Graphic by Corrina Riess and Hannah McGee.
CHELSEA GROVES | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our eyes could be wide open, but there is still a chance of getting hit in the face. But when you inevitably do get hit, blink a few times and keep your chin up. Easier said than done, but this is your cue to refocus. Getting hit in the face isn’t a bad thing — it just forces you to shift your attention.
Even if you get knocked down completely, it is not an excuse to give up. Listen to this: during the first game I ever worked as a sideline reporter as a sophomore, I completely froze during my first on-air appearance. A glimpse of my dream job, and I literally forgot the goalie’s name; the play-by-play commentator had to tell it to me. I’ll never forget it.
During that game, I had to access a part of my brain I had not turned on before to recover from this error. I am usually not one to let things roll off my back, and I am intentional in every action and word that comes out of my mouth. But through preparation and mechanics, I was able to learn from the experience instead of dwell on it. They asked me back — I even have a game this week, two years later.
The lesson I learned is there isn’t anything stopping you from dreaming with your whole heart — but you can’t get caught sleeping with your eyes open. It is easy to singularly focus on our aspirations. Our aspirations often turn into expectations, as we desire them so passionately. This is a good thing, but can also be tricky, because we assume that things will shift in our favor.
After all, our lives are pleasantly filled with countless, sometimes contradictory, circumstances. You are trying to be your best self and put your best foot forward, while not comparing yourself to others or letting external distractions get in the way. All we want is to split through the defense for a wide-open lay-up, every opportunity we can get.
But, there are also times where it feels like we are constantly on defense during the last possession of a game, up by only a point.
The disparity between these feelings cannot be downplayed. When things are going poorly, it seems like our expectations will never become a reality. This feeling is crushing.
We have the tendency to interpret every small hazard or obstacle during our life journey as catastrophic. What matters, though, is our own belief in these aspirations, where instinctual confidence and personal integrity is required. We are more insightful than we think at this stage in our lives. We have the ability to see what we want, even when we can’t make it happen immediately.
Let me try to explain this with an actual anecdote: I used to duck if a foul ball was anywhere near the general direction I was located in. But I’ve learned from experience that if a foul ball is not a line-drive coming straight at you, do not duck. Yep, I actually did this.
Don’t let the foul ball that was not coming directly at you influence how you react to the hurdles in your life. We need to engage with the countless twists and turns in our lives from here on out. Every opportunity for hope, risk or blind luck endlessly keeps us on our toes.
In order to tee ourselves up for tomorrow, we need yesterday. Not to dwell upon yesterday, but to draw up lessons. I need yesterday every single day. Think of your life like your own personal scrapbook. You commemorate and craft each page with details from the past, but you save enough materials to create a page for tomorrow.