You know, I often feel like my life is just one big young adult fiction novel, stuck forever in the middle. I’ve been thinking that thought for the last couple of days.
Today, my story started its new chapter. Or, at least, the biggest plot twist.
It involves sports. Wow, I never thought I’d say that in my life.
I have never played an official basketball match outside of school, so I am awfully nervous when I go down to play. We start out okay, with a lead of 12-6, but then the good guys(including me) get substituted, and soon the score is 19-25. I am beyond shocked. I am devastated. I am beyond exhausted. I played so well, and so hard, but now we were embarrassingly behind.
I’m on the verge of giving up. Not just pressing-pause-to-resume kind of giving up. The kind the where you stop and have to start all over again.
I. have. never. given. up. Ever.
Not on people, not on tough situations, and definitely, DEFINITELY not on myself or my friends.
So I don’t.
I push. And push. And push. And push harder and harder and the hardest I could and I fight back my fears and my tears and the pain and the despair and I just give it my all. I run into people, snatch the ball, pass, scream until my lungs burned and I’m 100% there in that moment.
I know the situation is more and more like something out of a movie, because after 40 minutes of play, both teams are tied and we go into 3 minutes of overtime. I think that this is do or die. But nah. We both score, and we go into overtime again, this time for two minutes. And I think that this situation is as unpredictable as walking on a tightrope 20 feet up in the air with the wind blowing right at me.
But I hold on. We all do.
For the last 2 minutes, I hold on to whatever hope is left in me and I give it my all.
I don’t know how, but we suddenly have the lead. 29-27. The ball is, literally and figuratively, in the opponent team’s court right now.
But our hope rises just enough for one last boost of energy, and we fight back.
The whistle blows.
Long enough for us to realize that we actually won.
The screams are loud and roaring, and they fill me with the voice to scream too.
I’m running towards everyone. I hug my friend, Akshita, who was sitting on the bench, cheering for us.
I’m hug my friend, Ishaan, who was the reason we won.
The specifics don’t matter because this success wasn’t about individual glory. People told me I was really, super aggressive and I defended like a boss, but that’s not the primary cause of my immense, overwhelming joy.
I often think that my life is one big young adult fiction novel stuck in the middle forever. It’s not always easy, or fun, or even kind.
But goddamn it, it’s good.