I had a totally different post planned for today – more about my day and other specifics, but then I had a really tough go at Fat Cats during Pool League (billiards, not swimming). In 8-Ball, I lost 2-0 to my friend Alicia. She’s a very kind person, an old soul if you may, and I love her heart. But it was OK; we cheered for each other, as we always do. It still didn’t feel great, but I enjoyed seeing her play well (even if it was against me). Plus, at least I could still play well later in 9-Ball; that’s what I figured.
And then 9-Ball happened. My opponent, another very kind person and old soul, absolutely trounced me. Lilly played incredibly well, like WOW, awesomely well; and while I was happy for the shots she made, through the process, I began to feel worse and worse about myself. True, the table didn’t always play in my favor and there were some impossible shots that I just couldn’t make. And then there were shots that I could make – but just didn’t. I’m not really sure when I stopped caring – but I got to that point and I just didn’t care.
And let me tell you, in the middle of a match, that’s not a very helpful place to be.
Everyone – Andy as Team Captain, and other league players – everyone always says to just have fun. And the thing that’s most important is to have fun! Even while walking out of the hall, I was asked the question, “did you have fun?”
I tried. I look at pool (billiards not swimming) as an opportunity to spend time with wonderful people, including my boyfriend, who all find common joy in this one pastime, and all the neat things that go with it – sportsmanship, community, karaoke, etc. I joined league because of Andy, but gained so many friends in the process; I was surprised at the support and friendship from so many…it has meant a lot. And even though I enjoyed supporting my opponents and seeing them do well, at the end of it all today – I felt like shit, and was doing a terrible job of holding back my tears. My 8-Ball teammate, Cissy, caught me just as the waterworks began in earnest; she was very sweet and I wanted to hug her, but COVID and everything.
Today, this – loosing a game – just wasn’t what I needed. What’s the point in pursuing something that I already feel lukewarm about, if it makes me feel like this? I’m OK with loosing games, with being a lower skill level player – I just don’t want to end my night and feel sad/down/tearful about my performance and myself.
At the end of the day, who I am as a person has nothing to do with how I play pool (oh thank goodness!) I’ve done some amazing things – Ironman, rowing, backpacking, violin performance, to name a few – that I’m proud of. And if I had to rank them, pool would be somewhere on the bottom of my list – but I do it more as a way of being with Andy and for the social satisfaction it brings. Tonight was hard because while it was nice seeing friends, there really was not a lot of personal satisfaction on my end.
And I don’t know what to do.
Do I just walk away from pool? Certainly, ending my night in tears, feeling terrible about myself isn’t ideal. That being said, I don’t want to let down my team or Andy. And this was just one night; they are not all like this.
I think many pool players have been in this same position. But I’ve also just had a stem cell transplant and have to be picky about my time and doing the things I want to do. If it doesn’t bring me joy and happiness, is it worth it? In the grand scheme of things – does the Good outweigh the Bad?
So that’s where I’m at. This post could go on and on…but I’m going to put the firm kibosh on it and call it a night. I’m not ready to be done with pool, namely because I enjoy the community and I love Andy. But I also don’t want to feel terrible for those nights where I do play a match.
To be continued…