My name is Greek and means “blooming”. It means growing, changing, and becoming something for myself. I grew up in a predominantly female house, with two sisters, my mom, and my dad. My dad was always successful and still is to this day. My mom, however, is a different story. She always wanted to be a teacher, ever since she was little. She was a classroom teacher before I was born and then realized she wanted to specialize in early intervention and literacy. It was incredibly hard for her to find a job with the hours she wanted and in a school that was less than an hour from our house. She eventually found a job until late last year, the school she was at made a lot of budget cuts and her position was cut. She kept looking and looking for jobs, but was unlucky time and time again. This year, she was hired in a full time position at an elementary school in Maynard. With my dad’s job, he is rarely home during the week, so this year especially my sisters and I have to learn to take care of ourselves while both parents aren’t home. Coming from this mainly female household, I came to learn what the real meaning of my name is. It means to never give up and no matter how the odds are stacked against you, there is and there will be a way to overcome. I have also learned from my mom to keep pushing forward and to always tackle a challenge head on. She also taught me to live and love everyone and everything in my life as much as I can. I think coming into high school was a huge challenge for me, especially with ADD and an anxiety disorder. Learning to cope with these two things and entering a new school was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. However, instead of giving up, I pushed ahead and made a name for myself in my sports and with that I have become so much more confident in myself and that gave me the ability to quickly make new friends, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if it hadn’t been for my mom telling me to overcome and make something out of this seemingly awful new situation. And for that, I am forever grateful and happy that my name and it’s meaning has shaped me into the person I am today.
It all comes down to this, I thought to myself. Seven on seven overtime in the Central Mass Division One Final. The score was 1-1 and time was running out. The cold air and rain were making it seemingly impossible to keep going, but somehow, all seven of us did. Suddenly, a sharp whistle cut through the cold and the referee signaled for a penalty corner. We all took a collective sigh of relief, it could all be over right here, this championship is ours right here. We all lined up in our positions, shoes digging into the cold, wet turf, our hot breath making tiny clouds that cut through the rainy morning. Coach flashed the card “A”, which meant that Tess would be taking the shot. The ball was inserted and it went straight to Tess, spraying up bits of turf and water as it went, who ripped a shot to the far post. It seemed to be going out of bounds until Rachel got a stick on the shot and deflected it to the top left corner. The ball made almost no sound as it hit the netting That was it. The moment Nashoba Field Hockey became back to back CMASS Division 1 champions. The feeling of winning after putting so much work and dedication into this season and this team is a feeling I will never forget. The field was suddenly filled with the rest of our teammates cheering and crying because we defied the odds and beat a previously unbeaten team to win this championship. Parents, friends, and teammates surrounded us as we celebrated a point in the season we thought we would never reach. Holding that trophy above my head and being around those girls, who over the months had become my sisters, was easily the best moment of my life. The feeling of relief and pride was making the cold that much more tolerable. I could stay in this moment forever, I thought to myself. Anyone who has ever won a hard game or defied the odds that may have been stacked against them knows the exact feeling I’m talking about, and let me tell you, as an athlete, that feeling is indescribable and so incredible.
It all started at lunch one day in fourth grade. I was just minding my own business, as usual, just trying to find a spot to sit and eat my lunch in peace. I was so excited because my mom had packed me peanut butter and jelly and a juice box and I could not wait to eat it. I finally found a seat with some friends from my class and tore into my lunch like an animal. Chatter went around the table about that day’s math test and who had hugged who at recess the previous day. As I was talking to my best friend, I decided to open my juice box and I was so into the conversation I was having i didn’t notice I had missed the hole on the juice box and ripped the front of it open. The contents of the juice box ended up in my lap and of course this was the one day i had decided to wear jeans, just awesome. It didn’t look too bad to me at the time, so I just brushed it off and continued my conversation. However, at recess, my little spill didn’t look like nothing to a bunch of fourth grade boys. Of course, to them it looked like I had peed my pants. As I was playing four square, I noticed that people were whispering and pointing at the front of my jeans. I looked down and to my embarrassment, my spill from lunch hadn’t dried up and it looked like I had peed myself! I blushed deep red as people started to giggle until finally, someone pointed out the obvious. “Very funny!” I yelled just trying to laugh it off. But as word does in elementary school, the rumor that I peed my pants at recess spread around the entire grade like wildfire. And let me tell you, that was easily my most embarrassing moment as a kid, even though the rumor barely lasted a day.