Have you ever felt like you’re a square peg trying to fit into a round hole?
I felt like this my freshmen year of high school. Since I was four years old, I considered myself a dancer. I loved music, I couldn’t sit still, and I was in heaven going to dance class where I could twirl and spin for hours. When I got to high school though, dancing wasn’t offered as a sport, and I really wanted to play a sport. In my attempt to squeeze myself somewhere, I decided I would become a volleyball player. I mean, how hard could it be, right?
Well to no one’s surprise really, I struggled. Tryouts were a big deal—at least two weeks of attacking, spiking, running, showing off your skills, and trying to prove you could be a valuable member of the team. But not only had I never honestly played volleyball, I was competing against girls who had been playing for as long as I had been dancing. They were good, and they deserved spots on the team.
For some wacky reason though, I managed to make it to the last day of tryouts, even after many girls had already been cut. But it was on that fateful day that my name didn’t make the roster, and all my hard work had been for naught.
It was a hard hit, especially considering I had come so far and almost believed that I could have been a good player. I thought my dream of playing a sport was over, but the reality was, I was trying to fit my square body into a round hole, and it just wasn’t going to work.
It was a couple months later when I joined the track team that I finally felt like I was where I was supposed to be. Running was the sport for me. I never thought that winning the mile run every year in elementary school meant anything, but I guess it did, because it wasn’t long into the season that my coach noticed my potential and asked me to join the cross country team.
The rest is history really, but it was through running that I gained some of my most valuable friendships, discovered how to endure and mentally prepare for challenges, and had the realization that God knows what He’s doing when He shuts a door. Running led me to nationals and All-American status in high school and then to a great college where I was able to get an education on an athletic scholarship.
I discovered I can’t be good at everything, but I can be really great at something.
Working in the MarCom department, I often hear stories similar to mine. Many of our students start out in one profession, and some even experience success, but in the end, they find themselves feeling incomplete, like they’re not quite where they’re supposed to be—trying to fit their square into a circle.
What might seem like a sad story at first actually turns into a happy ending. Somewhere along the way, our students discover that nursing is calling their name. I love to hear these stories because they express a journey, an awakening, and a time when the light goes on and someone discovers his or her true passion. It’s when all the puzzle pieces come together and the full image is visible.
It reminds me of one of my favorite country songs by Kenny Rogers called “The Greatest” (and yes, my love for music first originated in the “twangy”—as some would call it—sound of country music). The song talks about a little boy who is determined to be the greatest baseball player ever known, even though he’s lacking in some skill. Considering baseball season is just a couple short weeks always, I thought it would be an appropriate way to close my post.
Want to know if the little boy fulfills his dream? You’ll have to listen to the song to find out 🙂