It was humid that night, sometime in mid July. The lights shown down on the baseball diamond like it was Busch Stadium.
I was twelve and it was one of my last games to stand on the pitcher’s mound before I’d stop progressing as a pitcher. But that night, I was on.
My arm was tingling from the shoulder all the way down through my hands. I gripped the ball and twiddled it in my hand as I stared down the tall, bulky, 13-year old whom I knew couldn’t hit a curve ball. Which was a good thing because I was out of gas.
The count was 1-1 and I had gotten him to chase a high fastball, that wasn’t supposed to be high, but he didn’t fall for it twice.
I knew that night I would become a baseball star. A starting pitcher for the Cardinals. It was inevitable. I mean just look at the way I had pitched that season. I only lost one game and that was because I’d pitched two nights before and thrown a complete game.
Mowing kids down left and right with two smooth fastballs and then a nasty curve ball to make them look stupid. It was there, the writing was on the wall.
As I gripped the baseball in preparation to throw one of my slinging curveballs. Stuffed the ball in my glove and went through my wind-up. The ball started inside, almost at the kids shoulders, then about ten feet before it reached the plate, it snapped back down to the low outside corner of the strike zone.
He lunged at the ball and completed a swing that looked like something out of a girls t-ball league. I smiled.
The count was 1-2.
My catcher returned the ball to me and I circled the mound. Staring at the girl in the batters box. He knew it was coming again, but there was nothing he could do.
I stepped on the rubber and gripped the ball again. The lights seemed to focus on me now. Spotlighting the rise of greatness.
The batter kicked some dirt around and squeezed the handle of his bat tighter than he should have. That was his mistake—he should have stayed loose. You can’t hit a curve ball with tight hands.
I started my wind-up, extended my arm, felt the tingle shoot down my arm, then the snap of another curveball.
This time it started more toward the middle (I’d like to say I planned it…but I didn’t). I saw the batter load up in preparation for his attempt at taking my curveball yard. He took his step and thought he was swinging at a hanging curveball (one that doesn’t break) but he was wrong. The ball snapped down and hit the dirt right at the corner of the plate. He swung and missed, nearly falling down, I knew right then I’d be a pitcher for the Cardinals.
There was no questions that was my destiny.
But then…it wasn’t.
We all have this moment, at least 99.9% of us do. There’s a moment where you realize your dream maybe isn’t your dream…
There’s nothing wrong with this as long as you can also understand that there is a time when you have to face the reality and find what you’re meant to do. This might require you to tailor your dream.
I never thought I’d be a writer, yet here I am, writing. It’s irrelevant what you think of my writing, and whether or not you call me a writer, or I’d be considered a “professional” writer. I’m a writer.
Jeff Goins taught me that.
And there’s a moment when you realize you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s glorious. Maybe you aren’t supporting your family doing that specific thing. But you are doing it. That’s when you will understand your dream has shifted. And for most of us our dream will shift. It’s just part of learning.
There’s a time when you knew…
Then there was a time when you knew you didn’t know…
Now is the time to figure out you weren’t supposed to know then, but you’re supposed to figure it out now.