Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Game Time

I had a good friend who threw his pencil up in the air and walked out the double doors of his undergraduate career with less than ten weeks to go. At the time I remember thinking, Seriously? Buddy! You couldn’t hold out for just ten more weeks?! I tried to wrap my brain around his. What message was he trying to send? What could have been so bad that it left him hopeless and helpless and fed up with the system?

But this week I wanted to throw my pencil up in the air, shut down my laptop and walk. For the first time, I could finally understand exactly how he felt. Not because I don’t like what I am doing, but because this stage of the game is when you begin to question everything. If I make a play, what should it be? Where will it lead? Who is on my team? Am I ready for a curve ball? The stakes are high, the competition is fierce. My team is so incredibly supportive and we are all capable of winning, of scoring a home run, and everyone is cheering in the stands. But, under the pressure, I begin to question: Do I want to be in this game?

Deep down I know that I do. I know that not every hit will be a home run, but I’m in it for the long run. Maybe it’s just a matter of sitting on the sidelines to realize how much I value the game, and how win or lose, everything is bound to work out. But I can’t help but want to trade in my pencils and books for some dandelion picking, and cloud gazing–the kind of distractions I used to catch instead of the ball.

My parents never told me what I should do. They never forced me to stay in the game if I didn’t want to be there–they still don’t. Instead, the “shoulds” come from my own self-coach. The shoulds are bossy and I get the shoulds confused with the coulds, confused with the woulds.
            What you SHOULD do.
            What you COULD do.
            What you WOULD do.

The longer you’re in the game, the shorter the time span of the “would do” or “want to do” game plan is used–replaced by “should do” and “could do.” Where is the balance? How can you win the game and still follow your heart? Remembering the wants and not forgetting about the coulds and shoulds.

At the end of the day I think it has to do with less worrying and more doing. Just play and keep playing. Don’t worry so much about the scoreboard, the ranking, the shoulds, coulds, and woulds. Instead, focus on the now and don’t lose sight of why you’re in the game to begin with. Keep your eye on the ball. These are the reminders I need to keep telling myself. With my pencil in hand, game on!

This cup is for Diana–We are in it to win it! 

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