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Missed Opportunities

“What’s something you wish you could’ve said to someone but missed the chance?” A few weeks ago, the team here at the Promethean set up shop to ask Siena students that very question. Many of the responses were beautiful – I’ll admit they made me tear up a little! There were also a few others that were… less beautiful! However, I’m glad this gave people an opportunity to vent some past frustrations, as well as sweet messages.

The theme of many of these responses is timing. Timing is a tricky thing, because it can make long shots turn into reality. On the opposite end, bad timing has the ability to interfere with potentially really great relationships and opportunities. Some of you talked about being in love, but not being ready to express that love. There were responses about wishing friends had expressed their struggles sooner, or people asking for more time to sit with their thoughts. 

Another major sentiment that a lot of you shared was that you didn’t like how certain people treated you, and you wish you’d stuck up for yourself. As much as it is difficult to gain insight on bad situations while they’re going on, I applaud all of you for recognizing your worth, even if it was retroactively. That kind of vulnerable honesty shows tremendous strength, and I hope all of you who submitted answers like this recognize that!

The messages that really hit me were the goodbyes. You don’t always know when you’re seeing somebody for the last time, whether that be due to drifting apart or the circle of life. It would be so easy for me to state the obvious, which is that it never hurts to tell someone that you love them, or that you’re proud of them. But in reality, I know it can be much more complicated than that. We are conditioned to hold in our feelings, for fear of embarrassment. However, even just by reading these messages as a third party, I could tell that sharing your feelings towards the end is so important. People are not quick to get angry or upset by a compliment or attempt for forgiveness at the end of their life. I hope that through this, you can learn like I did that sharing how you feel is a part of life. There is no shame in acknowledging your feelings, because chances are you’ll make the path for somebody else to share theirs a whole lot easier.

I’ll end this with a few final thoughts about my personal favorite message. In it, one of you said you are proud of how far somebody has come, and that you miss them. It is so easy to get wrapped up in overanalyzing texts, coordinating response times, or playing mind games with people. Through all of these nuanced methods of modern communication, the mindset of “we don’t talk, therefore we’re dead to each other” is understandable. However, I think this response signifies that just because someone isn’t physically a part of your life anymore, that doesn’t mean they don’t carry you with them. We leave an imprint on so many people, and that imprint lasts far beyond the time we are in contact with them. Therefore, even if you don’t feel it or hear it, somebody out there is proud of you. Somebody out there loves you, despite them not telling you. Loneliness is understandable, but is also a lot easier to take in when you remember this fact. People are rooting for you. Hopefully, that can bring you the same sense of solace and contentedness that I felt in reading your responses.