Friday, March 7, 2014

This started as a post about Midterms...

So this week has been Midterms. And they have been, well, absolutely horrible. The tests themselves haven't gone bad (I actually have gotten As on two of them so far! Happy dance!). However, I've only done well because I've been studying my a$$ off. Excuse my french.

Needless to say I've been stressing a little. Well, stressing a lot, a whole lot. Hours and hours and more hours of studying can really take a toll. My freshmen year I really struggled with taking care of myself when trying to balance all of my commitments. I was spreading myself really thin. I had a large time commitment to college tennis, I was a new member in my sorority, I was getting the most out of my new college social life and I was still squeezing in my homework between 11 and 4 am every night.

It was killing me. Not only were my grades not where I wanted to be but I was getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night. At the time I thought it was normal, being constantly tired, constantly sick and constantly behind on homework. After some reevaluation and deciding what I truly found rewarding and what my true goals were I decided to focus more on studies and more on Me.

To do this I had to leave behind a commitment that I had enjoyed since I was 5. This honestly was the toughest decision that I have ever made in my life. It was a decision that I had been debating over a year but finally everything came to a head - my grades were at an all time low, I spent an entire semester fighting sickness, I was losing valuable relationships due to traveling and I was not happy.

This was so tough. When I finally gained the courage to approach my parents it became days and days of discussion and even more nights of crying trying to figure out what the right decision was.

Ultimately, I decided to quit tennis and I have absolutely no regrets. Tennis had become the source of all of my stress. Missing classes for traveling trips, breaks filled with more travel, morning practices, one-on-one sessions scheduled in between classes, drama with the lineup, the struggle to balance my grades and the disappointment when I couldn't maintain my commitments to the level that I wanted.

I had, have, so much history with that court. I met some of my best friends on those white lines, friends that will be bridesmaids at my wedding. I learned the values of honesty with every line call, drive and determination with practice, and more importantly I learned how to lose with poise. I learned a good handshake and I learned how to be assertive when the calls weren't fair. I learned the importance of preparation as well as the importance of reflection. I learned how to look a coach in the eye and I learned what 17s were. Very quickly. I learned of the rewards and enjoyment that I gained from pushing my body to its limits. I also learned of "RICE" and this was implemented frequently. I learned how to set goals and I learned how to make plans to reach them. Most of all, I learned what success was and I became addicted.

I had my fair share of success in the game. Honestly, I had more of my fair share and I worked hard to get it. I graduated as the #1 player in the state for two consecutive years and I came into college as the #1 recruit in the conference. When I decided to quit I was #1 on the team and the team captain.

That was me. But that also became the way that people would define me. Whenever I would see old friends they'd ask how tennis was going. I was always wanting them to ask me about my internships, ask about my schoolwork and what I wanted to do, ask about my family or just ask me how my day was. I loved this success and I miss everyday being able to say (6-0, 6-0) but it was one of those forking moments in life and I know I made the right decision. Tennis used to be a place where I could relieve all of my stress, where I could kick some ass and where I felt at home but it changed. And I truly am not bitter, I just think I'm growing up. I'm more determined than ever to work hard, my grades are higher than I ever wold have thought they could be, I'm getting to enjoy time with some of my best friends, I'm getting normal amounts of sleep and most of all I am happy. It might sound cheesy but I've come to the conclusion that happiness is really all that matters. As long as I'm happy I can figure the rest out from there.

I may have cried a little writing this but I think it's a combination of really missing kicking people's asses, my complete bliss for having a 4.0 at midterms and the realization that I really am growing up. I'm living on cloud 9 right now and I plan on setting up shop here for a while.


I'll keep you posted on how it goes,
Emily




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