Part 2: Knowing yourself

by Tony Roetzel

Puzzle (Summer Blog Theme)

Growing up I had this idea that the world was puzzle and that every individual was a piece. Each person was unique in their own way but worked together to build a greater whole. I never understood how people found their fit, I simply assumed it’s one of those things that just happened. Well here I am, 23 years old and still looking for that fit. This is my story.  Read part one here.

Part 2: Knowing yourself.

The snow has finally melted, the birds are beginning to once again descend onto the local lakes and the days are getting long, spring has come. That means baseball season is not far behind. Growing up like most suburban boys, I was taught the religion of baseball. I grew up indoctrinated into the game, including how to play, who the best players were, and the fundamentals that went along with being a good teammate.

 

My parents made sure growing up that I had a well rounded knowledge of the opportunities around me. I was put in piano lessons, Boy Scouts, church youth groups, school band, summer sports camps, theater camps, and swim lessons. Looking back I see each activity taught me at least one life lesson or another. I remember Boy Scouts teaching me the importance of organization and being prepared. Piano lessons helped instill in me an appreciation for the complexities of music, and sports like baseball taught me social and teamwork skills.

 

Uncoordinated, distracted, and lackadaisical is probably the best way I can sum up myself as a baseball player. As a preteen I was hyper, easily distracted and in a way living in my own little world. If I saw something that interested me I would do everything I could to understand it, that meant I’d usually wander off a task that I had currently been working on and jump on a whole new train of thought. Once I reached middle school, baseball didn’t hold my interest like it did for my peers. I appreciated the game but when it came to playing it I wasn’t patient enough. Showing up to games or practice for me was all about socializing and being with friends. There was no challenge in it for me.

 

Around the same time, I was finishing up the upper levels of swim lessons. The encouragement of one instructor opened a door to a whole new world that is still a big part of my life to this day. Competitive swimming. One day after lessons, the instructor, an older high-schooler, recommended that I join a swim club. He talked about how he was a part of one and that he could see that I had a lot of potential. This is something that I didn’t hear much when it came to sports. It got me thinking, what’s important when choosing a path?

 

  1. Importance of passion
    Though I grew up surrounded by a passion for baseball, I realized that I didn’t have it myself. With that lack of passion came a lack of effort, not only did this hurt me by not allowing me to get better it more importantly hurt the team. I wasn’t in it and I wasn’t giving them my best and that’s not what being a good teammate is all about. If you are going to dedicate your time day after day to something it should be something that will engage you, challenge you, and be something that you truly care about. This will push you to be the best and in doing so be the person your team deserves. In order to find this you first must…

 

  1. Be honest with yourself.
    I think that it is important when choosing a path to be able to be your own harshest critic because no one understands what you are feeling better than you. It’s import to take a step back and evaluate how you feel about what you are doing. Take into account what you enjoy about your current situation and what you would want to change. In doing this set aside the opinions of others or feelings of obligation that can sway your judgment and just focus on the job or activities itself. Maybe you’ll find that you are no longer as passionate about something as you once were and that’s okay, intrest change.

 

I have had many jobs. I’ve tried many sports, activities, and clubs. Something that I have found is that I am most successful in the things that I care about the most, things that challenge me and engage me, things that hold my interest and frustrate me. I now know what it takes for me to be passionate about something and I use that knowledge when choosing opportunities. Sundog is a great example, I have been here for a little over three months now and each week is a new challenge. I enjoy that I get to be a part of tough discussions and have the freedom to experiment. More than anything I enjoy that what I do here is something that I am passionate about.

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