A story on letting go of ego and allowing the universe to lead
Not many people know this about me, but I used to be an athlete. While other families went to church on Sundays, we went to the fields, because in my house, soccer was religion and playing the sport was a right of passage.
When I was four years old, my mom signed me up for my first team: The Wolves. I wanted to be a dancer, but as the youngest of four to a single mom, it was a natural and necessary progression that I’d follow in my older siblings’ footsteps. Soccer, it was. She was outnumbered, after all, and rightfully needed the support of other soccer moms (and dads), both logistically speaking (hello, carpool!) and socially, too. It made sense. I mean, at the time I was pissed and threw a spirited fit, but now I get it.
Soccer was in our blood. My brother and two sisters were gifted at the sport, so naturally everyone expected that I’d be, too. “Afterall, she’s a Reish,” someone commented in that regard.
Well, imagine their surprise (and my mother’s chagrin), when I stepped out on the field, suited up in a number nine jersey (just as my siblings had done before me), with my curly blonde hair tied up in a pony and a devilish grin on my face, but refused to play. Rather than embrace my heritage and the hand I’d been dealt, I stood there and indignantly defied it. Crying and screaming and making a spectacle became my thing. Every game, it was the same: I’d suit up, they’d put me in and the theatrics would begin.
The other parents tried bribing me with candy and money, while my mom stood on the sidelines with that look—you know, the one that says, “I’m going to fucking kill you, you little shit.”
This went on for a few weeks until one fateful Saturday afternoon, when the game quite literally stopped at my feet. In that moment, I had a choice: Continue the stubborn charade, all because I wanted tap shoes instead of soccer shoes (that’s what I called them), or embrace the opportunity that was right in front of me and see where it leads.
“embrace the opportunity that was right in front of me and see where it leads”
Fueled by cheers of encouragement up and down the sidelines—“Go, Sadye, GOOOOOOOO!” “You can do it, kick the ball!” “Now’s your chance…just start dribbling”—I went for it. One foot after the other, with small kicks in between, I barrelled down that field, my sights set on one thing: the goal. I worked my way through the players, charging past them with ease, until it was just me and the goalie. And then it happened. Call it natural-born talent or first-shot luck, I steadied my right foot, pulled back my left and drove that ball to the back of the net, scoring my first goal. I remember there being a brief pause before the roar of the crowd hit me—their excitement surging through me as they jumped and clapped and yelled out my name, “Sadye, Sadye, Sadye…”
What a rush.
From there, I went on to play competitive soccer (starting at age 11), followed by four years of varsity in high school (I was the only freshman who made the team), two years for Cypress College, the number one junior college team in the nation (at that time), and then Division I for University of the Pacific. I wasn’t the most gifted player—fancy moves weren’t my thing—but I was fast and I knew the game well. I could read the field and often determine a player’s next move before they knew themselves. I was a force to be reckoned with on the left wing, earning countless accolades and stats—most goals scored in a single season, highest number of assists, coaches award twice over, all-conference honors numerous times, team captain, MVP, etc.
And to think…none of that would’ve happened if I’d continue to let my stubborn pride get in the way all those years ago. But life is funny that way. Sometimes you have to stop digging your heels in the ground and instead, kick the (curve)ball that’s thrown at you in order to get to your goal.
“Sometimes you have to stop digging your heels in the ground and instead, kick the (curve)ball that’s thrown at you in order to get to your goal”
It’s amazing when we stop forcing and resisting and just let things flow, the beautiful, synchronistic magic that can happen. I’ve needed this reminder lately. To get out of my head and back into my heart. To let the universe continue to guide me through this new phase of my life as I navigate starting a business and figuring out what I want it to entail, while emotionally shedding the person I once was, embracing who I am today and making space for who I will become.
Life is filled with uncertainty, no matter what stage or season you’re in. It’s messy and chaotic and sometimes just really fucking hard. But if we pause long enough to recognize that now is not forever, you’ll find that with the dark stuff comes moments of joy and happiness, too. You just have to trust that the light will come back, even when you can’t see it.
We cannot predict how things will turn out, but this I know for sure: if we lean into what feels right and let go of what doesn’t, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities beyond our wildest dreams. I don’t know about you, but I could use more of that magic in my life. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced it several times throughout my 35 years and believe there’s a lot more where it came from—I just need to get out of my own way.
Believe in yourself, trust in the process, feel into your heart and quiet your mind. This will continue to be one of the many mantras I call upon when I begin to doubt. You’re welcome to use it, too.
S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H