Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Second chances

Sometimes life offers us second chances. If we perceive them as opportunities at all. We may also view them as a nuisance and may just continue our journey on our dead-end road. A wake up call may either be too loud, too soft, too close, or too far to recognise its meaning.

I just spoke to a friend whose luck never seem to run out. Quite recently he had a thorough medical check up which showed no signs of medical issues. Soon afterwards he was hospitalised with serious heart conditions. He now realises that he barely survived. I asked him whether he views this as a wake-up call. Initially he claimed it was just a “technicality” but the remainder of our conversation told me quite a different story.

My 2013 hit against the “brick wall” was a life altering moment. Only with hindsight. It took me many months to realise, recognise and accept what had happened in the decades before that moment. Misfortune comes in many shapes and forms. Most of them don’t create life altering moments. Some misfortunes may even cause a laughter soon after.

Second chances are granted for a reason. To make up for prior mistakes. To allow for a new work-life balance. You deserve a second chance but you are not entitled to one. Yesterday, I have decided that there’s no third chance for someone. I unfriended that person and blocked virtually all means of communication. As the French would say: an oeuf is an oeuf.

I have never ever considered giving my marriage a second chance. The reason is very simple. Once you contemplate on something for at least 10 years then you don’t reconsider your decision once it’s finally made. In fact, each day of my marriage could be seen as a second chance. With hindsight.

In another case I have given someone plenty of second chances. Probably thirty. I was blinded by love, lust or both. Recently, I saw her in a totally different way and my “friend or foe” radar finally became operational again after several years of “failure”. Now her magic – or worse, spell – is gone. No more “second” chances. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Enough is enough.

Once the love is gone, it’s difficult to be / stay friends. Allegedly, it’s even more difficult for women. Perhaps as her love never really dies and could be re-invoked under the right / wrong circumstances. That could indeed seriously complicate things. Especially when there are 3 or 4 persons involved by then.

Second chances are a gut feeling. New information, new circumstances, and new experiences could affect such a decision. Nevertheless, it’s your heart, mind and instinct that take this joint decision. The heart forgives, the mind rationalises and the instinct feels.

Second chances are not time boxed. A new window of opportunity may come along at various moments. The urge for – granting or accepting – second chances may increase or decrease over time. When the person is right then time and place are the only two remaining variables.

Comes a time when you’re driftin’, Comes a time when you settle down. (Neil Young – video)


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