It was the last quarter of the game and I was finally benched. With a burning foot, I realized tripping into my first high school basketball game didn’t just sprain my pride, but also my ankle. I’m not sure whether it was the somersault I did or, getting my foot caught in my pants while running full speed that did me in. All I knew was my foot had grown to “elephantiasis” status and turned purple. To make matters worse, we lost 39-0. You read that right. We didn’t score one point. How do you recover a loss like that and then explain you are on crutches because you tripped before the game? I think it was clear basketball wasn’t my sport.
Living in New York was the dream. I was enthusiastic about the new world I was about to enter. I graduated excitingly and ran around applying for what seemed like countless job opportunities. After a few months I was over 80 applications deep and dozens of interviews in with a losing score of 80-0. That’s right, I didnt score one job. It felt like I had fallen and everyone who believed in me was watching. I didn’t know how to handle a sprained dream. They don’t sell crutches for those.
It took time for me to mourn the loss of my expectations. Once I did, the truth settled in – The dream may not be an accomplishment, but a confidence in the journey. I wasn’t unworthy of the dream, but maybe the dream looked different than I expected. I have had really incredible adventures that I couldn’t have even dreamed up even if I tried.
Over time the look of my dreams have changed, but so have I. Now I leave space for the dreams to be free to form how they wish. I carve out space for growth and process so they stay alive. Every once in a while I look up and see I am living a dream; but even more, I see am winning because I stopped keeping score.