I took a trip up to Oakland hills to see my great uncle and already, on the drive to Oakland, I was contemplating my life and turning over some questions in my head, mainly struggling with my goals and how lofty they were. Thinking about even aspiring that high made me wonder if I was just another silly dreamer trying to achieve a dream that was not fit for me. After all, my dreams are not only gargantuan-they are also an extreme rarity. For the first time in my life, I doubted myself.
However, as I spent the day with my uncle, I suddenly lost all doubt and felt ready. He is and always has been a man of wisdom who has seen and experienced a lot. Yet, he's an almost eighty year old who looks like he's fifty. It's amazing. And he still has game, which is cool. But, he was faithful to his wife literally until death did them part. Even though my dad works extremely hard, watching my uncle do it even in old age inspires me to work hard in football. This is just my uncle as a person.
At the end of the day, we were sitting in his car talking about what my explicit goals were for college and I mentioned my doubt to him about my goals because they were so lofty and so rare. He gave me the usual family lines about how everyone would still be proud of me if I didn't do what i wanted to do and how I am accomplishing so much already. I told him how that wasn't enough for me and how I wanted to be different and accomplish more and how anything less would be a waste of my life. The next thing he said when he opened his mouth made me feel like God was speaking to me.
After I told my uncle about my combination of confidence and doubt with football and how even though no one believed in me, I believed I could be a great student and athlete without having to sacrifice one, he told me, "Jordan, if you think you can do it, do it. Make it happen. When you block, block your ass off. When you run, run hard. If someone hits you, you better make sure you hit them twice as hard as they hit you so they know not to come your way. And for school, work hard like you've been working. God has given you gifts. If you use them, there shouldn't be a problem." At that point, I realized that after God himself, I controlled my destiny. God has a plan for me. However, I can control how much of his plan comes to fruition by how hard I work and how well I perform in any venue. A line that always pops up in my head when I have doubt comes from a line in Pharrell William's song "Lavish". "If you look in the sky and you don't see the dream, don't feel defeated 'cuz trust me, you can build it."