“Come on Kaitie, you’ve got this shot”
Two minutes left on the clock and we are down by 10. I haven’t scored anything all game. Apparently muscle memory doesn’t hold true for stressful situations. I’ve made this shot a million times but as I step to the line the ball feels foreign in my hands. I want to scream and cry all at once. I hate myself for letting my emotions go … again. I try to pull it together. I remind myself that it’s just a game but that thought falls flat before it’s fully formed. It is so much more than that. I line up and release, before the ball even leaves my hand I know it’s not right.
The last two minutes are a blur. The buzzer sounds, excited faces run across the gym, I turn to the defeated looks of those I love. A hard earned season, done. I have failed my team.
That was 2 years ago and the memory still makes me feel sick.
Basketball isn’t the only thing that has left wounds on my heart: hockey tryouts, piano recitals, lost friendships, examinations, new jobs; anything that presented the opportunity to disappoint someone had the potential to hurt. I panic at the thought of trying new things for fear of reliving past failures.
I long to be loved and accepted yes, but it’s more than that. I desire to be useful, valuable, needed in return. I crave worth.
This world doesn’t give worth freely. You have to earn it. Be the best athlete, student or businessperson, then you are worth someone’s time. But mess up and you’re yesterday’s news. Just another face in the crowd.
I’ve given people the right to decide my worth all my life, only to realize that I will never be good enough for them. Humans have a track record for being a very unforgiving and judgmental bunch. I’ve discovered defining your worth through the eyes of others will never leave you satisfied. Maybe I can train myself to stop caring about what people think of me.
Your turn: How much of your time is spent trying to get people to think of you a certain way? Share a comment below.