Every now & again I like to share a bit of myself with you guys. This post was inspired by a sign I saw the other day. It was advertising the annual girls’ basketball summer camp held at my high school. It immediately brought back TONS of memories both good and bad. You may or may not know I played basketball for 4 years in high school. I played close to 10 months a year. My school team went from November to March then AAU went from April to August. Basically, my life was consumed by basketball. It left little time to do any other sports or after school activities. Something I can honestly regret now. I wanted to do other sports or other things in school but I was constantly reminded that if it interfered with basketball, it was out of the question.
I’ll be honest I was not a good player. Which always shocked people. People were always surprised that at my height & body size I wasn’t one of the best players on the team. My parents tried to get me help, they made sure I got help in the offseason or during the summer. But I never took it seriously. I never wanted to get better on my own. I never took the initiative to go out on my time & work on my game. I found every excuse as to why I couldn’t get better. I would say that “everyone else had brothers to practice with” or “their parents play so they can help” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to get better. I question why didn’t I have the passion. Why couldn’t I be like my teammates; Jade, Emily, or Megan, who lived & breath the game! So many of teammates would get to practice early to get some extra practice time. They would be at the park on the weekends getting better. They would join the boy’s summer league & play against the best boys so they could get better. And me, well I couldn’t care less about practicing on my own.
I can distinctly remember my mother saying to me on MULTIPLE occasions “your goal is to get a basketball scholarship” She drilled that into my head time & time again. In retrospect, I knew deep in my heart that she wanted that scholarship, not me. All I would do at the time is just agree with her, hoping that with time I would convince myself to want it as much as she did. Funny enough, even though deep down I knew that basketball wasn’t something I wanted to do, I was still scouted by a number of different division 2 & division 3 schools. Even had some real interest from Harvard University. I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider playing ball for Harvard. I mean let’s be real college is expensive and if I could take some of that burden off my parents, why not. Right?! However, when I really sat with myself and thought about if another 4 years of giving my life to basketball were something I wanted, I found myself feeling lost, feeling confused & empty. Especially when my teammates were getting excited about what teams were scouting them. Sometimes I look back on my relationships with my teammates, I wasn’t the best teammate. I was often reclusive & never felt like I fit in. And as much as I want to blame that on my teammates, I just can’t. You’re involved in something that you knew never cared about in the first place, you don’t make a great teammate. That was my reality at that point.
But in the middle of all that, that’s when it hit me that basketball just wasn’t my passion. Now at 26 years old I have come to terms with the fact that basketball was NEVER my passion. I didn’t care enough about the sport to go out of my way to get better. I didn’t care enough to bust my ass to get a scholarship. Because I knew then, even if I didn’t recognize it, that I was only playing basketball because that’s what a girl my size was SUPPOSE to do. At 6 feet 200+ pounds, you play basketball. You don’t do anything else.
Why is this relevant now? Why is something from high school so prevalent in my adult? It’s simple, my choice to not play in college was me taking some sort of control over my life. That is something I’m making a point to do now as an adult. We hear it all the time, we’re supposed to get a job when school is over (regardless of whether or not it’s what you went to school even like) your happiness is not a factor because you have to get a job to play bills. You take anything cause real life waits for no one.
When I made the choice to become a full-time blogger, I was scared out of my mind because I didn’t know how I would pay my bills. There were a number of people that I didn’t tell because I knew they would try their best to dissuade me from doing what felt I was meant to do. And when you’re about to make a major life choice like that, the last thing you need or want is someone drilling into your head all the wrong that can happen. Blogging isn’t practical to some people because I don’t go to an office from 9-5 Monday through Friday. Sure, in the beginning, the cash flow isn’t always reliable, but I’ve never been happier. Why? Because I stop doing what I was SUPPOSE to do & starting doing what I was MEANT to do. While it isn’t easy, sometimes miserable, thankless & I’m constantly hustling with no guarantees. It’s totally worth it because I’m living & planning my life according to what God has for me.
Even though I never like playing basketball, it’s a part of my story and I’m grateful for my experiences. And I say all of this to say, sometimes in order to find your happiness you have to stop doing what you’re suppose to do and do what you’re meant to do.
See you in my next post.