I was having what I like to call unorganized thoughts, or mixed emotions.
For the most part in my life, I know what I feel when I feel it, and usually my emotions have been on par to the situation at hand. If I score a goal or we win a game, I’m happy; if I lose something I’m frustrated with myself; if I don’t finish a workout I’m disappointed in myself etc.
But when I was sitting on that plane, leaving my friends and family at home, going back to playing soccer in Denmark, I couldn’t figure out what I felt. And for someone who is OCD, this was pretty emotional. Yes, on a plane.
I thought about the goodbye I had with my mom, something that crushes my heart to the very core. I can’t even look at her when I say bye now because her eyes fill up with tears as soon as I say “alright Mom, I gotta get going”. Then I walk out the door with my bags, get in the car, put my sunglasses on and let it out myself.
On the plane I thought about that scenario over and over and how if I told my next week self about it, she would laugh. Because my next week self would be sitting in her new house, with her teammates, playing soccer every day, watching it on TV, staring at her shined boots, carefully putting on each shinguard (right before left) and getting stains out of her headband.
My next week self was more Ocho (my alter ego) than Tiffany. Tiffany is very sensitive, shy and more recluse-like than the egotistical, in your face, Ocho. Ocho can handle being away from home and living the dream. Tiffany misses her mom.
As I stepped onto the field for our first training session the day I arrived, I started to feel that sensitive side slowly fade. I was exhausted, but knew I could push through training. Eventually, I wasn’t pushing through, I was just back in that game flow.
We were doing a drill where we had a defender on our back and we had to try to turn and beat them. I got a hard pass in, tried to chip it so it spun backwards over the defender’s head and though it just wasn’t high enough, I looked at my teammate and we both smiled and laughed.
That’s why I’m here. That’s why I was able to leave. That happiness overshadowed the sadness of leaving.
In that instant, I knew I didn’t have to wait to hear from my next week self, because I had heard from my current self that things were okay. I wrote on my Facebook a quote that I came up with before I left -”leaving home is always harder than it seems, but nothing would be harder than not living out your dreams” I am sure there are variations of this same saying, but I liked that I could rhyme it.
The idea that I wouldn’t hurt my own feelings by leaving my family and friends always wades in and out of my mind. I could feel that sense of security all day every day. That feeling has always been very comfortable and a major part of why “Tiffany” still lives at home for part of the year. “She” needs that though.
But my mom and I always remember very well what I was like when I was sitting the bench for the Breakers a few years ago. That, regardless if I was home every weekend, I wasn’t truly happy.
Maybe one day I’ll have the luxury of soccer and family in the same place. But until then, this is the way my dream is possible. This is where I need to be.
So, as I sit here in the confines of a small, Danish town, I am very content knowing that Ocho and Tiffany can live as one. Where both can thrive and live out parts of their lives that make them happy. Your next week self is always going to be the person who deals with the consequences of that prior decision.
It’s your current self’s job to ensure that the difficult decision will pay off for them.
Signing off… Ochiffany