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Amanda DaCosta Blog: Snapshots of your life

Amanda DaCosta
Amanda DaCosta

Amanda DaCosta (right) laughing with teammates at a recent USWNT U-23 camp.

Let’s start over. Wipe the slate clean. Start fresh!

But why?

I for one have used these phrases before, and I’ve heard them countless numbers of times coming from others as well. As I sit here in my new home in Boston, excited for the soccer-filled summer that lies ahead of me, I ask myself; when were things ever so bad that I wanted to forget about them? When did something happen in my life where I couldn’t look back on it and take something from it? Whether it be a friend, a lesson, a funny story, a sad story for that matter…anything tangible or not that my future self could use for her own benefit. And then I realized, the answer to that was nothing. Nothing in my life has ever been so bad that I wanted to forget about it.

There was no reason that sparked me wanting to write this tonight, just random thoughts that entered my mind, and thankfully I have a place to put these thoughts! Thanks to freedom of speech, and of course.

I was bored today and looking through pictures on my computer. Isn’t it amazing the type of emotions and memories we can stir up in ourselves when we look at photographs?! I find it pretty amazing that a single still image of our life can tell us so much about who we are, where we’ve been, or where we’re going. Sometimes I wish I had taken a picture capturing one moment a day, even on my bad days. Even on my saddest of days, would I be able to find a deeper meaning by flipping through the photographs? Probably.

I often feel as though we only see what we want to see in a particular moment, or a snapshot if you will. I also believe that we each as individuals have the power to control the happiness of our own snapshots. The external struggles surrounding our daily lives only become our problems if we allow them to. If only we could take these struggles and instead of allowing them to become stress, turn them into obstacles: obstacles that we can learn to overcome in some fashion, and more often than not, grow from them (frown wrinkles aren’t a cute look).

I started forcing myself to live like this a few days after my Bells Palsy began. Every day was the same, like a broken record. I was bored, sad, frustrated, tired, scared–trapped inside of my own head and my own dark apartment. That’s when I realized all of this. I was stuck in my apartment simply because I chose to be. I have two legs that I used to walk me down the stairs to my couch, so why couldn’t I use the same legs to walk me outside of my apartment? I allowed myself to be contained in my sadness, and I blamed what was happening to me to be the problem instead of searching myself for an answer. Once I made the first step to overcome my obstacle, the days went by faster, I started to get healthier, and I was laughing again!

Why would I ever want to wipe any part of my slate clean when I can come to realizations like this one? I am so blessed for every good and bad moment that has ever happened to me, and this means all of the good, bad and ugly pictures too. To be honest, I am almost more thankful for the bad. Without those, who would I be? I would probably be living some fantasy life like the Cleaver family or the people from the movie Pleasantville, and I would certainly not be writing this to all of you right now! Control your happiness. Keep your slate chalked up and never wipe it clean. Look back on the snapshots of your life often, and continue to give yourself the ability to grow.


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