BE UNFORGETTABLE

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Same dream, new plan

 

I have been fortunate in my life to not have experienced failure often. I have never been cut from a team, I have always gotten good grades, I have lost very few games in my career, and really, anything I ever put my mind to has worked out for me. Sounds ridiculous but it’s the truth, I guess I’m just one of those people. So, you can imagine the feelings I experienced the night of the 2020 WNBA draft, when the final pick was called, and it wasn’t me, I was in new territory.

 

My family was sitting in silence, no one knowing what to say or do, almost as if they were afraid if they said anything I would shatter in front of them like someone taking a baseball bat to a mirror. My dad finally broke the stillness that was crushing my chest when he walked over and hugged me. He said something that I’m sure was compassionate and encouraging, but if I’m honest, I don’t think I heard a single word. That hug was followed by ones from my mom and sister, with tears in their eyes. This reality was pale and lifeless compared to the celebrations that had been running across our tv the last two hours. I said nothing, I was in shock. I had just experienced my dream whither and die, right before my eyes, like a fire after all the oxygen had been used up. Ten years. That’s how long I had been imagining this day and now all I wanted to do was forget it. It felt like a nightmare; a hazy confusion. I was brought crashing back into reality by the overly loud commercial now playing. I don’t remember putting my shoes on or walking out the door, but the next thing I knew I was on the trail near my parent’s house, alone. In due fashion, it began to rain, but I barely noticed, caught in between utter sadness and the unknown that was now my life. The pandemic had changed the game and I wasn’t sure what to do anymore.  

 

My entire life I have had a plan, and it has never failed me. There’s a first for everything. I was thinking about all the things I had given up for basketball: friends, relationships, walking in my high-school graduation.  All those moments that make up your coming of age story.  I had missed them all, just to fall short. I could have used any and every excuse to make myself feel better, make it feel that it wasn’t my fault, but the crappy part of believing you create your own destiny is that you have to take responsibility for everything, even the things that fill you with regret and self-loathing. 

 

On the other hand, the saving grace of that belief is that I never give up on myself or the things that I want. On that trail, in the rain, I let go. Not of my dream, no that is something I will never give up on. I let go of my fear. The fear that I wasn’t good enough, the fear that I had missed my chance, the fear that I would end up a failure because all that those things would do is hold me back. The only fear I held onto was the fear that I wasn’t working hard enough. That fear is fueled by the desire to be great and I’m ready to do the work. So, the pursuit continues.

 

Same dream, new plan.

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