Personal Column: Learning to speak up

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Kyhia Jackson, Staff Writer

“Play from your heart”, my basketball coach always told us. But what if its not in my heart to play? What if I’m just trying to impress everyone else but the one person I need to be doing this for? I’ve never had a real interest for the game of basketball, yet to my surprise I made the team in seventh grade. I thought I could just play and warm up to it. I never really been into sports but just to stay in shape I would play. “Doesn’t matter if you like it or not just do it” was my parents favorite phrase.

Nonetheless it got worse. I disliked our game days knowing I would have to get out on the court at least once. Ever since my first game seventh grade year my mom looked at me as a “mini Michael Jordan” when I could only see myself as a bench rider. I never really payed attention on the court; I would just get out there and play for my mom. My dad. My family. My team members. Basically everyone but me. I never really realized how bad being in basketball made me feel inside until my second year of playing it.

I played for two years including summer teams. Even though I played with some of my closest friends it wasn’t the same, hearing other girls say how much they love the game and want to get better each day made me upset because I couldn’t have cared less about it and I was still out there playing getting court time that I didn’t deserve. I convinced myself I liked it basically lying to myself everyday. Early morning practices, daily Saturday training sessions, endless amounts of tears angry because I didn’t want to play but still doing it for everyone else.

It took my dad asking me what I really wanted to do for me to admit that basketball wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I could finally breathe. Maybe I could have avoided the long term depression that came over me if I would have just spoke up and not been so scared of letting people down in the first place.

“You can’t sit there and put everyone else’s life ahead of yours and think that counts as love”. This is a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that has always stuck with me; to me, it means that I can’t keep putting everyone else’s needs and wants before mine and pretend to be fine with it and call it love. Because its not. I realized that I had to do whats best for me and not the benefit of others its advice I can use through out my whole life I’m thankful I learned it now.