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it's time to grow up

i've asked this question many times before, but it seems to be all i can think about at the moment - at what point do you try harder and at what point do you give in? when do you need to accept the reality that some things just aren't meant to be? when is resistance a sign and when is it an obstacle to overcome?

i've been here many times in my career. i was here in 2014 when i tore my second acl. again in 2018 when i got cut from adelaide united. a year later when i did my acl for the third time. then again in 2022 when things didn't work out with an agent i'd signed with. and instead of getting there at the end of last year, when w league didn't work out for me (again), i decided to pack up my life and move across the world to pursue my childhood dream of playing professionally.

i was hopeful. eager. finally things will work out for me. they have to. i'm in a different country, where no one knows my name or has any preconceived ideas about who i am and what i can/can't do. this is my chance. but within weeks of me arriving in the UK, i quickly learnt that that dream would not be achieved in this country either. but i refused to let this experience be wasted. i still signed with a really good tier 3 side. outside of football, i've been pottering along, volunteering and coaching at as many different organisations as i can, even ones i don't enjoy. all with the hopes that one day this will pay off. one day i might be given an opportunity. one day, it might just work out for me.

but at what point do i need to just accept the reality that it's not going to work out for me? at what point do i just need to let go of my childhood dream and move on with my life. i'm 30 years old, soon to be 31 and what do i actually have to show for myself? i work casual jobs in coffee shops, i coach on the side, and i'm trying, perhaps even forcing, trying to make something of my football career. i have no stability with a career. and none of that is going to miraculous change until i can let go of playing. even transitioning into coaching - that's not a full time career. that doesn't pay you maternity leave when you decide to have kids. unless you move to any other country other than australia. but i'm done moving across the world. i'm done feeling alone. i'm done feeling like i'm swimming upstream with anything that i seem passionate about. but perhaps that's my own doing - perhaps my problem is in that being interested in so much, i've been committed to nothing. perhaps that's why my business of equipping individuals with skills to support others when they're struggling never went anywhere. perhaps that's why my playing is at a standstill. why nothing much has progressed with coaching.

meanwhile, all i can see around me are people settling down. settling into their careers. having babies. starting families. and the only people doing that? are the people that let football go a long time ago. and to be honest, i feel like that's what i need to do if i'm ever going to do anything with my life. because the reality is, i can't keep having this child-like attitude towards my life and my future - keeping all my options open, whilst simultaneously wasting away. i feel bad for my parents - two incredibly intelligent, nurturing, and accomplished individuals, watching their child do nothing with their life. wasting their intellect on futile, unrealistic dreams.

they say it's good to have options, but i disagree. sometimes you can feel burdened by choice. paralysed by an inability to commit to any one thing. and that's where i feel i am right now. i don't just have one interest; i have many. i don't just have one hobby; i have many. but perhaps it's time i start closing some doors and focusing on what will actually provide me with a stable future and direction. perhaps it's time i grow the fuck up.

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