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.
This is almost a post with no direction, no goals, and potentially no message at the end. This borders on the most therapeutic writing I’ve ever done, and somewhat strives to show that there is power in vulnerability. I feel like I’ve had a post bouncing around in my head for the last month, along with a million other things, but could never find the clarity to confine it to one point or meaning.
I went to my knees last night over my bedside to pray my nightly requests and gratitude. I don’t typically take to my knees, but I felt the need to last night for some reason. I started my 3-5 minute routine the same way as always, asking for safety, asking for God to continue to bless our family.
I’ve taken a hiatus from writing here, and I’ve let this site slowly slip away into the background of priority for me. I wanted to take some time to re-strategize and re-focus my efforts while also allowing my existing pieces their respective opportunities to breathe. The messages in anything I’ve ever written about here are built to last forever, with no sequential order or time stamped relevance. I’ve felt proud of letting my work here live on its own, consistently unsure of what would strike up the next post.
I’ve also accomplished what I set out to do, change lives and perspectives while breaking the same old social media mold. Creating my own “place where I can reach people who care about the real stuff that life offers, good, bad, or ugly” Which can be found word for word in the About tab).
Hopefully you found the time to enjoy the holidays this year, taking time to slow down and celebrate. With the constant influx of new information and intimidating statistics, I hope you’ve also found ways to free your mind and enjoy life. I look forward to 2022 being a big one, which brings me to today’s conversation. Every year, like most, I try to pick a word to set the tone for the year.
Last year, my word was manifest, meaning to show or display or create or grow. To make certain aspects of my life more apparent. I feel at peace with how that went in 2021, especially in maintaining and building relationships. I also feel like it became extremely relevant on the baseball field for me, being able to show what I can bring to the table by being myself. It was an authentic year of creation and showing an appreciation for what’s important to me. As we move into 2022, it’s time for us to pick a new word.
After a three-month hiatus, I’m finally back to sitting down and working on a new piece. Almost exactly a year ago, I collected some thoughts about dealing with the stressors and uncertainties of change in ‘God Wins’: https://thesuper8.blog/2020/11/04/god-wins/
In a majority of my posts since, I’ve worked through the concepts of faith and mental health, dealing with the anxieties of the unknown, and comprehending change. I often times suggest that I write out of my own emotions and needs, and I think I’ve put together some evergreen writings that even I refer back to when needed.
I’ve even learned of some individuals who really appreciate these writings on a personal level; I see and hear you. I appreciate you. In my world, I feel very content and accomplished when I look back over the previous year and how I’ve grown, and I hope you do, too. But I’d like to remind you that we are not in complete control.
Athletes are weird people. Many find motivation in the smallest things… whether it be something someone told them seven years ago, an opponent, a recent game, superstitions, and so on. For a good handful of athletes, their number means a lot to them. Some don’t care, and just take what they’re assigned… but others will offer cash payouts and trades to their teammates to ensure they get the number they want.
Numbers are in essence a form of identity. They’re simply in place for statisticians, fans, and observers to be able to tell who is who on the field of play.
For me, my number has always mattered. From my very first day of baseball until the time I graduated high school, my number never changed. When I was preparing for my first coach-pitch baseball experience at six years old, my dad got his old softball bag out from the garage for us to use. It was black with a white embroidered 14 on the side. I obviously wanted to be just like my dad, so I decided that this too would be my number.
The courage in the face of adversity. That’s what fortitude is, and before I personally dive into it, you deserve credit for exhibiting it, too. This past 15 months has been nothing but consistent physical and mental adversity for most of us, and now as we start to enter the clear, don’t be afraid to give yourself props for working through it all.
In the time since my last post, this has been a word that has stood out to me time and time again. At most times I’ve carried fortitude with me, and at other times I’ve lost it completely. So, once I found the words to express these thoughts I’ve gained from my experiences, the first thing I wanted to do was share them with you.
In my last post I briefly talked about the idea of belief. Belief and faith go hand in hand, and I really harped on the positive side of belief, the side that makes you trust the process of life. The side that gives you hope. But, there is a side to belief that contributes to our anxieties that most people don’t even realize.
Per usual, I write when I’m emotionally compelled, which includes all emotions from thrill to defeat, because the emotional spectrum happens to us all. Today, I write from two opposing sides of emotion, the ugly anxiousness of worry, and the calm triumph of control. We often struggle with thoughts that trigger anxiety and stress… it’s natural… but how can we control it?
I’ve said it before, but I’ve been somehow blessed with the mentality to get myself through stressors, and I very rarely feel anxious or in distress. When I talk to people close to me that go through struggles and pain, I give them the same advice that this post contains. I figured that it was time to open up and share with everyone, especially following Easter weekend. Like I said, I write when I’m compelled, and often times as a reminder to myself.
It’s great to have the opportunity to be back and writing again. It has been a month and some change since my last post, because since then a lot of life has happened.
I’ve always said I’d never force posts if they didn’t feel right, or if they weren’t genuinely applicable to my life. I’ve been holding on to certain ideas and fragments of a post for the last few weeks, but haven’t had the one keystone point to help me put all of my thoughts together.
As I sit on the bus this afternoon on a 12 hour ride to Georgia Southern, I found it to be time to dive back into it all.
Today’s post is essentially a ‘year in review.’ I started this site just over a year ago, in the second week of January for a multitude of reasons, but mainly for myself. I realized through having conversations and meeting new people that I had been blessed with many experiences, stories, and ideas that were versatile and unique to me. I realized that I’d have fresh things to share, things that would attract people, but no way to relate them together under one umbrella.
When I look at my life, as I have said many times, I take on numerous different identities. As we all do. For me to be the best athlete, son, brother, Catholic, diabetic, whatever… there are these Super 8 concepts that transcend the borders of those roles. But, when I first started this journey, even I didn’t understand that.