I’ve noticed lately that it all seems to go back to those days in junior high school. I sat with my p.e. class on the itchy, prickly grass of the softball field, watching the jocky girls, their muscly legs emerging from their blue and gold gym shorts, pacing back and forth deciding who to pick for their teams. I was invariably picked last or almost last. I was newer to the crowd and I wasn’t an athlete. I was just a small, shy girl picked last. The one nobody wanted on their team because she didn’t have what it took to win.
If I wasn’t the very last at least there was that feeling of Thank god I wasn’t last. They wanted me.
Well, sort of.
And if I was last? Not only did they not need me. I’d bring them down.
Which brings me to the crux of the issue: I didn’t even want to play. I hate sports.
But 7th grade girl still remains. I wrestle with her daily when I consider the many options in front of me. Now, the difference is that I am asked to consider this position, this volunteer job, this committee, this task and I have trouble deciding what I want to do. I have options. They want me! Not only that, they tell me I’d be perfect for this job.
They want me. They want me. They want me. How can I pick what I want when I have been picked by them? Maybe I should do it all? Say Yes and Yes and Yes to every single thing?
My life is full of children and animals and responsibilities. I have health issues. I have a son with health issues. I have a messy house and a messy car and I can’t even find my three to-do lists. If I only respond to that shy 12 year old I might not do exactly what this 50 year old needs to do most.
I turn it all over in my mind again and again. If they say I am the one, how can I not stand up and sit on their bench? My heart races when I think about letting people down. They need me. They need me. They need me. But, what do I need?
In the end I feel both selfish and anxious. Somehow choosing me first isn’t my habit. I’d say it comes with being a mother, but I wonder, what do those former team captains in their cute little gym shorts do? Did they grow up to just take on whatever came their way? Or did they look out for their best interest, just like they used to do in front of the back stop on the softball field?
I take a deep breath. It’s time to think like a team captain.