What a million-dollar question, especially at this moment in time – where I recently finished my 6th year in the NWSL and I finally have had some time to reflect. This season has been an absolute world wind, both on and off of the field, that has challenged my mentality entirely. I will not get into detail of those challenges (maybe one if you keep reading), but I have seen some of my darkest days this season. I can easily sit here and dwell on all the negative emotions I feel because of recent events; however, I do not want to do that because I do not feel them all the time. And that’s how I get through, I acknowledge the emotions and move through them.
For the first time in about 5 years, I am at peace with my life. I am no longer looking at the future and worrying my days away. Instead, I am learning to live in the moment and it is such a weird feeling. All of a sudden, I find myself actively going out of my way to speak to people I normally would not. I am meeting up with old friends who I have not seen since college. I am keeping in touch with friends around the world. I am enjoying the people that I am around, even if we are doing absolutely nothing. I have a more open and honest relationship with my entire family than I ever have. I am putting all my cards out on the table and even though it is absolutely terrifying, it is liberating. With all this being said, I do still have dark days and I still have to remind myself that it is okay. Instead of deflecting, I now face my problems head on. I used to be scared to show emotion and let people in because I always wanted to be in control. I hated being vulnerable with someone because of what they could potentially think of me. And it is actually crazy to sit here, admit, and write all these things down because it is so not me. Ask any of the people who have been around me recently and see what they say. They will laugh and shake their head...but keep reading.
After some time to process the losses in my life, I have realized that it took losing myself and my direction completely to set me back on the right path. I have learned that it sometimes it takes losing the most important part or person of your life for you to realize where you stand. Yes, it’s going to hurt. Yes, you are going to cry, scream, and be frustrated. My advice to you is to feel those feelings. Do not hinder those emotions because they are a part of the healing process. It will take time and you will heal. I promise.
I will let you in on one of the life altering moments that happened this season. I lost my grandmother in August. She was the person who was always home (literally) after my season in some country in the world. She was a constant that I knew would be at the kitchen table doing her word searches (see below), taking care of my (her) Ryley, and to take me out to any and every meal if she could.
I miss Mawmaw more than ever, but the things I have taken away from her death could not have been more influential. Losing her has taught me to let go. If you sit there and squeeze life, friendships, and careers to the point of suffocation and exhaustion, you just end up losing everything. It’s like trying to hold on to sand, if you keep an open palm you are able to hold on to more than if you are to try and squeeze each grain of sand. I am learning to let things go and it’s a hard habit to break. If it is not life and death, which 99% of our problems are not, then do not let it affect a second of your peace.
After that whole spiel – What is Finding Euphoria to me?
It is a recommitment to myself and what is important to me, according to me. It’s striving to have the best relationship with myself before anything or anyone else. It’s about finding out how I can challenge myself every day because that shows growth. Call it serendipity or whatever you want, but I found this quote on a dark day:
“Follow your discomfort, whatever keeps you up at night. Follow that for it is your truth.”
Life is going to hand you so many problems, but how you approach each problem defines you. If you don’t have a solution, change your approach again and again and again until you find your solution. To me, Finding Euphoria is facing my problems, insecurities, and negative thoughts and actively trying to solve them one day at a time.
Hope this post helped you all as much as it helped me.
**Shout out to all the people in my life who have seen me at my best and worst this year, especially Haley and Carson. Without you two, I don’t know where I'd be.