Losing, Winning, and Helping

What’s so important to us about sports, and personally, baseball? I’ve never really watched it before, mostly because I live in France and it’s on at 2 am here. I mean, I followed the scores, standings and such but apart from watching the occasional Mets tragedy with my dad, I never set out to sit through a whole 9 innings staring fixedly at a screen, willing Ike Davis’ ERA up a few notches (yeah I know, not so effective). And before I had someone to watch the games with me that late, I never really found the conviction to force my eyes to stay open and down enough comfort food so that that could happen (if my body isn’t exactly bikini ready, I blame baseball).

But starting, well, last year, it suddenly felt really important to actually watch the games live. Let me explain. In September of 2012, my sophomore year of high school, I changed schools so that my parents would be pleased (did I mention; ugh?) While I’d never felt academically challenged before, always top of my class, the EABJM posed new problems that I was utterly unprepared to deal with. See the EABJM is a bilingual school in Paris with an extraordinarily hard curriculum. Going into a place with all these genius kids made me feel, frankly, stupid. The things they deemed easy I struggled on for hours. I slowly sunk into a quiet depression. And so, in my despair, I turned to the thing I knew the best: baseball. It’s funny that a Mets fan would turn to them for comfort right? It’s also funny, no, let me rephrase that; ironically stupid, that a teenage girl in a difficult situation who needed as much sleep as she could get started watching games at 2 am (that is, when she wasn’t pulling all nighters).

But while I was floundering like a distressed child in a sea of future PhD candidates, so were the Mets. It’s a rather simple metaphor: the Mets are, well, me (involuntary shudder) and my classmates are every other team. Except maybe the Cubbies, Astros and Marlins.They just suck (sorry to all the fans out there, I know what it feels like to have my team continually suck, believe me). But what was important to me wasn’t that they were losing, it’s that they were there, unchanging, like I’d always known them to be. After a particularly hard day, which was, to be honest, everyday, I had a game to look forward to. Save off days, but you get my point.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: life is a social experiment. No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you’re the only thing that’s important and that you don’t need any other people, it’s not true. Smiling at someone’s accomplishment, jumping up and down ecstatically because the Mets walked off until your dad tells you to shut up and go to sleep (yeah, my dad values his snoozing time), those are the things that make life worth while for me.

And so, with a foolish grin on my face because we won, I’m going to sleep a happy, idiotic, crazy girl. Because when you get accustomed to losing, whether in sports or in life, a victory is just that much sweeter.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

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