As I was watching On the Waterfront the other night, I felt a strange sense of oneness with the world: I finally understood why for years people had been saying “I could have been a contender” with varying degrees of success in replicating Marlon Brando’s voice.
What I love about that famous line is not what it means in the singular moment when Terry, the former boxer played by Brando, says it in the backseat of the car. What I love is that although it is uttered as a lamentation of a lost opportunity, it is, in fact, that loss that creates the opportunity to do something much more significant.
Terry goes from a self-directed purpose, defending his own honor, to a purpose that is much bigger then a single man.
Sometimes an opportunity that you think you’ve lost is just the world’s way of making you available for bigger and better things.
4 thoughts on “I Could Have Been A Contender”
So true. There is often an incredible opportunity for self-discovery and growth in those particular circumstances when we fail, or experience loss, or when things just don’t go the way that we had planned. Not that I’m a control freak. 🙂 Discovering your own capacity for resilience can be one of the greatest gifts of all. “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” – Margaret Drabble
OMG Debbie – I love that quote! I had never heard it before. So, so true. Tweeting it now!
Change does have a funny way of feeling like loss, doesn’t it?
But sometimes being too comfortable with our situation can make us stagnant and less likely to step out of our tidy little box where we have all the answers.
There’s nothing like a kick in the pants from the Universe to make us open our eyes, reassess our lives, take a deep breath and jump off into new adventures.