“Hatred in your heart will consume you too”
I’ll give you 3 guesses as to who said that one liner.
…Will Smith. Crazy right. Who knew that a line from Just the Two of Us would affect me like that.
Anyways, there are things every day that can make you mad or upset. I mean this morning I was woken up by my neighbor throwing logs into a wood cutter. And last night I couldn’t sleep because I had a wicked bad cold. Those things make me mad. But in the words of Hymen Roth, those things are “small potatoes” (Godfather 2 reference, check.) Which leads me to my story.
Story Time: Brought to you by Bud Light “Suck One”
Now this is a sports story. I hope that doesn’t scare anyone off. I’m not a typical jock who only writes about the game winning shot and that stupid stuff. Anyways, my story starts in my sophomore year of high school. I went to Notre Dame my freshman year and it was alright but I wanted out. So, my parents convinced me to go to Xavier, another prep school. They thought I would excel academically. All that summer I prepared for soccer tryouts. because honestly, my main goal at the time was to play soccer in college. Okay yeah i was a jock. That summer I was certain I would not only make the team but, win the starting goalkeeper spot. I worked my tail off that summer and during my freshman year I allowed only three goals the entire season, including a streak of nine games that were all shutouts. It was my turn. My hard work would finally pay off.
False. Listen everyone, if anything is for certain in my life it is that nothing is for certain. So naturally, I got cut from the team. And not just cut. I was embarrassed. See, the team had another Matt Esposito on the team. So, when I heard “Matt Esposito,” I was pumped. Yours truly was on the squad! Psyche. It was the other Matt that made the team. Needless to say I spent the rest of the car ride home in tears (I’m a frequent cryer if you all did not know.) My dad was wicked pissed. He wanted to drop the coach. What was I going to do now? Where was I going to go for school? I was so mad at that coach; I cannot describe to you how much I wanted to confront him. I think for the first time in my life I wanted to hurt another human being. I hated him.
I ended up going to my public school, and I killed it. Best thing that ever happened to me. My first year there I started and almost made my all conference team. My junior year I broke my collar bone (proof that everything in my life takes a left turn out of now where.) Recap: Had to transfer because I got cut. Once I was doing good, I broke my collar bone.
Choice: Either hate life and the coach who cut me or outshine everybody
I decided to outshine everybody. For my senior year I worked my tail off again. Made the all-conference team with one of my best friends. Boom. And do you know what got me there? Every day I trained, every day I did wind sprints by myself at Woodhouse field, every time Mike Sheehan ripped shots at me, every pull up, crunch, and push up I thought of that coach who cut me. I thought of the idiot who broke my collar bone during a preseason game. I turned hate into fuel. I did not eliminate hate. That’s just impossible. We are human beings and are going to get mad at things and hate them. That’s natural. I did something else though.
I transformed hate into something positive.
It became my drive, my reason for greatness, my fuel.
I had done it. I won the personal awards as well as got the team to the playoffs for the first time in a while. I left a positive impression as a player and a leader. Also, I made some bonds on that team that still stand today. I ended up going to Suffolk University to play soccer. At Suffolk I eventually became the starter. Fortunately for me, I helped the team get to the championship game. This game happened to be fifteen minutes from my home. Everyone who supported to me was there and we won. It was awesome. I went from being cut to winning a championship game as a freshman.
So what did I do next?
I found an old email address to the Xavier coach that cut me. I wrote him a little email. Nothing malicious. It was a thank you. I thanked him for being my fuel. He gave me the drive to do some great things. Recently I just got an email from a certain job that said I would not be interviewed for their position. A position that I felt qualified for. Normally I would delete those emails but, I kept this one. Next year, when I am at some prestigious grad school getting a duel degree in law and history, I am going to write another thank you letter. Because at the end of the day, according to someone, I did not work hard enough to get that job. And there is no one to blame but me. So I should be appreciative of someone keeping it real with me and letting me know that I need to work even harder to get the things I want.
Lesson: Turn hatred into fuel. Do not forget to thank the people who told you that you weren’t good enough, for you may not realize it now but they are effecting your life for the better.