The freedom of choice brings joy to my bland life


Paulina Diesen

My friend and I a year ago at a football game.

I have been active in sports my whole life. Every season has been filled with practices, games, tournaments, and competitions. So, it came as a surprise to my parents when I decided to drop out of Crew—an activity that would have filled my spring season.

Though I am unaware of the reasoning I chose to break the cycle of spring sports, I’m finding more control throughout it.  As much as I love the companionship I have found through the plethora of sports available to me, I hated the feeling of constantly being on a schedule that was chosen by others. 

I enjoy planning out my day and being able to cross off the small tasks I list in black ink. Having time to fill my day with small activities that bring me joy and the ability to make the choice to exercise, read, and do my homework fills me with pure bliss. 

Sports seasons take that ability away from me. Suddenly, all I have time for is my homework, a quick, thoughtless snack, and then it’s time for practice before I come home, eat, and do more homework. 

I appreciate repetition, but this left little space for the relaxation I usually find is through the people around me. 

You just have to live in the now.”

— Paulina Diesen

I now have a gaping hole after school that can be filled with small trips with friends, a trip to the grocery store, a deliciously crafted snack, or a FaceTime call with a close friend. 

My longing to find happiness in the privilege to choose my schedule finally convinced me to release my idea of continuation I had placed on sports. 

Within the past two days, I have been able to do activities I normally wouldn’t have time to do such as my own nails, go to Meijer with my mom, and just take time to enjoy my own presence.

Freedom of choice is a beautiful gift; it gives you the joy of making your own decisions and feeling responsible for your own health and safety. 

This may only be for two months, but I plan on appreciating every second of it through doing the things I love. When my two months are up, all I can do is hope that I find small moments of time to do the things I love.

Over the years, I’ve learned that I just have to live in the now.