Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You're older than you've ever been and now you're getting older.

I've often heard from older friends and relatives that the older one gets, the more people look to you for the answers. However, this comes at the cost of having fewer and fewer people to whom you can look when you need answers to questions of your own. As the season winds down and people start leaking out their retirement plans, I'm starting to realize that this is exactly why I feel so strange and unsettled right now.

When I was a freshie, I knew I needed to be a sponge, and I acted like one. I listened and practiced and tried to learn everything, and thus had little time to think about anything else. During my first year on the Nuts, I was one of very few new(ish) people on a team of very experienced vets. I spent the season simply doing what I was told, and had the luxury of not having to think at all because I was so surrounded by good advice. By the time this season rolled around I was in the upper-middle experience-range of the members of my team, and I started to feel confident enough with my playing that I could question things and believe in my own ideas. I'm ending the season feeling comfortable enough to offer opinions and advice without feeling like a pushy, sophomoric jerk.

I still have questions, though, and it seems like every day I learn that another of the vets I relied on to answer them won't be around next season. This sounds horribly morbid, but I feel like I'm starting to get old enough to attend the funerals of my friends instead of just mourning my older relatives. The protective layer of super vets is getting thinner and thinner by the day and I wonder who will guide and mentor me when I'm feeling scared and small next season.

It's hard to watch one's heroes ride off into the sunset. I guess that line "be your own hero" from Whip It applies like hell here. I've always dreamed of growing up to be like a lot of these spectacular women who are poised to become BDD's next group of alumni. I guess my goal for next season is to rebuild myself to fill the spaces that these heroes will leave behind.

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