When we're full with Kung Pao chicken, sweet and sour chicken, rice, dumplings and lo mein, we each open a fortune cookie. We have a belief in our household that fortunes don't necessarily belong to the opener of the cookie, just somebody at the table. So once we've all read the fortunes aloud, it's an unspoken tradition that we decide who gets which fortune. Tonight, this was mine, and it was applicable in two ways:
Courage is the mastery of fear--not the absence of fear.
1. After dinner, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that a former teammate of mine had just committed to Florida State to play soccer. So, my dad asked me if I was still okay with my decision to not play soccer in college and to quit. Looking back on the decision, there were two sides to me.
The first and more dominant side was the one at complete peace with the situation. During a tournament in Colorado, I had just scored my dream goal and as I came off the field, I no longer envisioned myself playing in the upcoming season. It was also exciting to think of my weekends not being filled with 10 hour bus rides and Jason's Deli box lunches.
The other half of me was freaking out. I had been playing soccer for as long as I could remember. I didn't know life without it. Like I said, Freaking Out.What if I miss soccer in a month? What if my dream school calls me right now offering me a roster spot? What will my teammates think? How am I going to tell my coach? Even though I knew this was what I wanted, it was still so hard. And I was so emotional. On the phone call with my coach, my tears got so bad that I had to secretly put myself on mute so I could blow my nose without him hearing. Through the blurry eyes and raspy voice, I made it through. There are still moments where I want nothing more than to train with my favorite coach and ex-teammates, but overall I'm very happy with my decision. I faced my fear of the repercussions of quitting, and so far I haven't looked back.
2. My friend just texted me, "a fattie spider crawled in my bed and I can't find it!!" This right there is courage. HE STARTED LOOKING FOR THE SPIDER IN HIS BED.
I can make tough, life-changing decisions, but if I were in his situation, I would have been out of that room so fast and would have been sleeping on the couch for a week. I don't know where he landed with the spider situation, and he hasn't responded for a few minutes. For all I know he's convulsing on his floor with a spider bite in his arm. But at least he looked. And I think that's what courage is about.