Monday, August 30, 2010

Bittersweet

Since I was a little girl my parents always taught my sister and I that when you make a commitment to something you keep it. Your dedication and promise to someone or something meant more than just simple words. That is something that has stuck with me my whole life. When my athletic career began to take off there were times when I didn’t think I was strong enough to do it. Times when I was being pushed to my limits and wanted to be a typical 14 year old and bow out and quit. My parents have been and will always be my biggest fans and supporters. Even though they knew I had the potential to go to the Olympics one day, they would have let me quit if I wanted to. As long as my sister and I were happy, we could do whatever we wanted.

There was just one rule.

If I committed to competing for a season, I was competing for that season. The time, energy and sacrifice of so many people around me to prepare for a competitive year on the international gymnastics scene was huge. Everyone becomes emotionally invested because they are basically a team of people trying to get the absolute best out of you. I remember my coach would have trouble sleeping if I wasn’t training well before a big meet and my club and all the families would fundraise to send me to another world cup I couldn’t pay for. It wouldn’t just affect me if I stopped cold turkey, it would affect everyone around me and was ungrateful.

So even now, how many years later, I still keep that at heart. When I decided I needed to make a big change in my life, I did it and didn’t think too much about it. After two years of living with a great friend I just pretty abruptly got out of my lease. A few months ago it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but as I began to pack up my things and say goodbye to the all the people and memories that have come and gone I wanted to go back on my word and stay.

There were definitely a few moments where I doubted if I had made the right choice this week. Standing on my balcony last night for the last time with my last roommate was hard. My room an empty shell, our place not ours anymore. It’s funny because I never thought I would get this choked up, but my life was that place. It was easy and comfortable and fun. I lived with my best friend for two years, it’s sad to think we’ll never be able to be that close again. I mean, seeing her struggle to get up and out of bed every morning is probably one of the most amusing things ever…going on last minute unexpected adventures in the city is up there too.

I spent my first night in a new bed, in a new room and it was weird. Something that will take time to get used to for sure. I know deep down that this is what I have to do and moving out on my own is a little scary, but it’s that next step. It’s time to grow up.

“last night in the condo. too blurryto even cry. music was just how i like it. deal with the ghetto. love you more than you know. brazilians what? 4am sweet potatoe fries. much love babe”

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hi Alexandra,

I came across your post and thought you might want to read a book that is a favorite of mine and a very easy, quick read. It's about knowing when to quit. My parents taught me NEVER to quit anything too, but this actually isn't a winning approach to life!

I have started and quit a few things in life, and always felt guilty about that (even though a few of those experiences were choices that in retrospect were excellent choices and where the decision to quit was the best choice).

I don't feel guilty anymore about quitting those things - the book put into words what I had done, and validated those decisions for me.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) [Hardcover]

http://www.amazon.com/Dip-Little-Book-Teaches-Stick/dp/1591841666

Linda