The first five days living in Vancouver have gone by pretty quickly. In a little over a hundred hours, I have done an appearance at a youth tournament, three workouts with the physio (the American version of an athletic trainer), met the Whitecaps FC office staff, kicked off a 24-hour Soccer Marathon to save a homeless shelter and during all this I haven't made fun of a single Canadian to their face. And I'm sure there were people out there that didn't think I could do it.
No, but Canadians aren't that bad. As Americans, we're brought up to believe that they... haha just kidding. I'm sure someone was dying for an end to that sentence. Sorry to disappoint.
Regardless if Canada is the least foreign of all countries, it's still a different country, and it's still an adjustment. So, here I am, day five, and I'm adjusting, because that's what I've been doing for most of my life.
I think this brings up a very interesting component of life as a professional soccer player. I feel as though, more so now than ever, that professional soccer players, both men and women, aren't as committed to a single club as they used to be. So, whatever the reason, we move around a lot. I've accepted that as long as I'm playing, I won't necessarily have a home-base to call my own (I don't count my parent's places in Connecticut).
This means meeting a lot of people, learning new cultures and languages, adapting to new surroundings and most importantly, being out of your comfort zone. And FINALLY, my point.
Leaving your comfort zone means saying hello to a new you. That doesn’t mean that I am going to change who I am to fit the needs of a new setting, but it does take a while to find the real you in a new place and during that time you learn a lot about yourself that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
I see that when I meet new people I'm shy. And some people that know me would never in a million years describe me as shy. One of the main reasons for this is my stupendous sense of humor. I doubt I can come in here on the first day and start making fun of Canadians and expect to make a good impression. BUT in a few weeks, mark my words, they will get who I am and that I am not to be taken seriously under any circumstances.
Anyway. Back to my point.
Some people never leave that comfort zone and honestly, that’s one just one way to live. And that’s not to say I don’t care for it, because as it says somewhere on this blog, this is just the way I do things, but I would not be the person I am today without all the new changes Without all the changes there wouldn’t be any new hellos – and without hellos I wouldn’t know a damn thing about myself or how to deal with any uncomfortable situations.
It's because of my travels that being stuck in an airport in Sao Paolo for two hours not knowing if anyone would be picking me up wasn't that stressful; or taking a train from Saarbrucken to Frankfurt with two huge duffle bags (no wheels), and two little bags, trying to get from the train to the airport wasn't a big deal; or taking a taxi in London not knowing they didn't accept credit card or being able to find a working ATM, did not make me sweat. This was all just part of the awkward journey.
So now, I thrive on all that is uncomfortable. I think I've become mentally tougher and more confident as a result of my ability to adapt. And I am definitely thankful for that.
Four words to tie it up: The More You Know... (and no this was not a public service announcement from NBC, but maybe it should be one day).