Hello again, old stranger.

I looked in the mirror and saw someone there,
I was taken aback by her bold, steady stare.
She looked like how I thought I would,
And I didn’t know her but felt that I should.

She was different than yesterday and yet the same
The question lingered: what was her name?
The more that I looked, the more I knew
If I asked, she would say: “I am you.”

How many are there? I wondered again.
There had been so many I couldn’t retain
All of their faces and all of their tales;
I was lucky if I remembered a few details.

I blinked and she copied me at the same time.
Everything I did, she would instantly mime.
It’s funny to see your face and not see
That maybe this was who you’re meant to be.

But then again, maybe not and you’re not done
progressing because life’s crazy path has just begun.
You’ll keep seeing faces that don’t seem to belong
But one day you’ll know that you don’t have it wrong.

You will constantly change and surprise yourself
As you repeat old traits collecting dust on a shelf
or try out some new ones that don’t quite fit right.
Know that the reflection will always be bright.

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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.