If you clicked on this, because you thought I was going to discuss basketball, I am sorry; that is not about to occur. In fact, in my lifetime I have only attended one basketball game, I spent the whole time utterly lost and the last fifteen minutes wondering why the guy to my left kept yelling “defence”.
Right now you’re probably thinking; firstly, what am I reading; and secondly, why is she telling us this? Well, trust me it has a point;
So I spent forty minutes of my life, watching this game; and of course I lied to the person whom I was there for “totally paying attention” were the words I used, anyway time passed; and I went out with my friends one day, and bought a Westbrook NBA jersey (and don’t worry I do know who that is I’m not that bad)
I bought the jersey in hopes, that it would magically make me apart of the basketball playing tribe. Basically I had absolutely idiotic motives; which did not flourish.
Six months later, I was friend zoned, with a basketball jersey that is ten sizes too big and has orange on it, which is just not my colour because it clashes with my hair
It sat there on my shelve, it was only recently, I thought of giving it away; this little boy I knew loved superheroes so I was going to give him the jersey and tell him about Westbrook; and how he is one of the best players in the NBA ; the jersey apart of what makes him super, fantastic, incredible; I told my friend, I was going to do this and she asked me why? That got me thinking, because like the writer I hope myself to one day become, I wanted to draw out a story;
The Jersey did have memories or insecurities attached to it, which I would rather forget; and in the interest of positivity, I won’t address them in depth, I will say however;
The jersey reminded me, of something I can’t do; and that fact, was not a choice of mine. Who would I have been, if the tables were turned? And I wasn’t rolling but walking; Would I have played this game? All these questions I asked myself; because of that jersey. For the first time, I wondered if I was good enough as I was.
My friend bless her, told me this was stupid; flawed logic, which made no sense; because I didn’t even like basketball anyway, and I am deathly uncoordinated with or without a chair; she reminded me that as well, as the jersey being a manifestation of my questions;
It should also remind me of Connor from Footlocker, who we purchased the jersey off he said “of course you can play” like he really meant it got down on my level; to speak to me, which is something that almost never happens; and Westbrooks jersey is a tangible reminder of that moment, I never want to forget.
What can we learn from this? You ask me Let me break it down;
Memories; I both love to pieces and question my possession of that jersey. Sometimes we hold onto things, objects, places or people. Because of the memories attached to them, and if all of those memories are positive, that is a different story; if you love a place because of the time you spent there, there is no question about keeping that in your life, but when you remember things, you’d rather forget that is a harder call to make. I can’t smell detergent without remembering all my times being in the hospital; those memories are hard ones, but just like the jersey I can see it two ways, I can see the difficulties and the sickness; which sometimes I do. Or I can see all that I have overcome to get where I am, you choose what you see, and coming back to the jersey;
I can see what I am not, or what didn’t happen or I can see the day I had purchasing it, the Footlocker guy who knelt down to give me the jersey, and sparked within me a renewed belief that my purpose is found in words, Connor in part started within me, the idea for Letters to Corey, that day was a great one.
You can also choose too see both sides.
Yes I am not this, but I am that; yes that did not happen but this did. Seeing both sides allows us to get a full view of the world around us. Because if you constantly see the negative, you’ll become stuck within its claws; the flipside to that; is if you constantly see the positive, you’ll see the world through a mason jar; parts of your view magnified while most of it remains uclear without challenged.
Because you need, challenge, and the negative to push you towards the positive, in order to appreciate it more. If you see the world through a mason jar; you loose touch with your realities, it is in seeing both the positive and the negative; but valuing positivity as of higher merit, that you fully understand and learn, Using the negative, or harder memories; to push you forward and learn from the past growing with knowledge and in strength from it, gaining positivity from what was once negative.
Changing; The cliche thing to say is; you don’t have to be anything you’re not; but the truth everyone knows is that sometimes we do want to change aspects of ourselves, the whole basketball thing for me steamed from me wanting to be like the other girls, and there will come a time in our lives; where we all feel this way, not good enough; but just as in basketball; no singular player works to win the game;
The team works as one, each offering something different in purpose, but equally valuable. You; as you are offer something nobody else can, wanting to change aspects of yourself is a useless quest, I have finally learned that;
I am not the other girls and they are not me, they each offer the world something unique just as I do; If you spend time constantly wishing to be like someone else, you will miss the opportunity, to find out; who you are, what your passions are; it is time we stopped investing ourselves and our value in others, in their opinions of us; or changing to fit someone else mould;
Instead, in all we do we must learn the practice of respect; as well as respecting others and their choices, we must learn and teach others to respect themselves, because you are worthy of your own respect.
The acknowledgement of another persons abilities, looks, or capacity in work does not mean the absence of your own
In order for us to create a world which values respect for each other above all else, we must first respect ourselves; create our own moulds, love who we are; have passion in what we are doing; after that, we come to see that a lot of the changing we think we need to do; is all in our head, because those that play basketball; perhaps wouldn’t be writing as I am, we each have purpose and people who truly respect and honour who you are, do not seek for you, to change aspects of yourself; because they see your value, even when you don’t and believe in your purpose; to flourish and brighten the world, with what you have to give.
It is easy for us to fall into the pretence of “what we should be” but none of that is reality,
What remains truth is our inherit ability to be incredible in our own way; alive with colour, gratefulness, pride and capability.
Anyone who challenges this fact, is simply not worth your time. Feel safe in the knowledge that who you are, is never devalued because of the abilities those around you may have, but you are each strengthened; our individualities work to enhance us as a collective, making us capable of things that we never thought possible, alone.
I realised, for basketball players; putting on a jersey is synonymous with suiting up to challenge your opponent, to push yourself and make yourself even better then you ever thought, you could be; their aim is to break down, what most think possible; that quest for players of the game is entered, the minute they step on court; I enter that same quest, every time I put on my splints, and walk.
How you suit up, doesn’t matter, as long as you play the game, in your own way and with respect for the other players as well as yourself.
To my friend, whom sparked this revelation, thanks for making me keep the Jersey.
With dedications to the team I watched play basketball, you taught me more then you realised; also to Connor from Footlocker, and with gratitude to Jake Bailey; whose encouragement means more then he’ll ever know.