"I tried carrying the weight of the world but I only have two hands"
The line between what’s ethically and morally right and what’s socially acceptable is growing farther and farther a part. I don’t know exactly when I started to realize this, but it has dawned upon me recently that I am not like everyone else. I’m serious for the most part because I know who I am and I know what I want to accomplish, and with that, I understand that I need to get things done. A part of me feels like I’m all wrong about this. That I should really just be carefree about, well, everything. But at the end of the day I know that sometimes doing what’s right isn’t what’s more “fun”. I think that college has really tested my ability to remain focused and most importantly my ability to remain true to who I am. I’ve obviously adapted some of these habits and social patterns that I would say every normal college student exhibits but I hope I haven’t lost control of who I am. And I think that’s the most important thing. It’s all about balance. I strongly believe that you can truly experience everything if you have an open mind and you have the maturity to try new things to really judge them for what they are. I’m on a journey and I know that I’ll feel great at points and I’ll feel horrible at points, but that’s what life is about. It’s about taking steps in the right direction and it’s about taking steps in the wrong direction, but at the same time never forgetting about your destination.
"Say something I’m giving up on you"
So here it goes, here it is, my story.
I always knew I loved sports, I knew it from the day I stepped on the soccer field, the day I threw my first baseball, and the day that I shot my first basketball. I loved the adrenaline, the rush, the passion, and the dedication that revolves around sports. I played and did everything and anything that I could as a child including, but of course not limited to: soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, gymnastics, ballet, hockey, rugby, volleyball etc. I enjoyed being so carefree within a sport. It was my release. I wasn’t really great at anything, I just worked hard at whatever I did.
I never really dedicated myself to one sport, I sort of bounced around from sport to sport, which I think is what really put me behind in my respective sport. I never played NJB, or AAU, etc. I just played for fun. Going into my freshmen year, I knew I had to play basketball. What I didn’t know was that the basketball program that I was joining was superior. The team I wanted to join had just come off a national title — that’s right, the 2009 team had finished off the year ranked #1 girl’s basketball team in the United States of America. We had scholarship players going to multiple division one schools. I was in awe. Of course, I made the freshmen team. I wasn’t good, well I’ll be honest with you, I sucked. I didn’t know what a layup was, I could make maybe one basket out of ten, and oh my god we won’t talk about three pointers. However, I was eager to learn. I had the passion and desire. So after my freshmen year I would spend hours and hours working after practice, working when we didn’t have practice. I worked day in and day out on my strengths and of course my weakness (I had many of those).
My sophomore year was the what I think the best and worst year of my basketball career. I learned so much about myself that year, but not only did I learn about myself, I learned about life itself. The whole entire offseason (august) I had spent working day in and day out on my skills. I felt confident that I was going to make the JV team. Through out the spring season and the summer season I had played considerably well and was even invited to some varsity tournaments (of course as a bench player). However to my demise my coach put me on the freshman team again. I’ll be honest with you, I was broken. He broke me with that decision. You could say I was depressed, because I was. I had worked so hard, but to fail? What was I suppose to do. My other friend who ended up making the freshman team quit. I had to make a decision: would I remain on the team? Would I accept my fate? or would I quit. Well, let me tell you something, I’m not a quitter. As much as it pained me, I walked into that gym the next week with the freshmen team ready to lead and ready to play. I was lucky that the freshmen team and the JV practiced together, because that’s where everything changed. Through my play and my practice ethics I started playing in JV games, I averaged 17 points in a tournament right before season, and eventually I made the JV team. I became a on and off starter. I went through a lot of ups and downs that season, but I realized something really important. I realized that you prove yourself daily, and that things can change in an instant. I found this quote that I now live by: passion makes you fearless. If you put your heart and your soul into something good things will come, they may not come initially but if you have the patience, eventually you will be able to experience greatness. My crazy sophomore year came to an end and although I was looked down upon, although I wasn’t given a chance, I proved myself daily and made the varsity team the following year. I didn’t play much my junior year, and that was fine. I worked hard in practice and accepted my role as a bench player.
My senior year was different. I played AAU the previous summer and got a lot better, and I also worked on, well, everything. I wanted to start and I wanted a lot of minutes. I thought that I deserved them, that I earned them. But of course nothing good comes easy right? The start of the season I really didn’t know who I was as a player, I felt like I had to prove myself, and I just wasn’t playing well. I didn’t get many minutes the first few games, but once we hit our road tournaments, things changed. As I figured out who I was as a player (a screener, a passer, and a defender — before a shooter) I began to excel in games. I had my opportunities in multiple games and ended up scoring in crucial minutes. I became a dependable player and ended up starting the last 15 games of the season. I never was the go to player, I never was the star player, I never got the credit, but I did enjoy everything. I didn’t need to be that player to enjoy the game. At the end of the season I was voted second team all league the league coaches and I was just in shock. A girl like me? A girl like me who didn’t even know how to shoot a three pointer, a girl like me who didn’t even know how to make a layup? earns second team all league, wow. What surprised me more was that I even got recruited by a couple of schools. I learned so much through it all.
Basketball has taught me about life. It has taught me how to deal with success, and it has taught me how to deal with failure. But most importantly it has taught me about passion. Passion makes you fearless.
don’t take my heart and put it on a shelf
I think a part of me is really upset and angry about the situation but at the same time I’m extremely open and accepting. In a candid blog I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy for me to come to let go of what has been mine for three years. It’s like losing a part of your body, you just don’t feel right without it. But the decision wasn’t in my hand, I didn’t make the final decision. And what hurts the most is that you gave up what was ours, three full years of great memories, for the uncertain future. At the same time of being upset, I’m also starting to believe that this was the right way to go. I think I became more obsessed with the idea of us then, well, what we actually were. I need someone who will love me unconditionally. You said “I’ve never had another girlfriend how am I supposed to know?” And you are completely right with that statement. You have every single right to feel like that, but also, if you believed in us then you wouldn’t have thought that. If what was in your present was enough you wouldn’t be pondering and wondering “is there anything else out there?” I sit and I struggle with that concept but I’m learning to accept what has happened and I’m excited for the future. Who knows what else is out there? It’s going to be difficult for the next few weeks, but time heals all and soon I’ll be whole again. It won’t ever feel the same as before, but I know, that everything happens for a reason. So here’s to a new journey.
California here we come, right back where we started from
As the days slip away and the anticipated moving day of August 21st comes closer and closer I begin to wonder if I really am ready to move across the country to start my college journey. 2,903 miles away from what I have called my home, is where I will be spending the next fours years of my life. Storrs, Connecticut. Rewind to a year ago, the summer before senior year, I was narrowing down my colleges choices from about 20 colleges to ten. I don’t exactly remember the exact names of these colleges but I know they ranged from California schools, to Texas schools, to Connecticut schools. I never thought I would be going to school in connecticut, I just applied because of the great basketball program it held and also the fact that my sister lived in connecticut. I also applied to Baylor, Penn State, Rutgers, Drexel, UC Davis, and Syracuse. I’ve always known what I wanted to be, for the past four years of high school I’ve known that I want to become a registered dietician.
give me love, like never before
I’ve always felt a sense of insecurity. I usually try my best to push away any negative thoughts, I really do. I always think of the positives of each situations, verses the negatives, but like every other human beings I have my moments. Those moments, moments, where you feel like you just aren’t enough. Usually after a good sequences of about three to four weeks I have one of those lull weeks where I have no inspiration, no motivation, and no desire. It’s just a phase, I hope.
and we never gonna quit it no we’re never gonna quit it no
Never change yourself for someone else. If people don’t like you, that’s their problem NOT YOURS. Never give up on your dreams because others don’t see it coming true. It’s your life, your dreams, your aspirations. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
"That last kiss. I’ll cherish. Until we meet again."
The new beginning. That’s what I like to call my upcoming college experience. I new beginning. A new place to discover who I am and what I want to do with the time that I have. I’m excited and sacred at the same time, but who wouldn’t be? I’ll be on the other coast of America, 2,500 miles away from California. A whole new culture, a whole new world. A whole new experience. Anxious and excited, nervous and apprehensive, open minded and closed minded. It’s ying and yang, black and white. I can’t find the middle ground within my thoughts.
"Practice what you preach. And would you turn the other cheek"
Recently I have been in a somber mood. As the days slowly creep up behind me, I realize that I am going to be an adult in about 3 months. Eighteen years old on June 10th, 2013. Crazy huh? I remember when I was just a little girl in the third grade trying to figure out how to spell gorgeous. Now I’m about to turn eighteen, and I still struggle to spell that word gorgeous. Thank god for autocorrect right? Now reflecting on my past I realized that I’ve had a very easy life. I am so thankful and I know shouldn’t take everything for granted, but I do. I will be the first to admit that. I, Joy Felicia, take life for granted. I know I shouldn’t, but at times I just get so caught up into this life that I don’t even realize how much value each moment is worth. As I grow older, I hope I can appreciate life more.
"I told you to be patient I told you to be fine"
It is extremely difficult for me to go on this healthy challenge. But I thrive with challenges. I love challenges (challenges that I can win).
About four weeks ago, following the end of my basketball season, I decided that enough was enough. I needed to start eating healthier and start exercising more. So thus, began the Healthy Challenges. A term that I coined myself (in order to allow others to understand that this was NOT a diet, but instead a challenge to become fitter, healthier, and overall happier) Fast forward four weeks later, am I happier? am I fitter? am I healthier? I am happier, because I am able to control myself. I like this control that I have over my body. I am able to withstand the scrumptious treats and desserts that seem to mock me everywhere I go. It’s not easy, it’s actually really difficult but, the days that I tell myself NO are the days that I end up feeling better about myself. I like that feeling and I strive for that feeling daily. I am fitter. I don’t weigh myself anymore, because weight does not define me. If I am feeling healthy and fit, then that should be enough. I shouldn’t let a scale bother me. My weight does included the muscle that I understand develops with my workouts. Those muscles do increase my weight, however they increase my metabolism and allow my body to be healthier. I am defiently healthier. I know I am, my daily diet looks something like this
Breakfast ( Red Beans, Green Beans, etc [1 cup] + Cereal [1/2 cup] and 2% Milk [ 1 cup]>
Snack (Fruits [mangos, apples, grapes, tangerines, etc.]) Lunch (Tortilla + [Egg/Ham] OR Penne Marinara Sauce w/ Chicken) Snack (Apples, Oranges) Dinner ( Rice, Meat, Vegetables) Snack (Fruit)
I DO have cheat days, which are days where I allow myself to eat certain foods that I normally wouldn’t. Those days are crucial as they motivate me to eat healthier the following days, and they also give me something to look forward to.
This healthy challenge is about controlling yourself and only rewarding yourself when you deserve to be rewarded.
At the end of the day I smile, because I know that I am giving myself the best opportunity to survive.
"I’ve been housing all this doubt and insecurity"
It’s not that I’m not proud of myself, because believe me I am extremely proud of what I have been able to accomplish. It’s just that I feel a sense of uncertainty. My friends got into Harvad, Yale, Princeton, UCLA, UC Berkely. And all I have to say is I’m going to UCONN: a school that is ranked #61 in the nation. To be completely honest I am a bit embarrassed. But why should I be? Shouldn’t I be proud of who I am? I could have tried to get into those schools, and I probably would have been able too, well UCLA/Berkely. But I didn’t. Why? Why did I only apply to seven schools? (Baylor, UConn, Rutgers, Penn State, Drexel, UC Davis, Syracuse) Well that’s because I wanted a whole university feel. I want to see my school participate in top level - football games, basketball games, soccer games, etc. I want to cheer my basketball team and upset a top ranked team. I want to join many different clubs. I want to room around and explore. I want to be free. I want the freedom and luxury that a big school allows me to have. I want to meet new people and experience different cultures. I use to fear change, but now I am just excited for it. Because, change is good. Change is what we all fear, but change is what allows us to grow, to develop. I guess in the long run it doesn’t matter where you go, what truly matters is what you do there. I’m so excited to be apart of the University of Connecticut Class of 2017.