“I SURVIVED BECAUSE THE FIRE INSIDE ME BURNED BRIGHTER THAN THE FIRE AROUND ME.”
If this is my life off the field, you’re probably wondering where the “field” part is, huh?
This is year SIX in the NFL for my husband, Drew, and we are currently dealing with a new experience. It wouldn’t be interesting otherwise, right? We are dealing with free agency and didn’t start the beginning of training camp with a team for the first time in Drew’s career. So for the first time in a long time, I’m not living by myself this time of year. But you know what I am living with? Constant uncertainty.
Don’t get me wrong, free agency isn’t new to us.
Let’s recap for those of you who don’t know.
Drew played his rookie season in 2012 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as all through training camp the following year, made the 53-man roster, and then got released September 2013. How he got released and why is a whole other story. But it wasn’t due to talent, I’ll tell you that much. Drew still holds the record for longest punt in Heinz Field and the second longest punt in Steelers franchise history.
But you want to talk about uncertainty? Drew and I had just gotten engaged. I left my dream job in NYC, moved to Pittsburgh, to only live there for 2 days before he got cut. Where are me and my fiance going to live? What are we going to do? We’ve never experienced this before? That my friends, is uncertainty.
We moved back to Atlanta for Drew to train and we were free agents for the reminder of that season. While we were planning our wedding… that’s uncertainty.
Drew then got picked up by the Chicago Bears, packed our bags, and moved to Chicago as one-month-old newlyweds.
Then guess what? As two-month-old newlyweds, we got fired. So at this point we have been through what most married couples don’t deal with until later in marriage (if ever). But guess what, we were fine.
Then we were with the Detroit Lions for one month and got released at the end of training camp.
And you want to guess when that phone rang again, TWO DAYS before the first game of the season. It was the Arizona Cardinals. Their punter had gotten hurt and we were in. Drew was on a plane 3 hours later to Phoenix. We got that call as last minute as possible and guess what? We were in Arizona for THREE YEARS. When you get the call from a team has NO CORRELATION to how long you will be with a team.
So where are we now?
Well my friends, we are back at free agency. As a 6-year-veteran. (That’s double the average length of an NFL career.) I couldn’t be more proud of Drew and how he has handled every single event. Injuries, physical therapy, backlash, uncertainty, any and everything, you name it, we’ve been through it in the NFL. We have no hard feelings though. It’s the game. This is his job he signed up for, and the life I signed along for to be by his side every step of the way.
We are back and forth between Arizona and Atlanta until we get that call. We still own our home in Arizona (because it’s no surprise how beyond obsessed we are with that GORGEOUS state. I should do a whole other post on how to compartmentalize by the way – – because even though we didn’t end well with the Cards due to injuries, we still love being in AZ. Compartmentalizing at its finest.)
WHAT YOU DO WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT YOU
This one makes me tear up & gives me goosebumps. You know what Drew’s doing when no one is watching? He’s on that football field every single morning, by himself, day in and day out, working harder than I’ve ever seen him work. He is stronger than ever (physically & mentally) and more ready than ever to be given an opportunity and seize it. He will be given the opportunity and he will seize it. Our marriage is STRONGER than ever. Like I said earlier, the amount of moves, hirings & firings, and uncertainty we’ve been through is nowhere near normal for any marriage. We have now been married 3.5 years, we are 28 years old, and we are the strongest couple I know. Hands down. And I am SO PROUD of it. This is our life and we are so thankful!
We will be totally great, and everything will work out! We will be with a team in no time. Until then, we are getting to enjoy some extra time together. This is football. This is how it works.
For those of you who genuinely care about us and wish us well, thank you so much, we love you so much! For those of you who act like you do, or blatantly show that you don’t, we can tell 🙂
HOW TO DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY
STAY FOCUSED. KEEP YOUR BLINDERS ON.
Know your goal and don’t waver from it. Don’t let doubt creep in. Of course it will here and there, because if it doesn’t, you’re not human. BUT, the SECOND it creeps in, kick it out.
DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE BUT YOURSELF.
Only you (and your significant other if you have one) know your dream end result. There will be whispers all around you. People will judge you, critique you, and try to bring you down. Don’t let it and don’t listen. If I had a $ for every time we have been asked, “So what is plan b for you?” in some negative connotation, I think we would have more money than we know what to do with.
True faith. Honest faith. Full faith. If you have that, you know you will not only make it through, but that you will either get your dream goal, or something better.
FIND YOUR OUTLET.
Is it working out? Is it hanging out with friends? Whatever your “thing” is, do it. Mine is reading inspirational quotes.
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.
In our situation, there really isn’t anything we can control. But we are controlling the very little that we can. For you, control where you want to live. Control your attitude. Control the people you surround yourself with. Control what you can.
I hope these tips with dealing with uncertainty help you.
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