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Gravitational Pull

Gravity has always captured my attention, a unique life variable that is hard to explain but is apparent day in and day out. Much like God and wind, most don't doubt their existence because it's something that we can experience. Even though we can't necessarily see it. We do see the effects though, whether it's a ball falling to the Earth, a gust of wind, or a miracle.

I began to think of the gravitational pull, not in the sense of science but in the quotidian of relationships and aspirations.

When in love, there's an inexplicable pull to be in close proximity constantly expressing ourselves to that person. Even after they've hurt us, there's an urge to be with them. In our ambitions, upon waking up, there is an haul to the process that will inevitably bring success. God, most of all, tugs on the hearts and minds of each individual regardless if they accept that it's his voice.

For me, basketball trails me like a shadow, like the clouds in a hurricane. A darkness hovering my footsteps illuminating the dissatisfaction in what I claim as a professional career. An unabated tow anchored to my desires dragging it to the ground under the weight of reality. The truth the mirror speaks as I try to assign blame, reminiscing on the unceasing efforts, simply, for an opportunity.

That's all it takes.

To this day, I hear phantom bounces and squeaking shoes shackling my mind with freedom predicated on finishing an entire season. I look to those who seem to be at peace permanently unlacing their sneakers and imagine what that must feel like. Instead, I'm in Walmart crossing over produce spinning off infants and dunking in baskets at Home near the gardening section.

Knowing I botched my previous chance at playing on the professional team here in Raleigh, I sat staring at my screen in trepidation. It was a general instagram message from Part Owner and Head Trainer for the team, also the man who helped paved my way to signing a contract.

Recently, the gravitational pull to don a jersey once again has been fierce and I've been finding myself back in the gym. Holding the phone with both hands, my thumbs played a silent instrument as my thoughts fiddled on the possibilities. I want to play again, I want to say in confidence that I've obtained my childhood goal.

My passion for the game has never fizzled but my desire and motivation wavered depending on surrounding circumstances. The first time was in Germany when Amelia was born, combining the stress with not being present and lack of support severely damaged my mindset going forward. The second time was after she was born and I had just came back to North Carolina after dealing with a less than feasible situation.

Lastly, was after I moved Amelia's mom to North Carolina and she continued to insinuate that I couldn't take care of a family with basketball. That was the team in Raleigh, already signed the contract and got in good with the coach and administration. I feared the response I would get and I stared at the message for days before working up the courage to reach out.

Once we finally made contact, I gave a synopsis of my absence. He knew of the situation revolving around my oldest and listened with empathy. I expressed my love for the game and wanting another chance to get back on the court, a tryout or workout at least. Ending on a positive note setting a day and time to come to the new facility for a workout.

As I was explaining myself, a thought crossed my mind that took my perception and flipped it on its head. It wasn't for anything other than what I was dealing with that resulted in me leaving the team without a word and passing up previous opportunities. It was cause I literally couldn't, my mind was bogged down by pressures and I acted out of pain and loss rather than genuinity.

So, what if, the lawyer that took off without a word impeding the process needed to be in my daughter's life. What if, he was in a tumultuous time whether it be with his own kids or wife. He had is own practice in a janky office sharing with another unrelated company, what if business was going down the drain along with life in itself. What if he was trying to put the broken pieces together while pulling his mind and emotions out of quicksand. What if when he contacted me a year later with a desultory explanation filled with fallacies was a desperate attempt to get back what was lost.

The thought humbled me to a point where I'm now unsure of how to feel about the ordeal. Having gone and still going through problems in my own lane how could I look to him and judge without knowing his mental state. I was driving when I received this revelation, lost in thought uncertain how I reached my next destination safely.

For the next 30 minutes the hemispheres in my head warred in a heated battle of anger and empathy. I still want to be angry because I know that I've been done wrong, but it's hard once put into a different perspective. I look back to my troubling times and remember all the connections and good relationships I mismanaged simply because I was stuck. Stuck in the past, stuck on the pain, stuck in unforgiveness.

Taking it a step further, if we as people, took to this way of thinking there would be a lot less revenge and more growth. There would be more understanding and less lashing out, more camaraderie and less division. It really does take a bigger person to not act out of emotions, I've spent the last year in anger and hatred because I can only see things through my lense.

Maturity is key to progression, and progression is fundamental to navigating life. Growing up my father always taught me not to pick on other people because you never know what conditions they go home to. Likewise, for the kids who are socially inept, to treat them right because when they come shoot up the school it just might save you.

Big picture thinking.

We all need to grasp this concept for the betterment of the human race and for our own sanities.

Even in the unfairness surrounding Amelia there's a bigger picture there as well. I was talking to a friend and expounding on the unfairness and how I feel like I'm losing to her mom. Breaking it down he told me that I have no idea what she is going through, even though she is keeping my daughter she could be living in hell right now. It's just my perception is that she is living willy nilly while I scramble and fight just to hear my daughter's voice.

God could be implementing his vengeance as I type and I'll never know. If I stay stuck I'll never grow into the person that my daughter needs me to be, that the world needs me to be. All things come together for my good, so I have to believe that it's working itself out. Also, who am I to cast judgement or see to it that the proper revenge is being enacted.

If all the wrongs that I have done to others were spit back into my face and used in anger I'm sure I wouldn't take that well. Once we have similar experiences, it's much easier to show empathy and to lend a helping hand.

Also if we look at God and the way that a lot of us have treated him and his word and then turn around and ask for a miracle. Think about all our actions and how it disrespects him becoming human and dying on the cross for those who may never walk with him. That's a thought, he died knowing that everybody wouldn't be grateful for the pain and suffering he endured.

Yet, still, there was a pull on him to take the stripes on his back for those that he loved. It's crazy how easy it is to mitigate my own issues once in comparison to those that hurt me and the ones that I hurt. We all seem to be on the same playing field now, just in different lanes. Sometimes I wish I never had the thought, now I'm forced to look at it through a new lense.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.

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