I have written a 6 part series to describe my transition from Amateur to Professional. I know many of you are eager to hear how I arrived in Puerto Rico because I haven't really spoke on the subject at all. I have written this to shed light on a personal story of my journey. Stay tuned for each part of my story here!!!
PART 1: From Amateur to Professional
I’m taller than the average woman, yet smaller in the volleyball world. I’m always having to prove myself as a volleyball player because my competition usually stands at about 6 ft 4. I’m not afraid of what's on the other side of the net. I just give it my all every time I step out there and then my abilities show themselves. But I am afraid that my hard work, and what I do, won’t be good enough.
I spent the last three and a half years on an unstable roller coaster. The funny thing is that after I graduated I thought I would suddenly gain some clarity as to which direction I should take in my life. In reality, graduating gave rise to more confusion and swept away the only stability I had. A situation like this could terrify some, and although I was a bit fearful, I was also very excited. I was inspired by the possibility that I could choose whichever direction I wanted to go; I could choose my next goal in life. Being young, fit, and willing to take risks gives me a sense of empowerment. Not everyone is given the opportunity to make these kinds of decisions with a bachelors degree in one hand and a resume in the other, and that is why I felt that it was almost a duty to take advantage of the opportunities that had been given to me. After leaving the University of Miami, I decided to throw myself in as many of directions as possible to see what sort of feedback I would receive. I set myself as many short term goals as I could, simply to give myself some drive for the next few unsteady weeks. I told myself to draw as much as possible, write emails everyday, design and create t-shirts, set up a website, read 10 books, write 2 screen plays, eat healthier, photograph everything, and although it was a little unrealistic, I figured it would keep me busy until opportunities arose.
After a few weeks of reaching out, and gaining only a handful of responses, I decided it was time to weigh up the pros and cons of my options. I had opportunities in both sand and indoor volleyball, and then another alternative to give myself a break from volleyball and dive into the creative field. As I was wrapping up my decisions, I realized I couldn't walk away from one particular opportunity, the opportunity to play in the top league in Turkey, competing against some of the best players in the world. Excitement doesn’t quite explain the volatile emotions I was feeling. I’ve heard horror stories of people going overseas and playing, never getting their money or signing to a club that folds within the first few weeks, and I didn’t want to be that person. I wanted to check every box, so I asked everyone in my life (and more) for some advice. When talking to those more experienced and wiser than I, everyone said that this was the best option. They all told me that it was a win/win situation: playing for a team in one of the top leagues in the world, making an amazing starting wage, and in a culturally thriving city. I’d be crazy not to go. After long discussions, I came to the conclusion that, worse case scenario, I hate it but leave after 3 and a half months with a nice check in my pocket. It was the right decision.
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future" ~ Steve Jobs