Monday, December 26, 2011
End of the Year Reflections
This year is coming a close and as 2012 approaches, I can't help but go back and forth with myself about what I want to see differently in the new year. I'm not one for using cliches nor do I like to sit down to create a list of resolutions that will get lost in the every day happenings of my life. I have pinpointed a few things in my mind though. I graduated from college six months ago and have lounged around long enough. I haven't been a complete bum though because I did land a job a month after being home for which I am very thankful. Now, it is time for me to finally ease my way into adulthood. Can't keep living with one foot in while the other is holding my spot at home.
I recently decided that I don't want to ever have to wonder 'what if' from here on out. For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about what direction my basketball career could've taken had I been more dedicated to the game. I say the only reason I stuck with ball for so long was so that I could get my degree paid and I did that. People couldn't understand why I didn't want to play past college. My answer, similar to that of Monica's in Love & Basketball: It just wasn't fun anymore.
Over the weekend, my mom's friend asked how I got involved with basketball and my mom told her that it was something that just came natural to me. She and her then boyfriend took me to DePaul's women's basketball game and they noticed how attentive I was and how I knew exactly what was going on on the court. Her boyfriend suggested that mom sign me up for the park district and that's where it all began. She said shooting and dribbling were like second nature for me. From that point on, I played ever since...
...up until now. Haven't touched a basketball seriously since the end of March. I've shot around a few times but a full out game...probably wouldn't be good for my lungs at this point. Times like these, I miss basketball. Wish I could go back and do it all over again from the time I started playing for Hillcrest High School up until I graduated from college (would have made things work at Grambling). During those years, I was timid both on and off the court and I feel that hindered my progress in many aspects. That time at Grambling was meant for me to test out adulthood and I got scared. When the easy road was block with a succession of hurdles, I retreated back home, in search of another easy way. I found it in Graceland along with free education but I often wonder 'what if I would have stayed and worked hard to solidify my spot on the team?'
Upon graduating from undergrad, I had very loose plans on attending graduate school in New York but once time got near, I got scared, thinking about loan money and living alone in NY. At 23, I have never lived on my own whereas all of my friends have. They know what it's like to make ends meet from one month to the next, figuring out how to pay rent among other bills. I do not. Hearing their stories both scare and motivate me because through it all, they still manage to make it. I have been in church long enough to know that I need to start exercising my faith more as well as know that my family will be there to support me as long as I take care of business on my end.
My small group of friends are all making moves towards their future and I don't want to wake up one day and find myself left behind, still at home. That can't be. I have great dreams just like the next person but in order for them to become a reality, I have to work. I have to work a lot harder than what I am right now. Demetria Lucas said it best (can't remember if it was from her book or her blog) saying that you cannot be afraid of hard work. Right now, that is me. Anything that looks hard, I shy away from but I don't want to do that anymore. I will not be successful in anything if I do. The life I see for myself requires hard work and if I don't get over this fear, I'll be homeless in New York, trying to hustle up coins to get back home. Once I leave here, I do not want to have to come back other than to visit.
I'm working on building a team of mentors for the new year that will help keep me focused on the goals I have and will set for myself. Clutch Magazine actually gave me a great idea to create a vision board for my goals. That way, they will always be in the forefront of my mind as they will be staring me clear in the face every time I'm sitting idly at home.
This coming year can be really bright for me but only if I put in the work. I'm creating a reading list because over the years, I've become an internet/social media/tech junkie and I need to get back to my artsy side. This blog is the closest thing I have to consistent writing these days. My new position as a staff writer for Kids Health Club Magazine is a major accomplishment for me and I'm excited to see how it will flourish in the coming year as well as the many other opportunities it will open up for me in my young career.
I also want to work to feed my artist mind by enrolling in a beginners photography course. I fell in love with photography the first time I watched Love Jones (is that cliche? lol) and have wanted to take a class ever since. It's going on five years now that I'm still talking about taking a class. And this Instagram app on my iPod doesn't make it any better, making me think I'm really doing something.
I have mentioned here before how I feel like I've received the short end of the stick when it comes to enjoying life. Like, my time is somehow cut short and that I won't have the same opportunities afforded the generations before me to really experience all life has to offer. But then I realized that this life is exactly what you make it. I don't want to be an homebody any more with stagnant social skills. I want to expand my circle of friends which will call for me to come out of this semi-introverted shell. It's a task I know I can accomplish.
What're your plans for the coming year?