Tabby Time

What does "beating the odds" mean?

Posted on: May 25, 2008

I've been thinking about the phrase "to beat the odds" for the last few days and find how interesting it is that this phrase means something totally different to each individual. In particular, I was thinking about a romantic relationship I recently got out of, and what it was that I gained from that relationship. I think that there's something to be said about a person when they're attempting to "beat the odds" of whatever situation applies to them, and I think that's one of the things that most attracted me to my ex.

Sometimes, the only way to truly understand a person is to really try to imagine how you might feel if you were in their shoes, walking their mile. Sometimes that's hard to do, but necessary to fully understand and have compassion.

Today marks a significant anniversary for me and my ex. It was a year ago today that she attempted to "beat the odds" of her leaving her safe, free, loving home to live on her own. Her odds were stacked against her from the start, but she was able to beat them for many months. It reminds me of the determination I had as a college freshman, leaving home for the first time ever, determined that I didn't need anyone in order to survive. There's been a significant amount of mistakes between then and now. The initial moving stage was fearful. I had no idea how to do anything that my parents typically did for me, although I was probably more self-sufficient than many teens since I had been taught a lot of different things growing up about living and fixing things and chores, etc.

The feeling of not knowing the next stage was not fun. I think for me personally that's about the age that I decided that decisions were not for me. I started defaulting to the first choice anyone ever gave me, because I didn't want to weigh all of the options due to that icky yucky fear I had about being self-sufficient. Besides, picking the first choice WAS deciding, or so I told myself.

Bringing that back around, now that I've reveled in my own past, I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Heather to leave her home and try to make it on her own. I think that to deal with that must have taken quite a bit of courage, considering she had considerable less knowledge of the real world that I did at the time. I know that her acts of courage lead me to be a considerably different person in the world and in the way I see things, and ultimately, I thank her for the wonderful experiences she brought to my life!

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1 Response to "What does "beating the odds" mean?"

I guess for me, beating the odds happened when I started at my current job. I left a crappy and low paying (yet stable and close to home) job for a bit higher paying temp-to-perm position over an hour away, with even crappier hours than I had at my previous job. Went from working 3pm-11pm, to 4:30am to 1pm. EVERYONE – my mom included – didn’t think I’d make it at that job. Even I was intimidated by the “temp” part. But I had to do it. I had to take that next step and get out of that crappy job I was at. Here I am, almost four years later, still at the same company – now a team lead :D – and a MUCH better person for it. So, to me, that was beating the odds.

It’s good that you remember the good things that come out of yucky situations. It can be really, really hard sometimes (I’m still kinda having to do that now, with something else in my life though). And yes, it’s hard to “take the leap” so to speak and chance not beating the odds, but it can be so rewarding (even if you don’t beat them). You still learn along the way – mostly about yourself. That is sooo invaluable too. In the end, you’re a stronger person for it :)

I wish both you and your loved ones (past, present and future) the best of luck when they try beating the odds :)

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