Eye-opening moments are unforgettable, impactful events in a person's lifetime; I had my moment when my friend and I volunteered at the local retirement home in 2017. The five senior citizens we assisted at the facility were Alzheimer's patients. Katie, an Alzheimer's patient, and her husband, Bill intrigued me the most. Katie was a friendly woman, and her husband was a caring man who stayed to take care of his wife. Bill spoke to me of how they have been married for fifty years, inseparable since high school. He told me that he would never leave Katie's side— even though she couldn't recognize his face now— because she brought him something he could not buy: happiness. That day made me realize that I had to stop worrying about the small things in life and focus on the bigger picture—spending quality time with loved ones and pursuing my goals and passions.
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I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.
I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.
Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.
I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.
When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."
Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:
Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.
You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.
My thoughts have hit a new low,
My bedroom is feeling too cold-
I wanna sleep but my bedspread's only made for two.
DON'T FIX MY AESTHETIC,
I'M CALLING A MEDIC-
I'LL F**K ON THE TABLE,
AND HOTBOX WITH GOD.
Writing hometown fictitions,
And drinking big bottles with uplifting tongues.
I'M PLAYING WITH RATTLES,
I'VE UPSET SOME CATTLE
WHO WASHED UP A BOMB-
Rolling around twisting some thoughts,
I've gotten insomnia-
And switched on and off.
I'm subtle and bitter,
I've craved for hard liquor,
But felt gross off the thought.
GO DRINK SOME BEER,
AND THEY WILL ALL CHEER-
I GO IN AND OUT
OH F**K I JUST SHOUT!
I PUNCHED MY FRIEND BOBBY
I'M MAKING A HOBBY,
TO SUCK ON MY THUMB!
My mind is a gutter,
A repulsive mess.
I shift around-
On and off bed.
For the nighttime thoughts lingers
And I'm shriveled with thought.
For graveyard hours really just suck.
LIGHTS ON, ON AND OFF
I THINK FELL,
THESE MOMENTS SUCK
I'm a teenage insomniac,
Whatever will I do?
When my mind comes down under,
I relapse again.