Open Letter To The Girl Wearing My Jersey

Open Letter To The Girl Wearing My Jersey

You're gonna miss these days
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Dear #35,

Growing up you don’t really think you will ever actually grow up. You spend years waiting until the day you can finally make decisions on your own. You get mad at your parents because they treat you like a child, and you focus on what decisions you can make -- the decisions you think are huge at the moment, but looking back they are the same decisions you laugh about and find the most irrelevant.

While waiting to grow up, I decided to follow my brother’s footsteps and play sports. I spent my childhood summers at the ball field watching my brother, following my dad around, or playing softball myself. For me and my friends, picking out our all-star uniforms was the best part about softball season -- something our mothers dreaded doing every year. Winters were spent watching my brother play basketball and having to play on a boys team because, apparently, most girls don’t play basketball in elementary school.

From the youth league basketball teams, I moved onto bigger and better things -- the seventh and eighth grade girls team, and from little league to the middle school softball team. Meeting new friends, getting new uniforms, and leaving behind the uniforms I once thought that I would never grow out of.

But, then, what seemed like took forever to get to, but really happened in the blink of an eye, I was walking the halls of my high school, wearing my jersey on game day. I felt so proud to be a part of the team I was representing. I no longer thought about the all-star uniforms, or the third-grade basketball team I had left behind, I didn’t think about how I was now “one of the older girls” I used to look up to. I just assumed that time was on my side, and that it wouldn’t slip away from me.

Suddenly, I found myself sitting in the stands, watching games like all of the other “has beens” had watched me, and I realized something. I realized that the youth league boys team, the little league all-star uniforms, the middle school championships, and now my years on the high school team were something I can’t ever get back. I realized that something I never thought I would miss, was actually the thing I took for granted the most.

I tell you all of this because I am sure your life has went about the same way. Always looking ahead to the next season, or the next sport, with only a few days off here and there, but never thinking about the things you used to be a part of. But you that you can’t do that anymore, because unless you’re really good, this will be your last team. So I want to tell you a few things about that jersey on your back and the number that they call before your last name.

As you wear my jersey, and play my game on my court, I want you to think about all of those before you and all of those to come after you. Think about the little girls just now learning to play the game that we have both grown to love. Think about the number you are wearing and those that have wore it before you. Because within that time that I let slip away, I was also claiming it all as my own.

The time that you spend in my jersey, in those halls, with the people you call your friends now, are times that you’ll look back on and remember just how easy life was. You’ll miss the bus rides to away games, listening to music and always sitting in the same seat next to your favorite teammates. You’ll miss the group you went with to eat before every game. You’ll miss the heart-to-heart conversations each of you had coming home from the furthest away games. You’ll miss the trips you took for tournaments when you got to stay in a hotel with your team. But most of all you’ll miss your teammates, their parents, their grandparents, their siblings, and everyone who helped you along the way. You’ll miss the family you became from it all.

So like I said, that jersey and that number, it was all once mine. Just like it represents your successes and your losses, it represents my own. I made shots, I missed shots, I had rebounds, and I let some get way. I smiled in that jersey as they announced my name to start before my first varsity game, and I cried like a baby in that jersey when I walked off of the court after my very last game. That jersey isn’t just a jersey, it’s a legacy and every legacy has its own story. As I watch from the stands, what used to be my team play, you should know that I am expecting a lot from you. I am expecting you to play better than I ever did, because even I did not do our jersey justice.

XOXO,
#35

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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