I was never far from a friend I could socialize with. From my teachers’ perspectives, I imagine it would get frustrating when that one kid never stops talking, but then turns around and gets an A on every test. Every report I receive in Elementary School said “Good student, but socializes too much.” As I shared these with my parents, I would laugh it off and think to myself, “I don’t talk that much.”
However, even though I always had a large group of friends, I was never a ‘popular’ kid. There was always that group of kids that were inherently alpha. Meanwhile, I have always been more likely to shy away from confrontation rather than get in someone’s face. I suppose this is a trait that has its ups and downs. It has clearly become my go-to reaction when faced with conflict to avoid it at all costs, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on the circumstances.
Sports were never my forte. My parents wanted to drill into my head that school was the only gateway to success, and I never questioned that belief. Still, one must be physically active as a child to remain healthy, so I bounced around different sports, trying to find one I liked. Soccer is the biggest sport in the world, so naturally I tried that first. That idea quickly came to waste. At this point in my life, I was taller than those around me, so I tried my hand at basketball. A 5 day camp brought an end to that dream. I slowly struck down more and more sports until one fateful day, my neighbor invited me to join his flag football league. Hesitant, I joined, and quickly discovered that this was the sport for me. Everything about this sport was so beautiful to me; the quarterbacks and their pinpoint accuracy, the giant, hulking lineman, guarding the quarterback like a shield. It appealed to me in a way no other hobby or activity ever had, or has yet. I loved this game, and nothing would ever change that. 3 years later, in 8th grade, I was still in the same league with the same neighbor. My skills had grown exponentially. From being afraid of the ball, to getting touchdown catches and being the best defender on