Well, it’s safe to say that nobody can accuse me of living a boring, go-by-the-book life. Nobody can accuse me of making the safe, logical decision. For some people, my lifestyle just wouldn’t work. Some people need stability, order, steady income, and a safe place to call home. Not this guy. And to be honest, I’m proud and happy to have taken the Road Less Traveled in 2012. Everything didn’t go perfectly according to plan – in fact, almost nothing went according to plan – but as I watched the New Year’s fireworks from a friend’s balcony, overlooking the Brisbane Skyline, I couldn’t help but reflect on the path I have taken....
I tell people that in my current lifestyle I seem to live three months at a time. My 2012 almost followed that mantra to a tee. I’ve gone from basketball, to baseball, to catering, and back to baseball. From EG, to Santa Fe, back to EG, and finally off to Brisbane. I’d call that some moving around. It almost seems surreal when I actually put it down on paper and read it out loud. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through so much constant change and instability. And then I remember how my parents both told me that I have my whole life to work and be comfortable. I won’t admit it to their faces, but they always seem to be right.
2012 started simple and relatively secure for my standards. From January into March I spent my time living at home and acting as the Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach at EGHS. Basketball has always been my favorite sport, and for a long time I have wanted to coach basketball for a living. Honestly, during college and the year following, I forgot how much I loved it. Coaching at EGHS (as well as AAU for the RI Hawks in the spring) rejuvenated my itch for the game.
In mid-April I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for my first professional baseball season in the United States. If you have read any of my blog entries in 2012, you know how that story went. While I certainly didn’t plan on having my appendix removed, or getting released as a result, I don’t look back on my time in Santa Fe with regret or animosity. I often joke with my mom that I’ve had mono, a tonsillectomy, and an appendectomy in the past few years, so I’ve covered the spare body parts. One less thing to worry about in the future. I proved to myself that I could excel in professional baseball in the States. Not to mention, I met so many great people in the community and became close with a solid handful of teammates.
After I left Santa Fe, I came back to EG and had some down time. I worked weddings and corporate functions for Blackstone Caterers. I interviewed and was seriously considered for a few high school basketball head coaching vacancies in R.I. I was offered the job at small school outside of Poughkeepsie, NY. At that point I had a dilemma. Commit to coaching basketball, or look for more opportunities in baseball. Accepting a basketball coaching position most likely meant the end of my baseball career.
My dad made the decision much easier for me. As an ex-player, and one of the best basketball coaches around, there’s no better authority on that situation than him. He knows how much I want to coach, but he also pointed out to me that I’m 23, and coaching jobs open up every year. I can coach when I’m 50. No reason to rush into that when there’s still plenty of good baseball left in me. It wasn’t hard for me to realize he was right, and a month later I ended up on a 22-hour journey to Brisbane.
I’ve been here in Brisbane since Sept. 19. Those 3½ months really went by fast. It would be impossible for me to squeeze my Australian experiences into a short, readable paragraph, so I won’t try to. I’m happy where I’m at, but it has come via a lot of frustration, anger, and problem solving. With the passing of my cousin and my uncle, I’ve had my fair share of heartache. It hasn’t been easy. But then, anything valuable is worth struggling for. It’s been one hell of a life experience that I will always value.
I hope 2013 is just as exciting for me, and I hope there is some good baseball mixed in there somewhere. Until next time, Happy New Year and g’day mate from down undah…