Miss

My Kobe Bryant Heartbreak

Kobe Bryant, one of my favourite basketball players and one of the best to ever play the game, announced that he would retire at the end of the season.  When I read his beautiful, heartfelt letter on The Players’ Tribune, tears filled my eyes and ran down my face.  It was official.  My favourite [male] basketball player was officially coming to the end of his career.

It hurt me to see Kobe suffer from major injury, after major injury, over the past three seasons, especially as his age made it harder for him to fight back.  Kobe’s decline in this current season has broken my heart, as his body continues to break down, preventing him from being the stellar player we all know he is.  Unfortunately, he won’t be going out in a blaze of glory in his final season, but at least he can see that his time is up and I rate him for that.

When I became a basketball fan, Kobe Bryant was the first player that I fell in love with.  In fact, he was one of the main reasons why I became a Lakers fan and why I always will be.  I could see that he wasn’t perfect and had many flaws, but I love him for who he is.  One of the main reasons why I love Kobe is because of his work ethic.  He is tenacious and he will fight to win, carrying the whole team on his back and trying to get them back into a game all on his own.  It didn’t always work, but when it did, it was magic.

Kobe is also resilient, playing through pain and displaying the most unbelievable endurance.  His strength inspires me and sometimes when I work out, I think about what he does to motivate me and push me harder.  I may not be a sportsperson, but I definitely have the ability to push a little harder if he can shoot two free throws with a torn Achilles — that was an amazing moment for me.

Seeing Kobe play for the Lakers and appear in All-Star games has been a constant for me since I started following the NBA, so knowing that he will no longer be a part of that is really sad for me, but time does move on and people get older.  As much as I hate to say it, this is definitely the right time for Kobe to retire, but at least I’ve had the opportunity to see him play and watch him win two of those five championships.  I also got a close glimpse of him in London, after he’d won his second Olympic gold, which is something that I will treasure forever.

I know that this couldn’t have been an easy decision to make for Kobe, as you can see how much he loves the game, which made me love it right along with him.  Basketball is clearly his first love and having to give up your first love must be one of the hardest things to do.  However, Father Time is knocking and Kobe is showing grace by answering the door, so now it is time of us to start waving good-bye.  I just wish this goodbye could have ended in one final playoff run for him.

For now, I have to say thank you Kobe Bryant for the dedication you showed to the game of basketball and providing us with so many great moments.  You will forever be one of my favourite players and one of the best to ever grace the court.

Kobe Bryant

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Missing the Old Times

As I celebrated the birthday of a friend I’ve grown up with, it was funny to hear many of us say that we missed the old days or wonder how we had all drifted so far apart.

Growing up results in numerous changes, as we all head down different avenues in our life and start doing new things.  Some of us will be more busy than others and some may begin to drift apart, which can lead to broken friendship groups.

However, no matter how far apart or busy we may be, our group will come together to celebrate a birthday, a baby blessing or any other big occasion.  When we need to be there for each other, then we’ll be there for each other and I know that the majority of us will continue that tradition.

One of the best things about being around the huge group of my church friends again was getting jokes and watching their crazy behaviour, which always leaves in me in fits of laughter and then a sore throat.  Being in that upbeat, joyful environment always makes me feel fresh and a lot younger again.

Celebrating with my lifelong friends and reminiscing about old times was definitely the boost I needed and no matter how lonely or strange I may feel, those moments with those people always make me feel good.  I know that they’re going to be a part of my life forever.

No Place Like Home?

It’s interesting, because no matter how much it may annoy you or how much the weather may frustrate you or how much people bother you, there is no place like home.

While I was away, I seriously began to miss my home, which I had been desperate to get away from just two weeks prior.  It made me realise that one of the better things about getting away is the appreciation it makes you have for home.

However, the weird thing is that when I got back home, I really started to miss Alabama.  In Alabama, the air was clearer, the water was softer and the wider (mainly straight) roads were good for my travel sickness.

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I also started to miss little things, like eating at certain restaurants, particularly IHOP (shout out to our awesome waiter Ali!  He’s got skills man), and having Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch mixed with Reeses’ Puffs for breakfast.

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I miss not being able to buy certain American sweets and chocolate (like mint M&Ms) or walk around the beautiful Oakwood University campus.  I really miss the amazing smelling Bath & Body works, and I want to be able to go shopping at the Madison Square mall (known as the dead mall, which I fell in love with).

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I enjoyed spending time with family I love so much, but rarely get to see (shout out to my Uncle Keith, Aunty Cynthia, Kaleem, Sheereen, Aisha and Jhanielle), and meeting new people, with lovely bright personalities (shout out to Britney, Matthew, Kojo, Glen and Khyle).  I also enjoyed seeing the friends that I don’t get to see (shout out to Ike, Tori and Alyce!).

It’s funny when you think about the little things you miss about a place, but I know that it is a combination of all these things that makes me want to go back to Alabama.  There is no place like home, but man, does it feel great to get away.