Who I thought I was then, and who I even think I am now is ever changing……even in this moment.
Sounds a bit whack a doodle does doesn’t it? As I am writing this I am sitting on a rock over looking Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. I just reread my opening statement and it sounds a little Henry David Thoreau like. However, Thoreau was not my inspiration in writing this piece. When I write I cannot sit like most writers and write something each day. My discipline for that does not exist. Instead, out of the blue something has to give me goose bumps, warm my heart, or I come across a moment that I need to share with everyone.
So this epiphany happened the other night while I was playing my very first soccer game ever against my daughter’s team. We were celebrating the end of the season with some pizza and a “friendly” little kid against parent’s soccer event. My feelings before this night were excitement, anxiety, and fear. Excitement because I really was anticipating a great workout, anxiety because I wasn’t certain how I would do with this being my first game, and fear because I wanted to walk away without any injuries.
The game began and I was in my “mode’ of let’s kick some ass! Within a few minutes I knew the excitement feeling was gone and only anxiety and fear existed! Twelve and thirteen year old kids were dominating and running through me like I was a wall of wet noodles. Each time I got the ball and had a kid running at me ninety miles an hour, I figured get plowed down or graciously give them the ball. Option B worked best for me in each event I received the ball. My other experience was my enemies kicking the ball towards my head and me screaming like someone being attacked in a scary movie. (Each time when Avery is playing in a real game and she turns her body away from the ball, I would say to myself, “Jesus, what a Sally.”) Yeah, I took that comment back as soon as I almost tasted a nice muddy soccer ball coming at warp speed toward my face.
So the game went on with me screaming, sharing the ball with the other team and still trying to keep my, “We are going to kick your ass” attitude. How comical does this sound? Anyway the game ended and I had a couple of people come up to me after and say, “Wow Sandi, I am a bit disappointed in you.” I of course laughed, but did not understand the comment completely. When I asked why they were disappointed the response I got was, “I thought you were more athletic than what you showed on the field.” I let the comments sink in, really sink in. I did not get defensive like I may have in my younger years, nor was I sad or hurt. I suddenly realized how people have seen me exactly like I wanted them to…..athletic. But then I also felt a release within and understood that I am a true lover, not fighter. Yes I am the Sally and could have cared less in that moment. I do not have an aggressive bone in my body and have always been like this. For so long however I tried to hide this because I was ashamed of my “non-fighter” attitude. I was at peace and it felt wonderful that people saw me for who I really am. As a child and teenager I played softball and basketball. My love was softball because it was me on the mound with just a batter. Basketball was fun up until girls were literally ripping the ball from my arms and I would go flying. (Not my idea of fun) So by the time I was in 9th grade, my professional basketball career ended.
So why do people think you are a certain specific type? What part of me was giving off that athletic vibe? Was it because of my love for exercise, nutrition and training? People including myself sometimes assume. At the age of 40 I cannot believe how much I am still learning within. How exciting is it that we have so many more transitions and journeys? Who we are now could possibly change within the next few minutes. Who we are tomorrow is a complete mystery. Yes I will always be Sandi within this lifetime, but opening up new journeys and creating more adventures will be always changing. I love taking all of this in, right now here where Thoreau experienced similar moments and situations. (Not the soccer event I am certain).
Let me conclude my changing thoughts with my daughter. When we were done playing the game we drove home and I hugged her right before bed and said,” “Avery I promise from this day on I will never coach from the sidelines again.” She smiled and I went on, “Soccer is an amazing sport and I have nothing but respect for you and your team.”
Try to stop and take this moment and think about how people see you. What do you want them to see? Do you care if they see something completely different than what you think you are? Do you care at all? Honestly, just be true to yourself and that is what will get you through every good, bad, sad and even crazy moment. I have discovered I may have been pretending to be something I am not at all; competitive, athletic and an “expert sideline soccer coach.” (Lol) What I am at this moment is serene, relaxed and PRESENT! Tomorrow when I wake up I am sure some of that may change…..