I always tell people that tennis is my one true love. It's the only relationship where if there are problems it's all my fault. How can tennis be wrong? But recently I've become a two-timer: blogging is my new boyfriend. And I am immersed in it with all of the obsessive frenzy that I apply to any relationship.
When I first started playing tennis again about 12 years ago, I played 4-5 times a week--sometimes several times a day--and even more in the summer when I'm off. I captain and play every league. I play tournaments. I went to the US Open in August. My TV is almost always on Tennis Channel. I love Roger Federer. The list goes on and on.
I love everything about the game. It's the only exercise I can motivate myself to do and wake up in the morning for. I love the competitive aspect and I love trying to get better at it. I've met almost all of my close friends through tennis, and they have become like a second family.
But since I started blogging a few months ago, I spend every free moment thinking about it in some way. In the morning I check my stats to help me wake up. I love that it gives me a reason to write and that I'm achieving my goal of helping people feel better about themselves. I even like the challenge of the business aspect of it--learning more about social media, promoting my blog.
And there are rewards that I didn't anticipate. I didn't expect that I would get so much benefit from writing about my problems and that I would receive so much support in doing so. I didn't think I would get to have a relationship that is all about me. I didn't expect that I would connect to other bloggers--that I would look forward to their posts, and they would look forward to mine.
I never expected that starting a blog would be such a great investment in myself.
The funny thing is that for the longest time, my demons would keep me from writing because they'd be sitting there telling me how much I sucked every time I tried. So I would just write in my journal because I didn't care what it sounded like, but the content was so mundane.
Recently I was looking at my journal entries from this past summer. I had written over and over about how much trouble I was having with sleep and how writing about it wasn't helping me become a writer at all. And then my first post was about sleep. And it turns out that lots of random subjects became posts.
So it really is true that it helps to write, regardless of whether you think you're accomplishing anything. You never know where your writing might take you.
I have never considered myself an athlete, and my dad sucked the joy out of tennis when I was younger, so falling in love with it was a pleasant surprise. But I always knew I wanted to be a writer. It's harder to pursue something that you care about because the consequences of failing are so much greater.
But I have always said that I can't fail if I never stop trying. I am thankful that my effort and determination has paid off in this relationship.