The day you knew it was going to come. That’s what it felt like yesterday morning, when I informed the club, trainers and my teammates at VC Moldavo of my decision to leave the club, effective immediately. I used to call them traitors, those people that abandon their club in the middle of the season. I never thought I’d become one myself. And of course, I didn’t do it for no reason.
15 hours earlier I’m driving home from practice on a pitch black and almost empty highway. Tired, in a bad mood, and smelling, because of course, on that one day in two years I decide not to shower at the club, I trip in a pool of mud.
But I’m not just tired because I had a bad night’s sleep, and not just in a bad mood because I trained terribly. It’s something deeper. As if there’s a dark cloud hanging hovering over my mood. As if I already know what to do, but keep denying it, in the hope that a solution will fall from the sky unexpectedly. But that solution won’t come. And if I’m completely honest with myself, I’ve known that for quite a while.
After a quick shower at home, I settle down on the couch in my pajamas. ‘So, tell me,’ my dad says, who knows exactly what’s going on, but knows it’s so much more effective to let me tell the story myself. ‘What’s wrong?’ I immediately feel tears welling up, but I push them back. Come on, Emma. You turned 24 last week. Try to act like an actual adult for once. The moment I open my mouth to talk, the tears come anyway.
‘It’s over’, I say. Two words that tell the entire story. ‘It’s over.’ It’s like I’ve already made my decision, and it feels like I’m dropping three suitcases of luggage off of my shoulders. But my dad wants an explanation. Is something wrong at the club? No, the club is fine. Is it the girls? No, the girls are fine. Are you fighting with the coach? No, the coach is fine. ‘So what is it?’ he tries. ‘Everything.’
Is it Moldavo?
That night, I’m in bed, trying to remember when I really looked forward to going to practice. A long, long time ago. The truth is that I’ve been having less and less fun at football for the past couple of months. That extremely motivated, even obsessed Emma, that spent three nights a week kicking balls against a wall even before team practice, feels like a completely different person.
But is it because of Moldavo? Partially. It’s not that one or multiple factors at the club made me not want to play football anymore. I think I just need some distance from the sport. Become fit and healthy again. Let some injuries heal. Don’t feel pressure. Fall in love with the sport again that I’ve spent so many years being crazy about.
‘Well, they probably don’t want me gone, but I don’t think they’re gonna be really sad about it’, I tell a friend, while I announce my decision to the rest of the world on social media. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. The rest of the day, my phone overflows with sweet messages from teammates, telling me how sad they are that I’m leaving. With tears in my eyes and shaking hands, I read them all.
The time has come
I’ve played for Moldavo for almost two years. It were two interesting, sometimes difficult, but extremely wonderful and lovely years. I’ve played amazing games, met fantastic people, and my vocabulary has gained more than a few gems. My first real experience playing abroad has been one I will look back on with a huge smile on my face, and I’m grateful that I got to be a part of the warm, generous club called VC Moldavo. But the time has come for a change.
Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂