Rooting for your home team in a foreign land can be.. well..deflating. This was cemented for me after moving into the DC area from NYC recently. We were attending a WWT tennis match between the NY Empires and the Washington DC Kastles, when it became immediately clear that, in a packed stadium in DC, only myself, my daughter, and the coach were rooting for the New York team.
The home court advantage has never been more clearly observed. I and the coach yelled and clapped til the end, even as the hope of victory slipped further and further from the team's grasp. My teenage daughter is strong, but surrounded by DC cheerleaders, mascots and roaring fans, she fell silent and even asked me to calm down a time or two.
Fast Forward to this week. Our daughter, yes the same one, surprised us with tickets to a Mets Game against the Orioles at Camden Yard. I was looking forward to seeing our Mets play and yet the memory of being a one woman cheering section was still so fresh and painful in my mind.
And yet, as we began walking toward the stadium amongst the wave of Orange shirts we saw wonderful flecks of royal blue jerseys. We acknowledged each other with smiles and nods and I was encouraged, but not yet comforted. It was a big stadium after all. Would we be scattered and drowned out once again?
We made it to our seats and tentativey looked around. I thought my heart would explode with joy. Though my homesick eyes may have played a trick on me, It looked to me as if everyone left of home plate was wearing blue. As if every Met Fan that day had bought tickets behind the Mets dugout and were united in purpose: To cheer for their home team, who were away from home and needed their support.
The first time the Mets got on base and we all roared together, I got goosebumps and for a moment I felt they were cheering for us as well. We too were also far from home and that day those devoted Mets fans brought a slice of NYC to us and for the first time since we moved I felt not only happy and comfortable, because I am both these things, but I also felt... home. Home amongst my fellow Met Fans once again and 'root root root'ing for our home team.
I learned 5 valuable lessons that day.
1. The importance of not letting a difficultly today prevent me from continuing to follow through with optimism for tomorrow.
2. It reminded me that sometimes the world can be very loud and there is danger of letting it drown out our own voice. That the struggle of that can feel very confidence-shatteringly real if your not on your guard.
3. It reminded me that, while sometimes it is necessary to go it alone, that going it alone is not the goal. Support is wonderful and success means more when it’s shared with others.
4. It reminds me that even those things that may not look like a ‘win’ to the rest of the world, the experience alone can mean a world of progress and growth for me.
5. It reminds me that my life is not about confetti cannoned celebrations, though those are fun too, it is about what I learn along the way and how I use what I learn to raise myself and lift the others around me.
We didn’t win that night. In fact, we lost 6-3, but it was a wonderful night. It filled a need I didn’t even realize I had: It was as if our family had been teleported back to Shea and back to our home town. (okay okay Citi-field, but you know what I mean!) Thank you fellow Met Fans. It was good to be among you and I can’t wait to share a stadium with you again, wherever you may roam to support an amazing team and it’s transplanted fans! Thanks for the reminders and for the memories.
#homesick, #NYMets, #Baseball, #Fans, #NYC, #WashingtonKastles #NewYorkEmpires #Tennis #home #Goals #stress #Baltimore #Orioles #CitiField #