The Calm After the Storm…

I stumbled
Upon myself thinking today,
“One day I will be who I once was.”
Instantly, recognizing the falsehood
 ringing along with it.
This beat down, broken, put-back-together self
can never be that again.
That naïve, hopeful, unmarked, energy radiating,
Dream-builder of a child.
It’s like saying the chicken can go back into the egg.
Once cracked those lines remain.
Forever changed.
I stood,
Accepting the beauty in the destruction.
Seeing a glint of gold amongst the ashes of who I once was.
Filling those cracks with new dreams, recreated ambitions,
a redesigned soul.
Because pieces of that ghost were ripped from me.
I held a funeral for her long ago.
I embraced
That rough draft of my journey to come.
The unmarked proof of someone who hasn’t yet lived.
Who hasn’t yet gone into battle
To fight for what she is to become.
Editing, revising, never reaching perfection.
Realizing, I had to be torn apart
To truly be put back together again.
I found
Myself staring in the mirror at this familiar stranger.
Remembering who she once was.
Embracing this perfectly imperfect work in progress.
Forever changing.
Forever marked.
     Always pending….   

   You know how when you’ve been in the dark and suddenly there’s light and you have to wait for your eyes to adjust before you can actually see? Or how when it’s been raining for a while and suddenly stops you look for it to begin again? That’s kind of how I feel right now…

    The past year and half since I tore my ACL I have been constantly fighting, struggling, clawing my way back to being healthy and trying to get my life back together. I’ve been trying to have a plan. I went through some pretty dark, depressing times. I’ve been through the ringer and that rollercoaster of emotions of not knowing what the next step was. It always seemed like every time I had a grip on something it crumbled again and again. One week my knee was great and the next it was swollen and I couldn’t do anything for another week. So many setbacks. I couldn’t make WNBA training camp this past summer because my knee wasn’t ready. Nobody wanted to give me a chance overseas because my knee wasn’t cleared or I was too much of a risk. I needed a chance to prove my knee’s health in the fall but everyone was scared to give me the chance. And I needed a chance in order to eventually give the WNBA one last shot. An endless cycle. I went through every day calculating what I was going to do for today, this week, this month until I could find some solid ground. It’s what you do when there’s not much you can do. You give up your social life and everything to simply focus and gain control of what you actually can control. You drop friends who don’t understand your journey or where you’re at in life. You learn who the real ones are and you kind of find yourself along the way.

    I reached a point this summer where I had had enough and was ready to completely give up my basketball dream. It felt like that’s what God was trying to tell me. Maybe he was just testing me to see if I could give up something I love so much and just simply have faith in Him and His plan for me. Turns out I could. It took a awhile but I could. No sooner had I lifted my worries and fears to Him completely than this Switzerland offer came up.

    I arrived here uncertain if I had made the right choice. My knee was deemed 30% weaker than my good knee upon arriving. I was told if I tried to play in the preseason games I could re-injure my knee. So yeah, I questioned my entire decision to come in the first few days. I was truly scared of the possibility of re-injuring my knee, constantly playing in fear or raw pain like in Poland, and being alone with it all. When you’re overseas you are all you have. Yes, you can call family or friends. Yes, you have teammates or a coach who sometimes cares about you. But in the end you are responsible for your own life and everyone else is simply curious or watching you live it. I knew I couldn’t do that mentally or physically again. It would be too much. 

    The next week was a complete 180. Everything just simply felt right. The place, the mountains, the people, the situation all felt right. I felt like I could relax for a bit, finally, after the rough road I took to get here.

 You know when it’s stormy for so long and there’s that moment where the sun comes out from behind the clouds? And you are perfectly content just standing there embracing the warmth and comfort of it? That was what it felt like… It felt just like a time of “peace”. I needed this moment. I needed this moment of peace, simply being content, and getting reacquainted with what being happy feels like again. You go so long knowing you’re unhappy and then somehow happiness creeps up on you and you hardly recognize it. You don’t know how to handle it so you analyze it and question it. You have to let your eyes adjust to it before you can actually see what’s in front of you. Before you can fully take in all the goodness around you. You try to soak in every bit of it before it goes away. When really you should embrace that moment and hope it doesn’t disappear behind the clouds again but you can’t. 

I’m learning to stop waiting for something bad to creep up again. I’m relearning how to simply be happy and stop looking over my shoulder for my world to get torn down again. I’m in the perfect place to do it. 🙂 

Switzerland is absolutely amazing. The mountains are absolutely breathtakingly stunning! I climb up to the Tourbillon castle from time to time because it’s so close. A friend introduced me to a great thinking spot up there one time at night and it works just as well during the day. haha No words are real enough, detailed enough, vivid enough to paint the scene from up there or to encompass the enormity of how spectacular the view is at night or day. Highly recommend the long, tedious climb up there because it’s worth it!

Like my dad said, “What’s not to love about Switzerland?!”

   The league here is fairly weak and the money isn’t great but it’s a great place to regain my health, my confidence and enjoy myself in the process. My teammates and coach are all really nice. I live with two of my teammates and I am the only American on the team. They both are in school, so I have to go on little adventures by myself all the time throughout the week to stay entertained. I travel to other cities to hang with the other Americans and explore the area. I’m trying to make as many friends as possibly outside of basketball. It’s going slowly but okay so far. This weekend, I am going to Berlin to see the one and only Kelsey Harris!! Hooday-Hoo! So excited to see her face and hang with her for a few days. I know my family is jealous back home because they almost love her more than me. It is what it is. I’m not bitter or anything 😉 The other option was Hallie Christofferson in Athens but Kelsey won out this time around. Sorry Hallie, you got me for our Arizona road trip. haha

Also, I am learning French and it is going okay. It’s frustrating. I get made fun of a lot because the pronunciation of everything is crazy hard but I am up for the challenge. I’m missing everyone back home. I realized today where I sit in my nephew’s heart after faceTiming him. He saw me, said, “Chelsea” with a huge grin, then pointed to the phone and said, “Cows?” My mom said, “No were talking to Chelsea.” He then said “Bye bye.” … okay,.. that’s cool. Didn’t hurt at all. haha I seem to have a lot of brownie points to make up for when I come back over Christmas. I don’t really blame him. I like cows too. *shrugs*

All in all, I am trying to embrace where I am, live for the day, and stop worrying about tomorrow. Sometimes it’s not about finding your happiness; it’s about embracing the happiness of the now. The little things. I like the quote: 

“People get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. We’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy, you know, we’ll get that car, or that job, or that person in our lives that will “fix” everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired, or hungry… it’s not permanent. It comes and goes, and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often. “

I’m trying to do what makes me happy and let the things that don’t fall away. I’ve been unhappy for far too long. I’m not wasting any more time feeling that way. Sometimes you have to learn what is worth your energy and time. Same goes with people. Invest in people that invest in you. You create your own happiness daily. So find what makes you happy and keep doing it. Surround yourself and fill your days with experiences, travels, meeting new people, friends, and things that fill you with joy!

Xx ❤ 🙂

Below is another one of my creative works I wrote this summer when I was in my feelings & dark days. Maybe you will be able to relate in some way, maybe you won’t… 

Unpolluted rain floods the sky
Cleansing grummy layers from your soul.
Sitting in the silence of your thoughts;
Unafraid of the undiluted truth behind the mask.
You bask in the darkness,
Away from harsh unnatural light.
Like looking through windows at night,
You can see everyone but they can’t see you.
Unless they press their face up against the glass
Of your unfiltered world.
Most can only take it in small doses;
From the outside looking in
Or maybe the inside looking out.
Sometimes you just want to disappear into yourself.
Lose grip of reality and drown in your thoughts
As the rain drums down upon your darkness.
You don’t see why people fear the dark
If you never venture in it,
If you never get to know it,
How can you ever truly see the light?

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