Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned.
Originally my trip to Australia was about baseball, but Sunday after our two games I handed in my uniform, halfway through the season. I am not sad, however. Disappointed, yes. Frustrated, yes. Happy, yes. The last three weeks have really taught me being happy is all that is important for me right now. I have a great job, a great new place to live in a great location (at least compared to where I was previously), great weather, a great city, and a great emerging group of people to call friends. But no baseball, for the time being.
After my cousin passed away a few weeks ago, I was in a transition phase. Transition into life after her, including transition into my new job and potentially a new place to live. Honestly, things changed quickly. I now live in a Brisbane suburb called Mitchelton, a five minute walk from the metro station. From there it’s another 15 to 20 minutes train ride into Brisbane Central. For a few hundred bucks a month, I can’t really ask for a better living situation.
The two brothers I live with are baseball players from the Carina Red Sox, another team in the league. I believe I have mentioned that a few of my Santa Fe Fuego teammates play for the Carina club. I was introduced to them a few times and the next thing I knew, I was moved into their small, but unoccupied spare bedroom. Described by a friend as a “THE man cave,” I couldn’t be in a better place for my leap back into independent-Matt-mode.
I enjoy doing things for myself again. They may not be the best meals, but I enjoy my cooking. I like having around the things I like to have around. I like being on my own hours, and not having to explain to anyone how I use them. But I am a social person, so it’s perfect that I live with two chill guys who really want me to have a good Australian experience.
The attitude that they show me is exactly what was lacking from the Beenleigh Baseball Club. I am in this situation because we had an understanding before I came out here. My ends of the understanding were carried out, but their ends were not. I asked for small financial help, and they said no. I guess $1,200 over four months isn’t worth having me around to be a part of the club. But because I never signed any sort of contract (which I seriously am supposed to and should have), I have zero obligation to the Beenleigh Hawks Baseball Club. The club isn’t supporting me at all (by providing work and housing), so traveling 1:30 hours three times a week isn't worth the cost of travel and lost work shifts combined. It’s actually a relatively easy decision to make. I need to work more to make up for the cost of rent, which I hadn’t anticipated before coming over here.
Of course, I received a text last Sunday morning asking me to come play because the team will forfeit if I’m not there. The game was at Pine Hills, which is 10 minutes from my new location, so I went. I was excited to go play, and had a lot of fun doing so, but I still handed in my uniform after two more losses. Apparently, the “club president” wants to meet with me to work things out. Maybe they realized they don’t have enough people to field a team without me. I’d like to work something out. However, I’ve realized that for me, this is the offseason. Normally, I would spend the offseason hitting in the warehouse in dingy lighting and snowy nights. The way I see it, I’m a 23-year-old American working on a 12-month visa. There are thousands of travelers around the city on visas just like me, and all of us wake up to sunshine and good times. I am happy to be just another one of them.
If the right opportunity is offered to me, I’d love to stay in baseball shape during the offseason. It would be great to continue to play in games twice a week, while getting stronger, and prepping for the summer. Maybe I will still get that chance. But for now, I’m ok with where I am for the time being. Who knows, maybe next blog I’ll have been promoted to CEO of Lululemon.
Until next time, g’day mate from down undah…