Throughout my whole life, I never played sports.
I know, it is kind of surprising finding someone who literally NEVER played sports. I was never really part of a sports team, especially not for a long period of time.
Sure, I participated a year in cheerleading for the local football team when I was in middle school — because I was "dating" the cheer coaches son. And I did again for a whopping 2 weeks when I was in high school (until I couldn't stand showing up because I disliked the coach.)
Throughout my life — as you can all see — I never was truly part of a "sports team."
It's rare — but here I am.
For years my mom and dad tried to encourage me to get involved in something. They figured since my sister danced and my brother played baseball, getting a child "involved" only meant one thing; sports.
It is an easy assumption. Every week my mom would ask me, "Do you want to try softball?"
I would respond with my usual "No."
"What about soccer?"
Every week it was the same.
She would ask me about specific sports and I would just never be interested. I liked to watch my sisters recitals and go to all my brother's games, but I never wanted to participate. Instead, every morning I would wake up or come home from school and draw.
I would tell my mom as a kid, "Today I am going to draw my dreams."
That became my hobby. I never stopped drawing.
I also emulated my father's affinity for reading and my moms love for television, too. You would never be able to get a book out of my hand even when I was a child. I would wake up every morning and sit on the couch to watch television or 80's movies with my mom.
After years of having hobbies that required me to sit in solitude and enjoy my time alone, I feel as though I learned some valuable lessons.
I learned that being alone is a good thing and it can even be fun.
Sure, I never really had "teammates," but I did enjoy my time alone.
I learned a lot about myself. What I like and dislike, what I found beautiful, what I wanted in a friend and what love is supposed to show. I learned all this through being alone with my thoughts, reading stories all throughout my adolescence and watching fictional and nonfictional stories unfold on screen.
I also gained confidence through my activities.
I have heard countless times how much more confident people are because of sports, but it's a constant competition. You are always comparing yourself to someone.
With my art, it was a constant progression. I never had to compare myself to my peers or feel like I was competing. My art was just that — mine.
It was a hobby no one else shared with me. It was a hobby I felt like was part of me, more than just on the surface level.
Finally, I found an outlet.
Art was the one way I could show the world my crazy thoughts. Some drawings were scary or fantastical, some were just portraits of my loved ones.
So yes, I never played sports. Yes, I was never part of a team and some people may think I missed out.
I found independence, confidence and an outlet.
I believe I found something better.