I am happy to report that me and preseason are officially friends-ON, again. I'm not exactly sure what it is but everything is just ... easier this season. I think I can chalk a lot of it up to the fact that it's just another season, and every season seems easier than the last. If you asked my husband, he would probably tell you that everything is easier because he prepped me for this preseason with his "it's all about me" lectures. But honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with expectations (or lack thereof) and perspective.
Just before we left, my husband received an e-mail from someone within an organization he played for once up on a time. I'm paraphrasing but he basically said, "I heard you signed in Germany. I hope you signed for a ton of money because that town is a shit hole and your wife is going to be miserable."
I would be lying if I said that similar thoughts haven't crossed my mind when friends of ours have told us that they signed with a team that treated us like garbage in the past, but I would never, ever say those things to anyone because ... I'm not an asshole. I also know that my experience won't necessarily be their experience.
As I walked to the park this morning, I thought about that e-mail. I tried to find a reason why he might refer to this place as a shit hole. I mean, that's some strong verbage, right? I tried to find something wrong with being here; something to complain about. And I failed. Miserably.
Will there be things that drive me batshit crazy this season? Probably. Will there be days when I bitch and moan about something? Uh huh. Will there be times when I miss my family and my friends? Absolutely. No season will ever be perfect. But being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.
Ernest Hemingway once said that you should never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective. Brilliant. When I was being treated like crap in Italy or things were falling apart in Germany, I had a hard time finding the good in any of it. It wasn't until we were back in the States that we realized just how much playing and living in Europe meant to us, individually and as a family.
We knew that if we got an offer to just about anywhere, we would take it. No questions asked. No expectations. Only the hope that this would be a good season.
Experiences are what you make them. It's as simple as that. But for the record, this town isn't a shit hole. And I'm not miserable.
I am thankful to be here.