My lemon-lime-colored fuzzy blanket shields me from the sight of Roger Federer losing. When he’s winning, I wear it like a cape and pace the room, my mug of tea inevitably dripping to the carpet below.
Watching tennis with me is a lively, theatrical experience. A spectacle of erratic emotion, really.
Yet it’s in that nerve-wracking, can’t-sit-still display I find brief moments of contentedness. And by “contentedness,” I mean my prone-to-existential-crises side fades for a moment, giving me a little break from the pressure that’s integral to the female experience, I think.
I like tennis for its innate starkness (and Grigor Dimitrov, let’s be real here). Without the trouble of watching two teams in dizzying motion, I can focus on one player, the precise movements that comprise the perfect hit. Every tiny element is detectable, vital, never hidden behind the other player. It is innately enough.
Distilling the game down to each stroke suspends me in the present, reminding me to commit my energy here, to the immediate and attainable.
A beautiful dichotomy emerges, in which each shot guides me to something tangible in life.
Drop your left hand level with your hip when you hit; be still for five minutes and reflect. Angle your volley; right now, remind yourself it’s fine to feel “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time” (my girl T. Swift gets it).
As I imagine little adjustments echoing in my favorite player’s mind, I confront my own, replacing full-blown existential crises with manageable moments of positive change.
Per my recent envy of college classmates who got their degrees and promptly jetted off to Europe or some equally cool other continent, I often forget I don’t need a plane ticket or exotic destination to arrive at something worthwhile/life-changing.
Sometimes the important epiphanies happen in a still-blank-walled apartment at 4:36 a.m., wrapped in a blindingly neon fuzzy blanket.