The following is a draft of a post I had every intention of posting 30 days after my return from Greece. From an unexpected quick transition out of my second professional volleyball season abroad…the photos are moments captured during this time of change:
“Change. Change is hard. Change is unnerving. Change is good.
The past 30 days have been filled to the brim with life changes for me. In fact, my life has been more or less flipped upside down. It is almost, sort of, hard to believe. It seems surreal to look back and think about the miles and miles it took me…just to come home.
30 days of healing. Both mind and body. 30 days of new goals. 30 days of new and different possibilities of where life may take me next. And 30 days of (a lot of) letting go and removing the unnecessary things and (almost) 30 social media-less days. Maybe a little ‘never looking back’ and maybe a few regrets, years from now. But, right now…
Happiness. Calm. Peace.
There are a lot of new things consuming my day to day life. A lot of unknowns on the horizon. A lot of learning happening, all the time.
But there is constant. Routine. Stillness. A stillness to this life that I have not had in years. That stillness has allowed me to reconnect to my roots; to my family, and to my home. A stillness that I am so grateful to be welcomed back to with open arms, and radiating love and support.
Figuring out life is hard. But if someone gave us all the answers, and a map of which directions to go and which decisions to make that would equal a happy, fulfilling life…it would take the fun out of living. We are supposed to make mistakes. We are supposed to learn the hard way sometimes. And sometimes, if we are lucky enough, we are allowed to start over.
I am so thankful. I am thankful for my family and their unwavering support. I am thankful for my healthy, working body. I am thankful for this special, special town I live in, and a special, special person I got to share it with this weekend for the first time. I am thankful for this fresh start, even if it took flying around the world and back to know that this was the right thing for me.
Things aren’t perfect. Things may never feel perfect. But such is life. And it goes on.”
Now it has been almost three months since I came home from Greece. I went into some form of hiding for a while, to get away from all the distractions and focus on myself. I came back home because I wanted to spend time in Cleveland that I love, with the people that I love most. The past three months have been filled with feelings of overwhelming gratefulness, that I do have such a special place I can come home to. This time has also been filled with a lot, a lot, a lot of yoga… throwing myself into a new physical challenge, that led me to a new opportunity in lululemon, a whole new group of friends, and a new path that did not have one minute of volleyball in it.
Or so I thought so. Until one night recently, right before my 24th birthday, that I look some time away from the Bring Back The Lady Vols website, I realized how much I am not the same without volleyball, despite the love for yoga I have developed. Leaving Greece the way I did, didn’t sit well with me from the beginning because I knew it could close doors and future opportunities…but, I also pushed those feelings aside from the beginning. It all felt, and feels so unfinished. I didn’t want to be done. I just didn’t want to be in the situation I was in. I wanted to compete.
Sure enough, the night of my birthday, I received a message from the President of another club in Greece, offering me a position in a town just outside of Athens, for the second half of the season. A new opportunity presented itself, a second chance…to finish what I started.
And after all of this…I am stronger. And I am going back. And I COULD NOT be happier.
Update: I did not end up signing with the club in Greece. I did get some action the following spring in Puerto Rico, which once again fell through, to allow me to finally end up in South Korea in the fall of 2015.