“I am not my frustration”

For six years, I played volleyball like it was my religion. I was what you called a “gym rat.” Both of my parents are teachers and my dad worked two jobs to allow me to play the game I was most passionate about. Then, I had a devastating shoulder injury that ultimately forced me to quit volleyball during the end of my freshman season. I was quite bitter about that, but then I was able to get more involved in leadership and realize that there is more than just volleyball in the world. Recently, both my parents decided to change their lifestyle for the better. My mom is now training for an Iron Man in July that she has dedicated much time to, and my dad works out with her An Iron Man is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 miles bike ride and a full marathon of running, all one after another. I have a little brother and he is 5. I watch him on a regular basis. For a while, I was very frustrated that I constantly had to watch my brother. I kept wondering why I was stuck with responsibilities when I thought my older brother did not really have any. I think that my problem was that I would keep everything bottled up. Sure, I would vent to my friends about some things, but I never would want them to see that I was ungrateful.

I was watching my brother 4-6 hours most weekends, but during the week, I would get busy and not do my others chores around the house. I didn’t understand my parents’ frustration because I would always watch my brother. Why do I watch my brother and have to do chores? It seemed like watching my brother was enough. I think that with that state of mind, I seemed like I was a spoiled child, but I am definitely not. My parents are in a position where all the people around them have kids that are graduating and they will have an empty nest. I mean, my brother is a 22-year-old in college, and I am sixteen. My little brother who is five was a surprise to us all. I think that sometimes they automatically assume that I can watch him because I have been doing so for the past five years. This is where all my frustration comes from.

Last month, I was having a really hard week. Just really frustrated about so many things and didn’t have anyone to talk to. I didn’t want to talk to my parents because I know that they mean well, I just think that sometimes they don’t realize what they are doing. But, I got up the courage and decided to talk to my dad about how I was feeling and definitely got a whole new perspective on things.

I realize now how hard both of my parents work for the things that we have and are able to provide these things for us. I realized that I was being so incredibly ungrateful for what I have when I do have so much. My parents’ exercise is their way of getting away from the stress of work. It is now something that I do to repay for how they helped feed my passion for volleyball, and now I can help them along their journey. It’s hard telling this because I do not want people to see me for ungrateful, but I am working to improve on it. Sometimes it is hard, but it is getting better. I am not my frustration.