Problems of Opportunity

Let me paint you a picture here: It was a wild night out in South Korea. This means that we were infused with copious amounts of beer, soju and tequila and encouraged by the bartender to head bang on the bar to Queen classics. What possible life changing thing could happen in a moment like this, other than possibly breaking a leg from a nasty tumble off the bar resulting in you limping your way through life? It caught me off guard that through all of our nonsense my sister, Emily, said something so profound that I would be writing about it over a year later. She explained to me a reality that myself and the majority of my peers face in our twenties. It had an impact on how I think about my own life and the path that I lead. People are facing problems all over the globe, some problems so far out of our realm that it is hard to comprehend them as an individual’s reality. Life surely throws curveballs at me every now and then but at the end of the day I have food in my belly, a bed to sleep in and friends and family that love me. Emily opened my eyes that we should be thankful for our problems because, in general, we face problems of opportunity.

Which job offer should I fulfill? Would I have a better time traveling Western Europe or South America? Should I accept my offer to McMaster University or Western University? Perhaps I’ll hold off on signing a lease on this apartment, I’ll wait for one that has a kitchen with a dishwasher. At this young, ripe age of twenty one I have an overwhelming amount of opportunities close within my reach. What I never realized until Emily’s theory came to be was I should be grateful for my problems. Instead of complaining about how hard it is to make a decision I should be embracing the life that I was given and how privileged I am that these are the issues I have to face. I have the ability to take a chance in the direction of my life that some people don’t have. My worst case scenario is some people’s best case scenario: live with my parents and work at the mall (mom and dad, if you’re reading this I actually think you’re the best roommates ever). Even if that were to happen, the opportunity to change my situation overtime is still present.

Emily challenged me to re-evaluate my life difficulties and I encourage anyone that is stuck in these situations to do the same. Instead of fretting over the endless list of opportunities that lay ahead of me I chose to embrace them. Our problems of opportunity are also our blessings. We are absolutely blessed to be able to have the ability to travel the world if we get a second job over the summer and don’t spend too much of our money on our social life. And if that isn’t your style, maybe you could funnel your savings into buying yourself a car. You might not be able to do both but thank your lucky stars that you have the option. We can’t have everything in the world but we have the opportunities to experience a slice of some things and we should never take that for granted.

If there is one thing that I hope you learned from this post it is that despite how drunk you may be at the bar your drunken rambling may inspire someone to write a blog post about it. Okay, I am just kidding, settle down but that is also very true. Best of luck living up to Emily’s philosophical drunken babble though. Genuinely, I hope that you learn to love life’s big drawing board ahead of you. Take advantage of your problems of opportunity and having the option to take a risk. Before you stress about not knowing what your next move will be please take a moment, smile and be thankful that you have a choice.


The night it all came to be.


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