The One Chance I Lost Forever

By Emmanuel Ngwa
3 Minutes
I wish there was a rewind button<br>
I wish there was a rewind button

I had my chance. A chance to make my voice heard. Maybe, to be crowned the winner. I know I would have because I believe in myself now. But I didn’t then.

It was January 20, 2016, when I first got the news. The reward was mouth-watering, at least, at the time. All I wanted was to be famous. To be known as the best writer ever. But I couldn’t muster the courage to take part. I was too scared I will fail.

The fear of failure is the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.

A philanthropic group, Better Breed Cameroon had just launched their famous writing competition for dreaded fellows like me. When I first got the news, I had this feeling of Eureka. Then, the next moment, I had this feeling of fright in me. I could hear my heart pumping blood a hundred times per second. I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t understand why. Why a piece of good news gets me excited at first, only to turn me into a coward the next minute.

Something was wrong. I knew it. I knew I didn’t have it in me.

But then, my mentor said I could still take part in the contest (Yeah! He broke the news of the contest to me in the first place). But I still wasn’t convinced until I learned two of my best friends were going in. I couldn’t be left behind. I didn’t want them to see me as a coward. So, I decided I was going in too.

At that moment, I believed I could beat anyone who dared to stand in my way. But I was wrong. It was a negative ounce of confidence because deep down, I knew there was still that coward guy. He constantly whispered, “You’re not going to make it, dude! and you know that. So, why waste your time?”

If I didn’t broke then, I would never be broken. I almost fell for it but the thought of friends taking on the challenge was my only weapon against that negative voice.

It turned out “he” was right after all. I tried my best. I poured my brains out onto the keyboard. But, it wasn’t enough. I had lost the zeal to compete effectively. I scribbled a few thousand words and submitted, hoping whichever direction the wind blew me towards, I would go.

The following year, our philanthropist launched another competition. But I was done competing. I was done fighting a lost battle. What was the point? I was going to lose again anyway!

And that was the last chance I had. But I let the wind carry it away. Now, the reward has gone beyond mouth-watering but I’m no longer eligible to compete. These days, when friends ask why I’m not taking part, my answer is,

“I had my chance!”.

And it’s not coming back to knock on my door. It’s a chance I’ve lost forever. One which can never be regained except I time-travel.

Truth is, I’m not letting any more of such opportunities pass me by. I’ve moved on and I’m hoping you would do same. Now, I spend a good chunk of my time transmitting electrical impulses of thoughts from my brain to paper, then to the computer.

I may have missed that chance yesterday just to hit the bounty of chances tomorrow.

If you truly want to move forward, you must stop mourning the past and start crying for the future. Until you do this, you’re only lying to yourself.

I have learned to move forward. The question is, have you?

Thanks for taking the time to skim through.

Writing
Life
Fear
Competition