Here we are in 2021, and covid season is still going on around the world, with people wearing masks, social distancing, and trying to find a new way to cope. I’ve scraped through the year trying to figure what to do with my life when all my plans has been thrown away since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Here I am, sharing this story, a piece that I thought would be good to share with you.
The whole world was in total silence at the start of the pandemic, a moment where everyone else stopped for a moment and thought about how we are going to survive, where we kept seeing a rise in the death rate of people dying from coronavirus. It wasn’t normal, particularly because everything, including sports, pubs, cafes, and retail stores, were closed. People were terrified, worried, and panicked and we weren’t able to interact with our love ones. I wasn’t sure how I was going to adapt this new lifestyle, a new way of living because I am person who love to go out and interact with people in various places, going to conferences or try to do things out of the ordinary.
I was supposed to attend my 2nd International Qualitative Research Sport and Exercise Conference at Durham University last June 2020 and it has been postponed until sometime next year. I was gutted, sad, torn and it was the same year that I was planning to go to Canada because I wanted to go back and travel around the country. I had my plans; I had a vision and a goal that I wanted to achieve, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want to go. Life is a rollercoaster and there will be bumps along the way, but you just have to learn how to go around it, past it, or even have to push people away to get through it. I asked myself how I managed to survive through the whole year when my plans didn’t go the way I would like them to be. I knew I wasn’t alone, and I had people I care about who are always there for one another, and we should be thankful for technology! Plenty of facetime, zoom calls and even going outside to see friends with social distancing when we were allowed to do so throughout lockdown in the UK. What a ride it has been, but now that we have the vaccine, it is time to begin to regain some semblance of normality.
As you can see, I used the title ‘The Missing Piece.’ I could have put The Missing Pieces, where I could have talked about losing someone I care about or quitting a job, my experience of being isolated throughout the pandemic but what I really want to conceptualize a piece within yourself. You can think about it in several ways, but I want to talk about it because I felt like I lost a piece of myself during the pandemic year. I wasn’t sure who I was, who I wanted to be, or how much I took for granted in life but what kept me going is my ambition.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote my thoughts in my diary. I wrote that I actually enjoyed the virtual conference for the past few days, interacting with people online, learning new things using qualitative research in sport. Everything is moving in the right direction, and I am currently talking to people about what I want to do for my PhD and where I want to go. Everyone who knows me or follows my journey knows that I am a strong person who prefers to focus on the positive and my goals. I never back down or give up what I have; instead, I always tell myself, “What can I do today to make my day better?” and focus on the present; the future will take care of itself. I was very fortunate to be hired by UK Deaf Sport in January, and I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to support every deaf person in the UK to participate in sport. Recently, I developed a project in which I delivered activity packs to Deaf children in London so that they could engage in physical activity with their families at home who were going through a difficult time during the covid period.
What was the point of telling you this? As you can see, I have the foundations, the motivation to achieve my goals, family, and friends. But I’m missing one piece. A piece that I thought would make my whole world a better place, and from which I would never move on. For those who are curious or are familiar with my journey, I am not referring to my father. There’s that piece that I’m not sure what it is, but I feel like I missed it somehow, and it’s changed my life. Often I’m in a good mood, and other times I’m not. I was led to believe the piece was my guardian, keeping me safe and protected. You never really get over it; you just learn to live with it. I will always be the same person, I will always learn as I grow, I will always inspire and allow myself to recover mentally and emotionally. However, finding the missing piece and fighting for it will be difficult, and it will be a burden I will bear for the rest of my life. I know God has put me in this situation, and I must trust the process.
What holds me together isn’t the missing piece. My relationship with God, as well as my family and friends, are what keep me going. Every day, my job, my goals, and my dreams allow me to breathe and enjoy every moment of my life. Concentrate about what you can do now, and the future will take care of itself. I understand that not everyone believes in God. However, everyone has their own belief, faith, hope, and love, and how you use it is entirely up to you.
God Bless, Thomas
“They have to live it for themselves – You can’t do it for them.”