After practice, one of my teammates told me the coach wanted to talk to me. I was finally getting back on my feet and starting to play well so I thought maybe the coach was going to give me some positive feedback. I certainly was not expecting what happened next. The assistant coach translated for me, “We are pleased with your passing. You are doing a lot better than we expected. We think you have a lot of potential, but we need more. We will talk to your agent about moving you somewhere else.” I started breathing heavily, I tried to keep myself from tearing up. I felt like they hadn’t given me a chance. I didn’t understand. Maybe with one more day they would see my talents. “Do you have any questions?” I stood still - not saying a word. I thought to myself, what the fuck did I fly out here for? He told me again, “You have a lot of potential but we need someone better now. Ok, you are ok? You can go home.” By this time any tears that were about to start falling dried instantaneously. My sadness shifted to anger. My business mentality started to kick in as I came back to reality. It was not a personal attack, they didn’t want me for some other reason. I didn’t do anything wrong, “I need to talk to my agent, and he will talk to you.” Enough was enough, they could’t treat me in this manner. “Ok, we are looking for a flight home, ok?”. I repeated what I previously said with a smile on my face as I knew they were in the wrong, “No, I am going to talk to my agent.” I turned around and left for the locker room as I shook his hand.
As much as I wish I could say that I handled the situation appropriately, I didn’t. I was engulfed in emotions with my face stuck against the cold window. I sat in the back seat on the way back to my apartment; my confidence had been destroyed. Over the years watching the best succeed, I have noticed one thing that stands out amongst the elite; confidence. You may be completely crap at the task at which you are setting out to achieve, but with confidence, you can make success a reality. This was the trait I was lacking at this point of my life. My confidence was down, I second guessed my talents, and I questioned the purpose of setting out on this journey. Broken, and hesitant to pick up the pieces.
The next few days were a mess, but luckily with the support of my friends, family, and agents I was able to get myself back on my feet. Ensuring me that this was not my fault, this is the name of the game, I managed to encourage myself to look at other options. I initially wanted to give up and leave the pieces on the floor, but my personality hates to give up. I think it was ever since I gave up playing the piano in 5th grade, or maybe it was giving up basketball my Sophmore year of high school, or perhaps it was giving up art when I came to University that really shifted my perspective. I am not a quitter, if I have to stop doing something it will be on my terms, not someone else’s. Every time someone has told me I can’t do something, I have come back harder. So from that day forward, I confronted my doubt, and although still not confident, I managed to practice in Turkey until we came to an agreement on how the situation was going to be handled. Even with every phone call trying to push me out of the apartment and all the gossip about the girl that was taking my spot, I could now look at the situation with a more level head instead of taking impersonal statements personally.
Fail. Fail Again. Fail better. ~ Samuel Beckett