It’s my birthday! And I’m so cool that I’m taking the time to write my blog. I’m turning 25. I won’t be long because I’ve got big plans and can’t spend too much time writing. I’m kidding of course; I have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever.
Anyway, when you have a birthday you tend to think about life a little bit. I’ve had the chance to do that and I’m ok with where things are at the moment. On one hand, I’m 25 with little savings, no real close friends living locally and playing at a level that isn’t so thrilling to me. In athlete terms, I’m just about middle aged. On the other hand, I’m chasing my dream. I’m seeing a part of the world and learning about a culture that I never would without soccer. I have so much free time and so little stress. I have no debt of any kind and using my free time to learn Swedish and html, among other things. I’ve made a few new friends that are really important to me and gotten new experiences that can’t be gained through a book or even a vacation.
Some of the things that I’ve thought about are specific to being abroad. For instance, as I get older I start to sense my time in Europe coming to a close. Now I don’t think that I’ll move back anytime soon, but eventually I plan on returning to America to live. I would actually like to come back at some point and play in MLS (not “the” MLS) or USL/NASL if it’s in the right city. It would be a dream for me to play for DC United or the Philly Union, but in my opinion it’s more likely that I make a big club in Scandinavia than get a decent salary and position in an MLS team. That’s the main reason I decided to have a go in Europe. In my ideal world, I get 3-4 years of big time soccer in Europe then come back to MLS around 29-30 on a good salary and so I can still be an important player. My game revolves around my athleticism, though I think I’m pretty smart as well. When I’m 33 though, I probably won’t be the fastest or strongest guy around. I don’t want to return to America and MLS so late that no one wants me. In that case though I could still see myself very happy at the Tampa Bay Rowdies or some yet to be created USL/NASL team in Indianapolis. I just want to play soccer for as long as I can without ruining my future. I don’t want to wake up on my 35th birthday still playing soccer in a lower league in Europe with no money. At some point you have to grow up; luckily for me 25 doesn’t seem to be that point.
Enough now of me talking on this day of days. I realize that the blog has been a bit stale this month. To be honest I keep writing it as much as a keepsake for my future self as for possible readers. You can be sure that I will keep writing it for as long as I’m in Europe. That said, things will definitely get more interesting in July. My contract is effectively up on July 15 and at the moment I have no idea if I will be offered an extension. Also, the team has two weeks off for the midseason break in the second half of July so I’m sure to do some traveling and perhaps even some new trials during that time. Uncertainty is a big inspiration for me to write. That’s why I wrote a blog almost every day in February and only about once every 3-4 days in June. Everything was new then and my situation changed almost daily. July will probably be bad for my nerves, but great for the blog!