Just a little photography.
I don’t see the Philadelphia Phillies as everyone else does. I have learned some of the most important lessons of my life by just watching a nine-inning game.
At age five, my dad took me to my first Phillies game. By the third inning I began to catch on to the social norm of the atmosphere. Throwing your peanut shells on the ground was okay; it was almost necessary to get a hot dog; and the people around you automatically became your friends after a good play.
From that game on, every Sunday when there was a home game, my dad and I were there. One particular Sunday, my dad and I were walking around the Vet scrambling to find tickets. We almost gave up hope when a man came up to us and said, “You’re daughter is beautiful, here are two free tickets.” Being young, I didn’t judge the man who gave us the tickets although his clothes were tattered and his beard was straggly. And so I learned my first lesson sitting two rows behind home plate. People will surprise you-sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.
You would have thought the world was ending when my dad explained to me that the Vet was being torn down. This sacred space was where I learned to love the Phillies; the place I formed an unbreakable bond with my father; and a place that I considered my second home. I screamed and cried, begging my dad to let me go grab a piece of the Vet after they tore it down. The most he did was take me to the stadium as I sat crying watching my childhood crumble before my eyes. Although it took a few days to get over, I realized that everything comes to an end, something’s you have no control over. You need not dwell on the things you can’t control. Learn from the past and move forward.
Without a doubt, my father and I were at the first official game on April 12, 2004 at Citizen’s Bank Park. Although playing at a different location, the same feelings, along with new ones rushed back as I watched the first pitch.
The tradition I shared with my dad was cut short when he passed away across the street from Citizen’s Bank Park. For a while, I refused to attend Phillies games or go near the sidewalk in which he collapsed. The first Father’s Day without my dad, my family and I decided to go to a Phillies game. What I learned from this experience is that sometimes you have to let go of old traditions and embrace new ones with open arms, no matter how hard it may be.
When you were little, everything seemed easier. You liked the people that smiled and you ignored those who frowned. You ate when you were hungry and drank when you were thirsty. The little things were what made you happy. Now it seems the older we get, the more we complicate things for ourselves. We drink alcohol to cope and eat comfort food to fill our voids. So why not try to go back to the days when things were simple?
Life has thrown a lot my way and I’ve been struggling to find happiness. I looked in all the wrong places, when the 5 simple rules for happiness were right in front of me. In order to be happy, one has to free their heart from hatred, free their mind from worries, live simply, give more and expect less. Have a joy in everything you do and help those around you.
“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” - Oscar Wilde