There are many people out there who grow up watching what their family does for a living, and cannot wait to go in a different direction. I am not one of those people.
Whether I have liked it or not, I always followed the career path that my brother paved. We are not similar in many ways: he is a Yankees fan, I love the Mets. My life revolves around sports, his athletic intake is limited to what he sees at work. Yet, we have found ourselves strolling down identical roads.
My brother attended one school, and was always intent on becoming a lawyer. Seven years younger, so was I. If it is hard to tell, my life revolves around arguing with others about why I am right about sports and they are wrong. In their roots, the job of a lawyer is really to argue.
Next thing I know, he transferred schools and majors. I do not remember much of his day-to-day college life and course schedule, but my brother ended up going into the journalism field. An internship at CBS here, another at ABC there, and he was building his connections in the real world.
I, however, was stuck in my fantasy land of still becoming a professional athlete. I figured I would be the next Mike Piazza when I was a kid, but when I was not even the best in my Little League I came to the realization that maybe baseball was not for me.
So, tennis became my life. I had always played as a kid, taken classes at the home of the U.S. Open, and to be frank, I was far better at it. Going into high school, the team looked at me as a savior of sorts, thinking I was better than I actually was because they took classes at the same center in a lower level than I did. Sorry guys, I am no Roger Federer.
Nevertheless, tennis enveloped me, and it still surrounds me to this very day. I did decently in high school, and perhaps if I did not give up on the “dream,” I would not be at Stony Brook right now and I would be at another low-level Division I program working a full-time job as a player on the tennis team while completing my studies.
I had no interest in that.
Since my junior year of high school, I have worked as a coach for the USTA. Considering only my grandparents followed tennis, it seemed odd that I would have a mind for the game. That is my passion: teaching others the sport that I love. If I could, I would do it for the rest of my life.
But, it is not financially reasonable. I found the next best way to stay in touch with the sport while still being close to it, and that is journalism. Years later, I had found my way back to where my brother was, following in his footsteps.
He now works as a coordinating producer at Good Morning America, while I strive to write for a magazine covering tennis, eventually working my way onto ESPN.
Stony Brook was a far quicker decision. Close. Growing. Affordable. It was simple as that. That is where I have come from, where have you?