Faith. Chance. Unknown. Change.
Four things that the majority of people in this world are afraid of, and at times, too scared to admit. I’m not going to give you advice. I’m not going to lecture you on what’s right or wrong. I’m not going to hash through different opinions. I’m here to tell you about my story and encourage you to find the strength to write your own — to stand on your own two feet and rewrite the norm, rewrite your world; to believe that you can.
Here we go — I used to be a pretty baller athlete. For as long as I can remember, my world and all of the people in it had battled alongside me through every win, loss, and tie; in sports and in life. I had a never-ending set of expectations riding on my shoulders. I practiced, fought, and worked myself to the brink of mental/emotional exhaustion to make sure I was at the top of my game, each and every time.
I loved it.
I loved the competition; standing in the middle of the field hearing the screams and cheering of your biggest fans against your cross-town rivals. An athlete’s journey; the recognition — it meant the world to me. That was my life, that was all I knew.
When I decided to venture into the road less traveled and leave sports behind, I left behind a huge part of my identity. I chose to leave a world I knew and understood, and what was to come next was a complete mystery. Through my journey venturing into the unknown and bruised and beaten path, I suffered through more loss and heartbreak than I ever thought possible. I rounded each corner, facing a new obstacle which left me hurting, bruised, and confused. There seemed to be so many external obstacles that took full control of my life, allowing walls in my world to shake and crumble, time and time again.
Outside third party opinions, objections, and obstacles have a tendency to consume our minds when it comes to what it is that we’re going to do next; often times leading us to believe that the next decision we make is on the line — which way we’re going to fall. So many lefts, rights, ups, and downs, I started losing track of the direction I was heading. Things got pretty messy along the way, and my sense of purpose was completely thrown off. Even so, I still knew there must be something more for me in this world. I knew I couldn’t possibly be fighting these battles for no reason, I was fighting these battles because there was something greater for me out there, somewhere. Something greater within me — I just had to stand up, pick up the broken pieces, and lean on myself and my intuition to find what was missing.
I stopped playing around with third party opinions, objections, and expectations, and finally learned to put me, myself, and I first. I stopped fearing the unknown and began embracing it. I began challenging myself; pushing myself to the highest limit in all things. That is when I decided to change my perspective on everything and anything that fell into my world; to embrace taking a chance, a leap of faith, and dive headfirst into the unknown. That is when I began to find hope; that is when I began to find purpose.
What used to scare me the most in this life, now gives me the biggest high and yearning for adventure. Things I thought I would never do – travel solo, go to a movie by myself, find the closest body of water and just explore – doing all of it alone, completely and unashamedly single; solo. Not because I’m lonely and not because I’m antisocial. I do it because it excites me, it makes me happy, and it has allowed me to prove to myself, my world, that I’m fully capable of taking this life by the reigns and steering in any direction I want.
Whether across the country or from coast to coast, set your ambitions high, but aim higher — because this life has more in store for you and your future than you could ever imagine. All you have to do is have faith in yourself and believe.
You have one heart and one life — one that beats for you; one that allows you to stand on your own; to be really, truly happy.