One of the things I would most like to change about myself is something deep down inside me. It rises every now and again at the most inopportune moments. It's the feeling of not being good enough. I put such weighty expectations on my shoulders and a lot of the time I just don't meet them. I'm usually a laid back person that takes everything in my stride however sometimes I can push myself just a little too far.
Take this weekend for example. I played cricket as I usually do for my local team. I'm not sure I have mentioned this, but there is no ladies team in the middle of nowhere where I live so I just play in the men's team instead. Usually this is not a problem. I get on with them really well and can happily bat any banter that is flying around. However there is one downside: my need to constantly push myself and prove that I am up to the standard. I feel, as the only female, this pressure is increased for me. And this weekend it just got to me.
I hadn't played particularly badly, but there was this niggling voice inside my that said I couldn't do it. That my best wasn't good enough. For I always try my absolute best. I felt I was letting the team down.
Then I can on to bowl. I didn't want to. I thought it would be best if I didn't. However I had a go, as my captain was persuading me to. It was awful. I think partly because I was a bit rusty, but also I'd worked myself into such a state over the fact I couldn't do it. I was extremely disappointed in myself.
I walked away from everyone as I could feel tears welling in my eyes. As coincidence would have it I actually had to leave then to catch a train. I walked towards the edge of the field feeling about 2 feet tall. Suddenly I am enveloped in a massive bear hug. One of the guys I've known for years tells me not to worry to enjoy my trip to London.
I run off the pitch and into the changing rooms still crying (because as you know people telling you not to worry doesn't help that much). Just when I wanted to be left alone to snivel quietly, in walks in the mother of one of the other lads. Now I know her name and that's about it. I've never had a conversation with her.
She sits down and tells me how proud she is of me every week. She tells me how her son's girlfriend is over from the US and has been asking all these questions about why I play. She tells me of how surprised and impressed she was to see a girl playing with a men's team. She uses the word "Brave". I don't feel brave, sitting still sniffing with tears rolling down my face.
I sort myself and catch my train. My phone beeps:
"We won. You're wonderful. We all love you. The captain worried about you. See you Monday."
Even when you feel you're not good enough there will be people around you that believe in you. What I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is you can only do your best and although you may think this isn't good enough it really is. Even if you don't believe it, I'm sure there will be someone else out there that will. It's so interesting hearing someone else perception when in your head you feel so disappointed.
Thank you to all those people that have believed in me.