There once was a time in my life that was similar to what it is like now. I was also a sophomore like I am now. So apparently, it has taken me more than 4 years to learn that particular lesson as I have been presented with almost the exact same scenario. So I’ll tell you a story and you can decide what’s really happening the second time around here.
I was a sophomore in high school. I was in band. I was on the JV ballroom team. And I was happy.
I really was!
I felt like I fit in. My sophomore year of high school on most days were genuinely like hell to me, but ballroom was where I truly made my friends that year. I enjoyed my teammates and even though I was “only on JV”, our team definitely had a lot of fun and unexpected success. Looking back on the history of Timpview Ballroom, we were undoubtedly and unarguably the best Junior Varsity team that company ever saw- you can ask any coach that. Our team was made up of a lot of sophomores and a lot of new recruits who had never been on a real ballroom team before, but we all decided we were going to make something of ourselves and be as successful as we could be. But come the final countdown of school days before winter break, a decision was placed before me that changed how I saw things.
A senior girl from the company’s Varsity team had announced she was quitting come the end of the semester, and you better believe with that announcement came speculation of who the coaches would choose to replace her. I didn't really mind or care much as I was happy where I was. I also didn't think that I would even be considered for Varsity, because honestly, I was not by any means the best dancer or had the best technique or could even be compared to the dancers on the Varsity team. So you could say I was taken off my guard when come one day over the intercom the booming voice said,
“Would Nicole Hopkinson please report to the ballroom office immediately?”
Being myself, however, I didn’t think it was regarding being moved up a team; my mind immediately raced to all the things I could have possibly done wrong to cause my coaches to summon me to their lair in the confines of Studio C (No really, it was called Studio C). So when I was offered a spot on Varsity right then and there, I kind of just sat there and stared at my coaches. And I then had to ask myself if that was something that I really wanted and if that would make me happy.
“There’s a good chance you won’t be placed on our competing team to dance at nationals. You would basically be an alternate and wouldn't get much floor time. You might be able to learn a couple routines before the spring concert, but we just need another girl in case something happens.”
That’s basically what was said to me regarding my expectations should I accept. In addition to those wonderful conditions, I would have to leave all my friends on JV- my best friends at the time. I didn't know practically anyone on Varsity and they intimidated me to no extent. Would that make me happy? No. I wouldn't be able to compete and perform the routine that my teammates and I had been working for so long on. Would that make me happy? No. And the reason that swayed me most was another girl on the team. She was a senior and she was on JV- not something that was very common that year. She would have been a lot happier on Varsity, yet there just wasn't enough spots for her on the strictly configured team. She was also an amazing dancer! Why they didn't consider her before me, I will never know, but I couldn't take that spot on Varsity with a clean and fair conscience. Would taking her rightfully deserved spot make me happy? No.
So, long story short, as I thought about all this, I didn't want that. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that I was the only girl on the Timpview Ballroom Junior Varsity team that would have even thought about rejecting the offer. Most – if not all – girls would have said yes without hesitation. And here I was, trying to convince myself and forge reasons why I should accept the golden offer. Well, I've never been like the other girls, have I now? So I thanked my coaches for the offer, kindly declined, and told them they should move Mindy up because she deserved it more.
Mindy was moved up to Varsity the next day and I never regretted that decision in the slightest.
And now, here I am 4 years later in almost the exact same position. I’m happy. I’m comfortable. There are little expectations of me and I finally feel like I fit in. But a change is about to happen that could “ruin” that. Like that booming voice on the intercom, I don’t know if I’ll be called in and be expected to accept the call of duty that could potentially be placed in front of me. I really don’t know. I don’t expect it, because I know I’m not ready or capable and anyone who says I am is on crazy pills. But I know it could happen. And unlike 4 years ago, I have the chance to prepare myself and make a decision before I walk into that office. So let’s hope I can make the right decision again this time around if it be presented before my scared eyes. As I turned to my Book of 1000 Yiddish Proverbs for help and guidance, the authors presented me with this:
“One’s good luck is another’s misfortune.”
“A second wife is like a wooden leg”
so now I’m trying to connect the dots and it ain't working out so well.