The story I’m going to tell you put me in a real foul mood today and made it even worse as things progressed. Today, we had planned sports activities at my workplace. That doesn’t happen very often. As usual, they would play cricket and badminton and I’m not really that great at either of them. It’s not like I don’t want to join in, but it’d take me a while to get up to speed, which would be quite annoying for the others. It isn’t a place where I can take my time to get comfortable, so rather than playing cricket or badminton I chose basketball.
I haven’t played basketball before. We have a basketball court too where guys and girls play in the afternoon time. It seemed to be enticing to me always. Today finally I had time and opportunity to play basketball. Everyone else decided to play cricket or badminton, so I headed out on my own with a determined attitude. The area had 3 courts side-by-side: one for tennis, one for basketball, and one where people were playing volleyball. When I arrived, all three courts were filled with groups of people; it was not like the usual day when only two or three people were playing. My main goal was the basketball court, where two or three guys were playing, while others were sitting in the shade, watching and talking.
They weren’t playing a serious game, so I thought that maybe I could ask for the ball after some time. I was right; after a few moments, one guy threw the ball away and joined his friends in playing tennis. For the first few seconds, I observed the others to see if they were going to pick up the ball and play again. When nobody seemed to care, I walked to the other corner of the court to get the ball. As I returned halfway back, the guy who had been playing before came to ask me if I wanted to play. “Actually I don’t know how to play but I really want to. Can I have the ball for some time?” I thought to my self. But all I could say was, “No…you can take the ball.” I went to the shade again, wondering how foolish I had been. Those two or three guys played for another fifteen minutes, then they called over two of the girls who were sitting under the shade, chatting. They had never played before either. One of the guys was explaining the game to them.
I didn’t know these folks at all so it was tough to approach them. Being really shy and lacking in self-confidence, it was hard for me to join the group.I’m all too familiar with the frustration that comes from watching someone not playing at their best. It can be really annoying when there’s an unskilled person taking up the space needed by someone who’s actually good at the game. Even in college, the refreshment room’s table tennis tables were always crowded. After waiting for a long time, my friends would eventually get their turn, although not for very long. In that case, it was unlikely for them to leave the place to those who could barely play. Same thing happened today. Those guys were so helpful to the two girls – helping them every time they missed the net. I just wish I could be more comfortable with people and not worry so much about what they would think of me if I don’t do something well.
What did I learn from the day?
I regret not expressing my true thoughts and feelings – I don’t know if people would have laughed at me or accepted me, but at least I could have said to myself ‘I gave it a shot!’
I always tend to avoid small talks, but if I could get over my anxiety and self-consciousness, who knows! I could have enjoyed my time at the basket ball court and made some friends as well.
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