One of the biggest reasons I call my second hometown so is my undying love for its professional team of a particular sport.
It welcomed me in when I first moved there, being the first thing I learned anew effortlessly. The team is such an integral part of the town, its presence can be felt anywhere you turn to, so I needed no one to teach it to me. The moment I stepped into this town, it embraced me unconditionally – I instantly became a part of it and it became a part of me.
I followed its every game, every player, every score and save, and every move mid- and off-season. I was happy when it won, and sad when it lost… but at the same time, it made me laugh by winning even when I was going through rough times, and cry by losing even when I was having the time of my life. When I recall my years of growing up in this town, the majority of memories are tagged with what was happening with the team at the same time – I went through every up and down in life with it.
One memory that stands out is when I got my mother to take me to an autograph signing by my childhood hero one summer. I stood in line for hours without a word of complaint. Imagine the surprise of her, seeing her baby child who normally waits for others to do things for it and gets quickly bored with anything it does being so active yet patient when it came to matters concerning this team! In my years living in this town, the team grew on me, and it watched me grow as a person.
So, when it came time for me to leave this town to receive higher education elsewhere, it broke my heart that my life would no longer be surrounded by blue-and-white, the team colours… a piece of my heart that broke off was left in this town and with the team. But it did not die – it began beating again many years later when, with advancements in technology, I found a way to follow the team closely (and live, whenever time permits!) from the opposite side of the world via the Internet. Whaddayaknow, after all these years, it can still get me to be active yet patient!
And now, I am watching the team grow. Oh, how times have changed! I now watch the boys go through ups and downs in their lives playing on a team that had welcomed its centennial year this season… which came to an abrupt end yesterday when it lost in sudden-death overtime in the first round of play-offs.
It made me cry, but not just because I was sad – this young team that could not even make the play-offs last season and was under scrutiny of its fans for everything it did wrong to stoop this low received a huge round of applause by them for everything it did right to bounce back and reach so high to stretch the opponent, the league’s top team this season, to its limits! I believe all existing fans grew fonder of it, and it grew on many more people to turn them into new fans. And I am certain that whatever I remember about this day in my life will be tagged with this memory of the team.
Maybe we do not all get to be heroes or stars whose names are recorded in history.
But maybe we all have someone’s name recorded in our life stories, and have ours recorded in someone else’s story.
Maybe life is all about watching his-story in the making this way.
Well done, T.M.L., for a fantastic centennial year, and all the best in the next one-hundred years and more! I look forward to growing old with, and making history along, you.
(P.S. If anyone is interested, I finally finished up my thoughts on life’s condiments… sorry if I took too long in making this story!)