Reality Check

There are defining moments in life– moments that shape you into the person you are. I’m smack-dab in the middle of one those moments right now.

March is decidedly the worst month of the year. It’s cold, dark, and nowhere near the spring you so desperately need. This March came with a lot more than the expectation of sunny days. March would be the month I got into colleges, or didn’t. March would mark Wave’s second birthday, a milestone that would mean trials should be, (and needed to be) in our near future. March meant tryouts were approaching quickly. March was a big month in my house.

The end of March came along with acceptance letters, or rather, the lack thereof. Yes, I got into colleges, but not my top school, or even my second choice. So, I sat on the floor and cried. I was angry and upset, and hurt. The thoughts of “Why did I work so hard for my whole life if I wasn’t going to get into the colleges I wanted to anyway?” crept through my mind. And in that moment the anger was valid. The hurt was allowed. I watched my two best friends go through the very same thing. One of my friends asked me the very same question I was asking myself. I gave her the best answer that I could– that she wouldn’t be her if she didn’t work so hard. She wouldn’t be the person she is if she accepted mediocrity, or anything less than her best. It was easy for me to say this to her, and to mean it– but much harder to convince myself. The idea of an ivy was not my parents, or anyone else’s. It was a pressure I put on myself. For as long as I can remember, I knew B’s weren’t good enough. I had to be the smartest girl in the class. I wanted to go to one of the best colleges in the country. Calculus came around and B’s became okay, because that is what trying my very hardest gave me (numbers are hard). I talked this over with a teacher of mine who is a huge influence in my life. We talked for an hour and he listened while I complained about not getting what I wanted, and working hard for nothing. He told me about a change he saw in me last year. About how I began to focus more on learning than grades, and that he was proud of me for that shift. I had never realized it before but he was right. In the past year, I began focusing more on my learning rather than my grades. Yes, good grades were important to me, they still are– but I also think I’ve learned more in the past year than I ever have before. And I’m proud of that growth within myself as well. So while I didn’t get into my top schools, I have great colleges to choose from. I am beginning to become excited for what lies ahead.

The end of this month brings my very first World Team tryouts. I’ve been doing all the things I think are necessary and that will make me a better handler. I’m going to the gym,  I’m trying my best to eat better–veggies are still gross. I am studying courses every spare minute I have. Tryouts are in 13 days, 21 hours, and 34 minutes as I write this. And I feel ready. I am so excited to be a part of this experience. It is something I have dreamed of for years, and to finally be there, and be apart of it– well, I couldn’t ask for much more. I never knew how much would go into going to tryouts. I knew it was a lot of work, I never  pretended to think it would be easy. But, even just attending tryouts takes so much attention, and energy. I feel a fire within myself that I have never felt before. I am determined to be the best handler I can be at tryouts, to be the best team we can possibly be that weekend. I’m going into tryouts with a set of goals for myself, and as a team. Having this destination of tryouts to validate the work I have put in– its like getting into college.

This past month has taught me a lot about who I am as a person. I have learned that sometimes you put the work in for yourself, and not always for the end result. That you work hard in school because you love to learn, and you love the feeling of understanding you achieve. That you train hard in agility to become the best handler that you can be, that you go to the gym so that you can push yourself to the limit. I have the responsibillity now to choose between colleges who recognized my hard work, and in 13 days I have the honor to demonstrate all my hard work at Tryouts.

Reality checks, no matter what form they come in show where you are, and where you need to go. Acceptance letters and tryouts are all reality checks. 

They’re needed, and lately, they’re welcomed.