The Contentment in Just Watching the Stars

John Louie RamosSenior Writer IMarch 17, 2009

Have you ever experienced letting go of that one thing that makes you happy?

The special thing that gives you motivation day-in and day-out...

The precious thing that you always dream of...

The only thing you ever wanted.

Growing up I was a dreamer. I dreamt of various things, sometimes attainable, most of the time far from reality.

I dreamt of becoming the following; the chief of staff of the armed forces, the first Filipino in space, a business tycoon, a Nobel prize winner, a six-division world boxing champion, a scientist, a Hollywood star, and even the President of my country, the Philippines.

"Playful thinking" is the word.

But the biggest and probably most influential dream I ever had was to become a professional basketball player.

"Wishful thinking" is the word.

You really can't blame a young fellow (who's just starting to grow a moustache) for dreaming. I showed promise.

I was one of the best ballers in our village. I was a member of our high school's varsity team.

Although I'm not gifted with outstanding physical prowess or excellent natural talent, I made full use of two things: my heart and my smarts.

I remember waking up early in the morning, even before the sun was shining, jogging around the village for at least an hour, then being the first person on the basketball court.

I was practicing like crazy, and when the other fellows came to play with me, I'd give it my best performance, making sure it was a "dream" game for me a "nightmare" for them.

It doesn't end there. I was the first one to enter and also was the last one to leave the court.

Well, that was two years ago; it's all different right now. Not that I lost my love for the sport (in fact, it even grew bigger), but sometimes no matter how hard you try, it just won't work the way you want it to.

Only a fool would go after a ship long gone the shore.

A genuine rebel without a cause.

It's not losing dedication.

It's gaining realization.

I have done everything I could, but it ends up not being a matter of "how bad I want it," but rather a question of "how good am I to want it?"

The act of letting go, whether it's a person, a passion, a place, or a sport, is not that painful after all.

You just need to appreciate the things that you have. And here, I'm not talking about basketball, I'm talking about life.

If you're not bound to be an NFL Hall of Famer, don't despair. I'm sure you're good at some other things.

Why not try to be your child's Hall of Famer?

Right now, my passion for the game is at an all-time high. But I've also learned to love other things outside of sports.

I learned to love the one thing that I hated most (which is accounting, by the way).

Though I can't play alongside Kobe, I can still write about him through B/R.

I learned that dreaming of being the next Michael Jordan, the next Brett Favre, or the next Michael Phelps is awesome. But dreaming of being the next Larry Merchant, Bill Simmons, or Rick Reilly is equally awesome.

I dreamt of playing with the stars. Well, I guess I am now content in just watching the stars.