Single digits. Anyone who has been away from home for an extended amount of time knows that the words "single digits" have several meanings.
1. It means you are really close to going home
2. It means you are going to have to leave behind people and a place that, regardless if you loved it or hated it, changed your life forever.
3. And time goes by.... so slowly.
I am constantly saying hello and goodbye to people in these types of situations. It forces something out of you though. It makes you really appreciate time with people and the little things.
The last few weeks have been a mix of ups and downs. We dropped points in vital games and are now in a situation where we have to win against Brondby this weekend... a team we've yet to beat. If we don't win, for the first time in the history of the club, we won't compete in Champions League this fall.
If we do win, we will have dug ourselves out of a gaping hole that we created. (Funny how we have to get ourselves out of our own holes in life, huh?)
But about the little things... it's amazing how on and off the field, when you have some time to sit back and think, the little things really are the difference between a good time and a bad time, and a win and a loss.
During my time at Penn State, we were constantly reminded by our coaches to take care of the details. At the time I think it was just something we said to make them happy and something we could all agree on, but didn't realize the full impact it had on our seasons and our success.
But truly, the details make all the difference in the world. Especially in a game where the score is tied 0-0 in the 94th minute and we let in a goal off of a set piece... something we have struggled with all year.
Got scored on. From a set piece. 94th minute. Most important game (at the time) of our season.
Those words would make any player or coach cringe.
Anyway, the details. Off the field it's much of the same. I live in a small town of about 24,000. There's not much to do on the regular. But it's not always about what you're doing. It's about who you're with and the thoughts in your own head. It's about taking time in the morning to peel the egg shell off a hardboiled egg. (Tell me it's not amazing when it comes off easily). It's about making the perfect cup of coffee. Playing with the cats in the neighborhood. Jamming in the car to "Call Me Maybe". Sitting in coffee shops and chatting. Watching YouTube videos and saying the quotes all day everyday. Hearing dirty english words in Danish while the coach is talking... things that, no matter how the season ends, you'll never forget as long as you live.
I really dislike cliches so I'll try to change it. It really doesn't matter how a film ends if the lead up to it isn't interesting. For the most part, if the lead up isn't interesting, I won't even watch to the end.
The process. How you got there. How you get to the end. That's what matters. That's where we are made. That's how we come to find who we are, what we like, where we want to go and the people we want in our lives.
I think about the 21 year old version of myself. And oh boy, I thought I was hot shit. (Not that that's changed too much) but I've learned so much more about myself through these crazy adventures. And I guess I can say that during my time in Denmark I have grown more than any other individual experience in my life.
Through my struggles, my thoughts, my writing, my friends, my family, my awesomeness, my love for the little things in life and my desire to be something and make something of my time on earth... I've found me. I've been to hell and back, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Finland, Brazil, San Jose, Boston, Sweden, Vancouver, Denmark... and I'm not sure what's next.
I don't need to know what's next. All I need to know is that I'm not done growing. I'm not done finding me. Today this is me. And this is what my adventures have made me. But as the rains wash away pieces of the earth, so shall time in the creation of the people we are. And the things we want to leave behind. And the new things that grow with a new day.