Happy May!! I hope everyone enjoyed the Sakura season! I can’t believe that 1/3 of 2022 has already passed! I am Kayo Kimizono studying in the Faculty of Economics (PEARL), currently the new third year on the team.
Before starting, I would like to announce the game results for this week’s league games. 春季リーグ戦第二週の戦績は以下の通りです。
Today I want to start off by talking about a recent traumatizing experience that I have gone through in the past few days. Due to the changing temperature and humidity, my apartment hallways have been filled with spiders. Usually, in the morning, I don’t see many spiders but when I head home after training at night and lift my head, I see spiders crawling around everywhere. As someone who is terrified of bugs and living alone now, every night walking from my apartment elevator to my door is a nightmare. So, one morning I decided I must do something about it… I held the bug repellant spray in one hand and a cardboard box in the other to protect myself. I sprayed the whole front door area with the spray including the light on top and the spray was probably too effective because the spiders all crawled all immediately!! At that moment, I burst into tears. I blanked out… and without even locking my door, I rushed into the elevator. Just when I was in despair, my apartment manager came to the rescue and walked me to my room, used his bare hands to get rid of the spiders, and told me he will find a way to not let them come back again. He was literally my lifesaver; I am so thankful for what he has done for me.
The reason I wanted to mention the spider incident was that I wanted to talk about the art of comforting people today. When I had my traumatizing experience with the spiders, the comfort I needed was a simple one. I just needed someone to help me remove the spiders. But sometimes, comforting others is just not as simple as getting rid of a spider. Recently during our league tournament, I feel this even more.
The ace of our team Koume, who I am very proud of and glad to be able to be her teammate and 同期. She is very considerate of others, wants the best for the team, and hence puts a lot of pressure on herself. Yet, being the ace, she is also someone who does not have a stone-strong mentality, especially in volleyball. This is what I love and respect deeply about her, she can be the scariest player in the tournament in terms of her power and height but she has her vulnerable sides and emotions that come once in a while (or maybe a little more than that).
Recently during our league season, I can feel that she is putting enormous pressure on herself since being identified as the ‘ace’, she wants to fulfill her responsibility, lives up to people’s expectations, and lead our team to the win. However, looking at her beating herself up for not performing well, I don’t know what exactly I can do to comfort her. I want to tell her that it is not your fault, nobody is blaming you, don’t apologize for it. I really want to show her how I see her through my eyes because from my perspective she will forever be someone I look up to both skill-wise and as a person. Yes, we all have bad days but having one bad day does not mean all the efforts you put in are going to waste.
Every time when I see my teammates disappointed in their performance or belittling their selves for not doing better, I desperately want to comfort them but I just don’t know the best way to do so. I realize the art of comforting people is really a hard thing to master. I know that sometimes when I am feeling down, I really just want to be left alone and I myself don’t even know what others can say to make me feel better. This is unlike the spider incident where there is a simple solution to it just by removing the problem. But when it comes to matters like this, there is nothing tangible, it is all an abstract mind-game. What can I really say or do to cheer people up during times like this? This is something I have been trying to find a solution for recently.
I may not be able to contribute to our team in terms of playing in games on the court, but I want to try to get better at this art of comforting people. I want to show them how I see them through my perspective – that they each are a star on their own and all 21 players have their own specialness that I aspire to be. Maybe, even just a little tiny bit, I want to be like how my apartment manager was my lifesaver in a pinch. I know it is going to be hard to find a solution to this, but I will be constantly searching for it.
I hope everyone reading this is enjoying their golden week holiday! I still have in-person school tomorrow so it really does not feel like a holiday… But please dress warmly during this unstable season and stay healthy! Lastly, thank you so much for your constant support for our team. It is near the peak of our league games so as a team, we will work even harder!!