One of my all time favorite movies is “Love and Basketball”, which happened to be playing on the TV this weekend. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s the story of Que and Monica, two kids who absolutely love basketball. Monica wants to be the first girl to play in the NBA where she is going to be “number 22, like Magic” while Que thinks that he is going to be the next hot shit just like his famous basketball playing father Zeke McCall, whom he idolizes. These two start out as childhood neighbors and frenemies, but as the movie progresses it chronicles the ups and downs of their relationship together while also showcasing their individual struggles and journeys as they embark on their their basketball careers. I guess I love the movie so much because Que and Monica’s love story plays out the way that real life happens and in some way watching that movie answered a question that recently has been on my mind: am I doing this shit called “Life” right?
I know that there is really not a right or wrong way to live your life or to experience life. There are different strokes for different folks and not everyone can ride the same wave. But to some degree, I find myself wanting confirmation from somewhere that the decisions and movements that I am making are not wasted efforts; sometimes I just want to know that when I made the decision to cut off Person X, Y or Z that the decision was made with my best endeavors placed as a priority to me by me. I want to ensure that the type of woman who I am in real form is close to or a growth towards the woman that I would like to be and be remembered as. I want to know that I am in the right career or that years from now I will see that I made the right choices in my personal life. That piece of me that wants to be in control of everything is afraid of failure. I am afraid that one day I am going to look up and find that nothing that I did worked out to become what I wanted for it to be and in the end, I will find that I wasted my life away. That’s a bit drastic and dramatic, but those are the fears that permeate my mind.
Watching that movie brought something to perspective for me though. It made me realize that life is not a static thing and that I can still accomplish what I intended to even if it’s not done in the uniform way that I once imagined. Monica intended on being the first woman to play in the NBA; Monica found herself playing basketball overseas in Italy for some years and when she returned home her love of the game has waned and she began working at a bank with her father. Que tore his ACL while in college and had to endure intensive physical therapy. On top of that the father that he idolized was found to have been cheating on his mother and even may have fathered a baby therefore leaving Que crushed and confused. But if you have seen the movie, then you know that in the end everything works out the way that it is supposed to.
That movie gave me hope- I can achieve the same accomplishments even if the path doesn’t look the way that I envisioned it. Oftentimes I get discouraged by the fact that I spent so many years out of school after college, but now I see that it isn’t the end of the world and I can always go back to get my Master’s. Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I were already married with a child to my ex of 10 years (on and off as that relationship was), but I find joy in knowing that the man who I am with now pales that past relationship when in comparison to this new love. And if I don’t get married and have children until 5 years from now instead of just 2 years from now that the world is not going to end. Perspective and persistence is the key. Easier said than done, but at least I got some peace to my question, which is: it can only be as right as I allow for it to be. Instead of running from the struggles and confusion, I can lean into them and use the hard times as motivation to excel later on in life. One day at a time.
I’ll keep holding on until I make it where I want to be.