I believe in belief.
I had reached my plateau of knowing long ago. I figured I could handle a girlfriend part-time, just like the rest of my teammates. Even if I had to convince myself to love these girls, to offer my body, my money, my heart – I had to offer everything.
I think it was my sophomore year of college when I thought chemistry for the coolest thing in the world. Possibly because it was the only course I was passing when I wasn’t outside the dormitories with my college team or playing soccer with my friends.
So there I was, half-asleep in my chemistry class, when my teacher began to explain phase changes. “Whenever water or anything other element reacts with a temperature change, it undergoes a phase change, into liquid, ice, or gas.” Maybe it was really God sending a message, but from that moment on I began to really think. The fact that one thing could turn into something else entirely threw my mind. This is when I realized I could make my own phase changes.
You believe in yourself when you need to pass a test, to score a goal on the field. When the test turns into life and the field becomes a journey, the belief concentrates on and within oneself. It makes it that much harder, and that much sweeter to conquer the obstacle.
Often times I’d think, “I didn’t used to be like this.” But it must have started in the beginning, maybe even the moment I was born. But when I went to college, I noticed things were slowly changing. One day our team had a game against our rivals. Practice had turned into three times a day, but I loved it. I had less time to think, less thoughts to mull over. We walked down the field the day of the game, as bonded as we had always been, even though I always felt as though someday I might burst. The sunlight caught the main gate, and several girls walked in, one pausing and smiling at me as I walked near the stands. Yes, she is probably what is considered beautiful. But I can only imagine that her breasts must be a padding for her heart.
In a blur of emotion and frustration, I was called into the game. Without my realizing it, the ball flipped over my head, landing near my feet. I felt as though the world stopped – I was almost in front of the goal. I burst forward a final time, with footsteps falling behind and the sky raising blue above me. Everything became as black as the hole I was in.
“Jason, the goal went in.“
I finally realized I’ve been on the grass now for over ten minutes. After reluctantly dragging myself up, I survey the damage. Bruise on the thigh, a trickle of blood down my calves. I look up and see my teammates heading towards me, red-faced and sweaty. Smiling.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.