Since I wrote the other day about not feeling accepted and welcomed around some places, I think it's apropos I share where I DO feel accepted, welcomed, and respected.
I mentioned I feel comfortable around the ladies league I play in, and also my Monday night league. I'd like to expand on that because something pretty amazing happened - someone shared with me last week some pretty wild compliments.
She told me that the ladies in the women's league look up to me. I was shocked and humbled because I don't know why and I don't fully comprehend it. But, obviously the words made my day to hear such compliments.
My friend told me that I am a "stellar" player and an "icon" and that the other players welcomed me on the league because they know I play well. When I was added to the roster, she told me that people asked, "is that THE Melinda Bailey?" I told my friend I don't even know how people even know me and she kinda laughed at me, in a loving way.
She shared that a lot of people watch my matches to try and learn; they watch my choices on the table carefully. I have always felt a lot of eyes on me. It isn't really a comfortable feeling, lol. It puts pressure on me to play well. And when I miss or mess up, I get a little self conscious. But, I also love that the ladies like to learn and so I hope they DO see why I choose the shots I choose to shoot (or NOT
She also added that I show no fear when I play, and exhibit a lot of confidence. She said that is helpful for the ladies to witness; and they want to be that type of player.
However, I also have a bulls eye on my head! *I* am the target. When the girls on other teams beat me at league or in local tourneys, the claps are louder, lol. It's like, "Hey, you beat that real good girl!"
I don't mind really, I like team dynamics and team support so I think it's great they all watch each others' matches and show the love.
I also notice tho that people tend to try and impress me, and also apologize to me when they miss. They want to play well FOR me (as funny as that sounds) and they apologize when they miss or explain why they missed. I chuckle to myself because I think it's the cutest thing they feel they have to justify what happened, lol.
Another friend told me I give the players on the league something to endeavor for. They aren't upset I joined the league, instead, I make them WANT to improve because they see how well good players can be. I guess I give them something to strive for. Too bad they can't see my fellow players fron the OB Cues Ladies Tour - those women put me to shame, lol!
It is a little discerning when I play people and they play nervous against me. I'm just another player, feeling the pressure, too. In all honesty, I have more pressure than them because I'm suppose to win, lol. But, I keep hearing (or can see) that people are nervous against me. I would instead want their best game. But, I also know it takes years and years of playing better players in all types of competition to get over that.
I really love the ladies league and love that they accept me and respect me. But I admit I don't know how to respond when people tell me I'm a role model. Someone told me that last night and it made me feel kinda uneasy. I mean, it's cool and all to be a good player, but it's also weird when people say they are my biggest fan. I am trying to wrap my mind around that concept - I just see myself as a person who loves pool. I'm no pro or anything; just an amateur female player that can play well sometimes. To hear people say they use to follow me and watch me at bigger tournaments is a very unexpected, funky feeling.
However, I don't mind being a role model. I LOVE helping people and their games. And, I have a lot to share (mistakes not to make and nuggets for improvement). I also like that I've slowed down from drinking. I think drinking made me look like a fool, not a good pool player or a good person quite frankly.
I'm uncomfortable talking about all this, because I know I sound vain, but I promise I am just as surprised as the rest of everyone to hear these compliments. But, if I can share that I don't feel accepted (which was VERY difficult for me to admit and share), then I can also step out of my comfort zone and share that some people do accept me because I play good pool and am a good person.
I want to send a special shout out to the Women of Grand Prairie ladies league for welcoming me with open arms! And to my b/f's team for welcoming me on their team on Mondays. Thank you for showing the love! :)