the central avenue. The rain began to fall, slowly at first, caressing his stress-sweated face, and then rapidly like a torrent attempting to cleanse out the pain of his soul all at once. He stood still in the street, as people all around him rushed for shelter. He had lived through worse. A little rain would do no harm. On the contrary, it was welcome. The avenues began to fill with water like empty tanks fill up. The hundreds of fallen leaves had blocked the gutters, tapping all the water into the streets. There was no outlet for the water that was now raging from the dark sky.

He looked around and saw cars struggling to move ahead, pedestrians getting soaked. And there was so much noise – the honking, the screaming, the thunders, the rain…

He looked down at his feet, which were by now in a puddle of rainwater mixed with black-trampled-on-leaves. Right in front of him was a blocked gutter. If he could just remove the dirt, he would manage to alleviate some of the gushing water and perhaps restore calm. He took a fallen branch from a nearby tree and began to clear out the gutter. He then proceeded to the next one further down, and the next one. By the time he reached the top of the avenue where all the fancy and elitist restaurants where, the rain had diminished to a drizzle. Exhausted as he was, he stopped to check the result of his feat. The roads had mostly cleared from the rain, everyone seemed less annoyed, and it was quieter now.

The smell of wet leaves reminded him of how hungry he was. He stepped into the restaurant in front of him and ordered a royal lunch. He didn’t care people looked at him disapprovingly. In his one month there, he had done more for them than they had even thought of doing for him. It was time to live in the moment. When he saw a municipal worker approaching him with an applauding smile on his face, that was when he thought that just maybe, that moment would give something back.

The story was an entry in the Guardian Masterclasses blog competition.

Business is not pleasure

facebook-for-businessIn all our lives we seem to struggle to find something that we love to do. That we enjoy investing our time and energy in. And that will reward us for it. Something that suits us and pleases us both metaphorically and literally, as it is common knowledge that satisfaction alone cannot pay the bills.

Yet it is very few people who have managed to make a living out of their hobby. Feeling passionate about what you do is one thing. But basing your entire earnings on it is a whole different story.

When you enter the business side of negotiations, you realize that no matter how much you love what you do, it all becomes so commercialized and trivial. It is complicated trying to get a revenue out of what you so far have only seen as a delightful hobby.

You never truly realize what you’re in for, until you’re ankle deep. But when you’re already in the middle of the ocean, you have to swim. No matter the sharks that surround you.

The business transactions involved in making a living out of your dreams often drowns out the fun of what you do, but it all depends on who you work with.

The arduous nature of it all – the bureaucracy, the scamming, the deals – is that in the end you might dislike the very thing that got your heart racing in the first place.

You’ll get excited, thrilled, confused, upset, angry, irritated.

And in the end you’ll just realize you’ve spend an incredible amount of time thinking about inconsiderate people that weren’t even worth it.

There is a reason why the saying goes “don’t mix business with pleasure”.

Doing what you love doesn’t always mean you’ll get a financial reward from it.

So the most you can do, is try to enjoy what you do.

And then have enough time to dedicate to your true passion.

Who knows, maybe one day the right opportunity will come along at the right time, with the right people and the right circumstances to make a living out of it too.

 

Beyond the horizon

beyond-the-event-horizonMartina always dreamt of being a travel writer. She felt that this was the one profession that truly encompassed her two greatest passions and for this her job would never mean work. “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. The motto she lived by. Confucius was a smart man.

But eight years after graduation she was stuck in a job far from this. Addicted to high quality results and striving for the best she can be, she was often caught in an inextricable loop of exploitation, un-appreciation, and low pay. And worst of all, she was simply locked in an office.

Yet one day, she took the chance. After hitting the ‘send’ button and hearing her resignation email swish to its recipient, she packed up a bag and drove to the airport. Brazil sounded enticing this time of year. And it was as good a time as ever to go exploring…

Never before had she witnessed a culture, a mentality, and a way of life so different to hers. Taking a leap to change everything seemed so scary every time she thought about it. Yet when she finally took the chance, when she decided to break down the walls that were holding her back, she felt liberated. And the sights she witnessed before her – the azure gushing waterfalls, the jade-green of wilderness, the rhythm of life that appeared as if music was playing in the streets – it all made her heart melt at the thought that this was the life she longed for.

And now, this was it. For the first time in her life she was doing what she wanted. Living by her own rules, her own schedule, and making a living out of her own work and accomplishments.

I am not going to continue the story by saying that suddenly everything disappeared and Martina woke up in her office again after returning to reality, because I don’t know if that is true. I leave it up to you to imagine what is real and what is not. For it is true that when you do take a chance to change your life in an instant, you will be rewarded simply for taking the plunge into the unknown…

 

Also part of Trifecta Writing Challenge – the prompt word was melt (transitive verb):
3:  to make tender or gentle :  soften

Also part of Daily Prompt: If You Leave              

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