Never forget who you are, for surely the world will not.

I found this reflection from a class last semester. Since I’ve been struggling through PT right now, I thought it was fitting considering the circumstances of the past week.

I’m currently missing this class because I’m getting tests done at a hospital because of an injury related to my sport. I can officially check off getting an x-ray and an MRI off my bucket list (and yes, I added them there just so I could check them off). I find the above fact interesting because one of the main ideas of this class is to find our identity. Without soccer, I don’t know who I am going to be. Much like you [my prof] and basketball, soccer is a big part of me and I like who I see in the mirror when I’m wearing that jersey. I am a unique person and I have a background unlike anyone else’s and I have a major unlike anyone else’s and a personality unlike anyone else’s. But when I wear that jersey and I stand on the line in numerical order in that blue and white, there’s a new part of me that I recognize.

She belongs.

She is a powerful athlete and finds pride in her physical accomplishments. She stands tall among her teammates and finds unity there. This is the one part of me that enjoys being part of a team and who would willingly get on the ground to lift someone else a little higher. I don’t see that person very often, but she is a friend. We are not quite comfortable but we get along well enough. She’s a new puzzle and is hard to figure out. She’s an aggressive player but a servant leader to others on her team. And she doesn’t talk. She blends in.

At the first glance, this doesn’t even seem part of me. But she is. And perhaps more importantly, she is a valuable piece of me. I can’t afford to lose her. That girl I see in the reflection wearing #21 on her shirt is okay with following instead of leading, remaining silent in the place of speaking, serving rather than being served. She is a softer, gentler, sweeter part of me (as paradoxical as that sounds) and I don’t want to lose that determined ignorance due to a career-ending injury. I don’t know who I’ll be without her.

The girl in the jersey knows though – I can see it in her eyes when she turns away from the mirror. She turns away because she doesn’t like what she sees. And I don’t blame her for a second.