Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
I may still be relatively young in the grand scheme of things, but in my time here on earth I’ve had some experiences that have helped shaped me into who I am today. I continue to have learning experiences everyday that will shape me into who I will become. No matter how big or small these learning experiences are, they are all still so important.
At a young age I started having these learning experiences. My parents divorced when I was five and it taught me a lot of things. It taught me that both of my parents love me, regardless of if they loved each other. It was the first of many lessons that taught me how to cope with tough times. It also taught me that divorce means two Christmases.
I can remember a day in middle school that has played a big role in how I’ve chosen to live my life since. It may seem like just a simple thing, but it had a great impact on me. We had a basketball game that day and we chose to dress up for school that day. I wore a pair of red chino pants, and it resulted in me being made fun of all day long. I can remember feeling like I just wanted to take them off, so that I could finally stop feeling self conscience about them. I learned from my mom after school that it was a good thing that I wore them, and people throw rocks at things that shine. Plus, I was ahead of the curve because they’re cool now.
Sports have been a big part of my life ever since I was young. I was brought up in a household that loves football more than pretty much anything. From eighth grade until I graduated high school I played football, basketball, and ran track. While I wouldn’t have traded my experiences playing sports for anything else, it turned out to be a very challenging experience; one that I have learned a lot from. Playing sports obviously takes a lot of work, that was never the hard part. The hard part was the fact that I was never really on very good teams. We never won a whole of games in any sport, and I can remember that being so frustrating to my seventeen and eighteen year old self. It has just taught me that very little in this life comes easy, and even though it can be a grind, we just have to keep pushing.
After high school, I decided to come to Chadron to play football. I played for two years, and decided that I wanted something different. I’ve always hated the fact that I ‘quit’ playing college football, something that so many kids would love to do, and I didn’t finish it to the end. I can remember that being a very tough decision to make, but ultimately it ended up being the right decision for me. That decision in itself was a learning experience for me. While it may not have ended the way I expected it to, I’m glad that I had the chose to stop doing it after it stopped making me happy. I hope to always remember that in my life, because I know there will be tough decisions and I hope that I always have the courage to step outside of my comfort zone.
To be completely honest, the year after I stopped playing football was a challenging one; trying to figure out what I wanted for my life, and where I best fit. After I left Chadron I transferred to the University of Oklahoma where I studied for one semester. Between money and the sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, I ended up moving home and working for about year. Like I said, the past year has been a difficult one, and I don’t say that to draw sympathy but to explain why it has been a learning experience. While it has been challenging, I feel that I have grown up a lot. I feel that I have learned a lot of things about myself that never would’ve surfaced, had I not had some tough times. Now, I am taking online classes and coaching high school football, which has been the most rewarding experience of my life.