The last time I sat down to write I hadn’t found anything substantive to focus on. My mind was in a million places at once moving a thousand miles per hour; it was a therapeutic piece of writing. I’ve said it before, these words are meant for me just as they are for you.
I’m now writing from a different urge. An urge of potential excitement, maybe pride, definitely increased peace. It’s late at night and my mind is more controlled, but I’ve literally just been hit with a stream of thoughts that’s kept me from sleeping, so I just need to type this up and get them out. Sometimes our thoughts need to feel seen.
There are two perspectives (extrinsic and intrinsic) to everything that I’ve been looking at in the last couple weeks regarding my own experiences, and it’s heightened my focus and also my peace. I told you that I’d find some answers, but I had to do some living first.
There are a couple sentences from my last post that I’d like to maybe retract or clear up. Emotion leads to commotion and there was definitely some commotion in my last post.
I kept saying I didn’t understand God’s intent or God’s timing, and I really emphasized everything that hasn’t gone my way. That’s a weak mentality, because so much more has truly gone right in life. I’m incredibly blessed. I did say I wouldn’t change a thing, and I will always mean that, because I really do know there is a reason for all of this “struggle”. I know that much better than what I conveyed. Through all I’ve ever been through, change = growth, and I feel like I’m growing again. Sometimes that growth is painful until we realize that pain is to provide future pleasure.
The second most notable thing I’d correct myself on is that I absolutely do have my life in order. Even though I do not and will never have everything figured out, I absolutely do have an effective moral compass with a true North. I have a lot of things going right. I have a lot to offer the people in my life. But I do not know everything, and I have to be both introspective and able to learn from anybody willing to help me. That mindset has shown me where to start.
That might seem contradictory because it looks like I’m always the one giving out the advice and messages on this blog, BUT I do not think anyone has any idea how much of THIS comes from YOU.
We all live the Super 8 every single day in some variety of capacity. We are all connected by these 8 values and our experiences, I believe. I learn through who is around me. I observe actions, listen to ideas, take criticism, make mistakes, and learn learn learn. I try, at least. I just happen to be blessed with the mind to regurgitate what I see so that we can all share our perspectives. Is that fair? To say I’ve just lived and learned all of this on my own would be so wrong. I need YOU to produce THIS. Believe that.
With that being said, what have I learned in these last handful of weeks about myself? And how did I get there? And where do I go from here? These are three important things to also consider for yourself through tribulations. Let’s break it down…
As I’m sure you know, I value my family extremely highly. I believe that your family, especially your parents, are your role models for your life. But, this works two ways. “Role model” isn’t always positive, you just have to make it positive for yourself. You either follow their redeeming qualities, or learn from their shortcomings. I’ve done both.
As I said in my last post, I love things my way, on my time, with my people. I get that from my parents, of course, but there are perspectives that I’ve become blind to in doing that. For me personally, my whole life has been laid out for me. Not in the way that I was supposed to be a Division one athlete, a Towson student, etc… and not in the way that everything has been easy… but in that we were usually always given advice BEFORE we needed it. And then we would get it again AFTER if we missed the mark, which was that tough love I talked about.
That’s extremely rare in today’s world, and it has served me incredibly well, but I have struggled to see methodologies differently than that. My folks don’t want to see me or my brother hurt, they don’t want to see us damage our reputations, they don’t want to see us jeopardize our futures. I wouldn’t change any of that care or love at all. Because of it, I’ve never put myself in a position to do any of those things (egregiously, at least). But innately, I have that same protection for the people around me that I care immensely about. That doesn’t work for everyone, and I’ve never seen it differently until now.
I haven’t done a good enough job with seeing life through other peoples’ eyes. I haven’t done a good enough job forgiving other people who don’t meet what MY expectations of right and wrong are. And those can be viciously high standards. That also probably means I haven’t done a good enough job at letting go and then forgiving myself. Forgiveness is not my job. Judgment is not my job. Those are both God’s jobs. My job is to be me.
It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to experiment. It’s okay to try to be a kid forever. It’s okay to fall short. It’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to let your guard down. There is much to be learned through all of that, just don’t lose your self worth in the process. Success still takes sacrifice. Lessons still come from living.
Relationships need that balance of lenience and love, too. I am proud of my relationships, but when I’ve looked at them from an extrinsic view, I found a few things. The most important being not all of them operate the same way. That might seem obvious, but that matters a ton. Trust, communication, care, intent, etc. all play into how different relationships operate. Duh. The theme that I identified was that the more I care, the less forgiving I am. In my mind, those two things have always been directly related somehow, but they don’t have to be.
My way is not THE way. Realizing that will only help our relationships continue to grow as I do. That’s a benefit of having trying times, because without these times to reflect there are no apparent needs for change. Instead of asking “why me?” or “when will this end?” like in my last writing, I’ve turned to “what are You trying to teach me?” and most importantly “why?” Try that.
You can still care a ton about somebody and let them do their thing and learn on their own – and then be there for them when they need you. It’s just a different type of care. I have a lot of love for a lot of people and didn’t even realize that I manage my relationships so differently case by case. There is no black and white right or wrong. At the end of the day, it’s still love.
I’ve always been that protective type, especially with my brother and some other people in my life… because that’s exactly how my parents were with us… and it worked for me. That’s what worked for us, and that’s what I had been convinced is the successful method. But there is more than one way to skin a cat. And, like I said, it’s okay to have that perspective shaken up a little bit. It’s okay to change that. It’s not changing who you are or what you believe, but rather how you operate. It’s okay to ease up and not worry about wrongdoing until wrongdoing actually occurs. Just be there when needed.
That takes work. Everything takes work. That’s the other piece of all of this I’ve realized… Just freakin’ work.
Adjustments are nothing new to somebody like me. Not getting results on the field, coach suggests adjustments. Not keeping my blood sugar in range, my body suggests adjustments. Not getting high enough grades, professor suggests adjustments. Not being thankful, God suggests adjustments. Not getting stronger, strength coach suggests adjustments. Not fulfilling expectations, somebody suggests adjustments. You get it.
I’ve been called a once in a lifetime type of baseball player, but I’d rather be a once in a lifetime type of person. Doing either takes the same type of adjustments, accountability, action, discipline, and focus. These are transcendent concepts to being great at anything.
But there’s still a process. Change and adjustments take work. That’s where I’ve found myself recently. My arm is mending and I’m back to getting stronger through pure work. My personal happiness and peace is more present through pure work. My adjustments for those around me are being discovered through pure work. My trust and faith in whatever is going on is revealed through pure work. And action. And focus.
That’s what I’ve started to learn and how, but here’s that last point of consideration: where do I go from here?
That’s quite the combo of frustration and peace. But, it’s the truth. Whoever is supposed to find me and ride with me will be there when it’s time. I have no control.
I am me, that’s my job. That’s what I control. I am supposed to be the best me I can be every day. Not just for myself, but for everyone else around me. I hope the right people around me can tell me when I’m not being my best me, and when I need to make an adjustment. Then I hope they help me see it through. It’s up to me to do what I can, and up to them to notice, and that’s how we help each other.
Like I just said, in that process of growth and adjustment and change, you find yourself in two places. One is a place of frustration because you now have something to prove, and it’s often not up to your timing. The other is a place of peace because you are truly in control of what you need to do to be better.
As long as you can put your head on the pillow every night at peace with yourself, what you’ve learned, and what you’re working on, then you’ve done your job that day; and you will be okay. That’s where I find myself now.
Was I the best Bryce I could possibly be today? Did I do right by myself and those I love today? Did I make myself proud today? Try asking yourself that, too. That’s the only measuring stick I need every night when I put my head on the pillow. Everything outside of that thought process is outside of my control.
Through trying to control my thoughts and perspectives and everything that I couldn’t – I never gave myself the chance to find the message. I’ve slowed down, I’ve looked at myself and others, and bingo, found an answer. An answer might not be THE answer, but it’s still growth. There’s what I couldn’t grasp in my last post that I’ve now found. It’s taken conversations, it’s taken communication, it’s taken reflection.
Take a chance to try to see things outside of your usual lenses, work your tail off, and make yourself proud. Be at peace when you hit the pillow. Everything else will fall into place the way it’s supposed to.
I got this message the day after my last post:
“Tears were streaming as I was reading. You touch so many with your truth, love, faith and struggles. There’s so much we don’t understand. It’s hard to let go and let God. God has great things in store for you and your bright future, but you already know this… Thank you for being exactly who you are, your authentic self!”
Let Go and Let God.
I told you, I learn more from you than you know. I know my power and I know my worth… because I know my vulnerability and I know my love… and I look forward to continuing to share both of those things to the best of my ability. I’m good.
Let’s keep moving forward.