This post has been permanently archived, as an important leaf in the tree of my life. Please enjoy this wacky post to your heart’s content.
Currently bingeing on banana-flavored milk while reflecting on my day. As usual, I like to remember how my day goes, so I can look back on my Sophomore life in my Junior year and be envious of myself.
Let’s rename my class schedule. The names don’t really fit.
- Sophomore English H / Villalobos = Watching Movies and Doing Math Homework
- PE / O’Brian = Euphemism for “Torture”
- Orchestra 3 / Forbes&England = Letting the World Hear How Much I Suck
- Pre-Calculus / Daniel = Comedy Show (feat. Hank Lin)
- Mandarin 4 / Hung = Naptime
- AP Physics / Zhang = More Naptime
Lol, I got 52/52 on the math test. That’s a failure, cuz I shoulda gotten 53/52. In AP Physics everybody thinks I’m like the class genius (I’m not… really; it’s not like I ever study for that class or anything), and Mr. Zhang ignores me when I nap in class. Napping in 6th period is really pleasant. It’s the perfect time of day for an afternoon nap. His room is warm, his chair is comfortable, and the atmosphere is pleasant.
Now that I think about it, usually I end up napping through the entire afternoon, Mandarin and Physics. Hahaha.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Now to write about the tryouts for Arcadia High School’s soccer team. Our soccer team isn’t particularly good. We’re not famous, we’re not league champions, and we might even be one of our region’s worst soccer teams. Perhaps I was misguided and slightly overconfident in trying out for this team.
First, I’ll start out with… why soccer?
I have always loved playing soccer. Ever since I was little, my parents let me play on the AYSO. Every weekend we would head over to Live Oak Park for a lively game of soccer. Two weekdays were designated as soccer practice days, and those lively hours are deeply etched into my heart.
However, I must make you aware: I was the worst player on the team. Always. In my, what, six plus years of AYSO soccer, I was never much of a player. I never really made any goals; only goals that people let me make. I never really contributed much to the team.
By the way, for some reason, even though I was always the worst player dragging down the team, all the teams I was in ended up doing really well. In one year, we were even League Champions (I know!).
So, there I was. The little freshman in the corner, watching all his upperclassman walk by. Nobody notices him. Nobody greets him. Of course not.
Sports teams. I always thought athletic team members were really cool. On their game days, they would walk around school, attend classes in their uniforms. Everybody would greet him with a friendly “hey” or an amiable punch on the shoulder. The teacher would smile and ask about how his team was doing, and he would engage in a lively conversation with everybody around him.
Perhaps it was that ability. That ability might have been… what I was, what I am really seeking. That ability… to be able to start a conversation with anyone. To be able to talk to strangers, do favors for them, and receive favors from them in return. To help others; to be sociable; show them respect yet treat them as if you had known them for your whole life.
Either way, I can talk about my inner uncertainties, my deepest anxieties, in detail later. This post was about soccer. I almost forgot.
I signed up for soccer team tryouts in my freshman year. Went to the meeting. However, I chickened out… well not entirely, I had something else to do on that Friday, so I didn’t attend the tryouts, and I got my transportation money refunded.
Sophomore year. Staring at the Athletics form. Soccer team. Yes? No?
“Hurry up and decide,” I thought to myself. “It doesn’t really matter, anyways. If you don’t want to, you can always quit and get a refund like last year.”
But something burned inside of me; that desire of which I have spoken of (see above). I wanted to be on the soccer team. I wanted to dress in that jersey. I wanted to be the one everybody went up to, the one everyone admired. I’m probably being somewhat selfish, somewhat egotistical; however, I’d really like to remember what my feelings were on October 16, 2009. Isn’t that what all my posts for?
Anyways, onto what happened today. Wow… I haven’t even started talking about today’s tryouts, and it’s already like a three-page essay. I pwn.
The entire day, I was wavering over this issue. I brought my cleats with me. I brought my shorts, I brought my short-sleeved comfortable shirt. I brought my determination. Off on a tangent, I grew a whole cluster of cold sores yesterday, and it really pissed me off the entire day. It made me look ugly, too.
Period 6. AP Physics. End of a long day. End of a long week. Friday. Last day. Weekends. Freedom. Anime.
However, it was not to be. My happiness was still a couple continents away.
I met up with a bunch of freshmen who were trying out for the team. It was a hot day. Too hot. Unbearably hot; yet I bore the heat. Thirsty? Tired? The soccer team of Arcadia High School casts aside those dejected feelings. Once practice starts, they drop their gear. They drop their homework, their textbooks. They forget it all, they head out, and do you know what they do? They play soccer.
Maybe that is the one thing in my life I will never be able to do. I was born to genius mother, genius father. Study, work hard, and go to the best college. Learn, innovate, improve society. Earn money. Change the world. Find happiness somehow in that jumble of responsiblities.
Play soccer? What a joke. Of course I can play soccer. I can play perfectly well. I might not be able to face off against a Hispanic jock kid, but I can hold my own against the average white kid. I’ve been playing for years. What are you talking about? Of course I can play soccer.
What are you doing here?
What… what are you asking me? I don’t quite understand.
What are you doing?
Are you here to play soccer? What are you doing? What are you doing right now?
As I stand on the dead green field. The fatigue has soaked in. The heat, too. Nobody on the team seemed to like me, either. Of course, none of them were Asians, but that shouldn’t matter. I see all of them flirting and talking dirty with Asian girls. The white kids, the black kids, the Hispanics have no problem associating. Maybe it’s not their problem. Why would it be? It’s me against them. Me against the Arcadia Soccer Team. Me against society. Me vs. world.
Why does it have to be like this? I might not be as good as you guys at this game, but I really love it! I respect how well you play! I think you are all really cool. You guys have the best in life, you enjoy your perpetual happiness every day. No worries about Honors or APs! All you need to care about is having fun! All you need to do is play hard and have fun! Your only two responsibilities in life! YOUR ONLY TWO!
Why, then? Why can’t you accept me? Why am I not suitable to talk to? Say “hey” to me! Greet me in the hallways! Chat with me, talk about anything! I know a lot. I have a lot of knowledge to share. Why does nobody care to hear? Why does nobody want to peer into my mind, to admire both the beauty and the shame?
These feelings, the whole, the entirety of it all; it cannot be expressed in a finite sequence of words. (Nor, do I think, are they representable with an infinite series formula.) Can nobody solve this problem? This is too challenging, even for a math Olympian’s mind. All we do is memorize formulas anyways, and I don’t know the formula for finding happiness, I’m afraid.
Perhaps this post is getting a bit too emotional. Maybe I’m being too honest. Maybe it’s time to put on that façade and let everything be normal again. My igloo of math and anime will keep me safe. I will be safe, always. What if the bright sun comes out? Will it melt my igloo? Will I be safe then?
Only time can tell. I’m sure it will not be cloudy for much longer. Just two more years, and then perhaps the sun will shine on me in college. Then I can melt away this igloo and find my peace and love. Wasn’t that the American idealism? Peace and love. PEACE AND LOVE!
Well, for now, let’s tone down the soliloquies and monologues here. Just for a moment. Alright. Let’s continue.
We started out with a simple two laps around the field, then some stretches and exercises. Nothing too tough (besides the fact that I still have a cold, and the hidden nose-wiping became extremely unsettling). Then we got out the balls. I helped drag out one of the extra soccer goals. It was heavy, and hard work, but it was still satisfying. I still felt positively about the tryout, at that time.
It was fun at first. We passed the balls, shot at the goal, defended and attacked. We worked on our teamwork, our skills, and they judged our soccer prowess.
Everybody there was a freshman. And yet, everybody there was better than me. By leagues and bounds (I realize this idiom is “leaps and bounds”, but please let me blog in peace). It wasn’t anything particularly surprising, or at least it shouldn’t have been.
And then this freshman comes up to me. He looks dumb. He probably gets C’s, even when he tries hard. I see no future in him. No impact on society. He may grow up to be some janitor in some corporate complex, or a McDonald’s clerk. Maybe at best he’ll be a roofing salesman or a window contractor.
Yet, he says, to me. He says to me. “What are you doing?”
He says this to me. To me. He said it.
What am I doing, and what am I doing on this field? In these shoes? In this outfit? What am I here for? What do I hope to achieve by being here? What have I sacrificed to stand on this field right now? What do I get for my troubles? Will I make the team? Absolutely not. Will I get to know some of the members by talking to them during the tryout? No, I won’t. Do I have anything to gain? Anything to gain for trying out? Anything to gain for working my butt off doing this? Basically, as far as they’re concerned, I’m just here to shag balls for them. I can help move things around, do their grunt work for them. Is this really that interesting to you, to sacrifice your time, your youth, and your… anime… to be here shagging balls for them, and receiving for this work, only the feelings of shame and embarrassment?
Is it my fault?
Is it my fault in the first place? Is it my fault that I am not as good at soccer? Compared to these Hispanics? They go to the park, they play soccer for four hours every weekend while barbecuing and partying. Ever since they were two, they’ve probably been out on the field every week. Soccer probably flows through their blood. It makes up their soul.
It was then, I realized. What is my soul? What is my purpose in life? My goal? What am I seeking? What will bring me happiness, and how can I attain it?
I am young. I am young and have yet the energy to achieve my dreams.
Everybody wants things that they don’t have. If they had it, they would then begin wanting something different.
It’s human nature. I suppose we can’t help it, eh?
The grass on the other side of the hill always looks greener.