Just Me

Just Me

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Just Me

From the time I was little, I knew I was great ’cause the people would tellme, “You’llmake it—just wait.” But they never did tell me how great I would be if I ever played someone who was greater than me.

When I’m in the back yard, I’m king with the ball.
To swish all those baskets is no sweat at all.
But all of a sudden there’s a man in my face who doesn’t seem to realize that I’m king of this place.

So the pressure gets to me; I rush with the ball.

My passes to teammates could go through the wall.

My jumpers not falling, my dribbles not sure.

My hand is not steady, my eye is not pure.

The fault is my teammates—they don’t understand.

The fault is my coaches—what a terrible plan.

The fault is the call by that blind referee.

But the fault is not mine; I’m the greatest, you see.

Then finally it hit me when I started to see that the face in the mirror looked exactly like me.

It wasn’t my teammates who were dropping the ball, and it wasn’t my coach shooting bricks at the wall.

That face in the mirror that was always so great had some room for improvement instead of just hate.

So I stopped blaming others and I started to grow.

My play got much better and it started to show.

And all of my teammates didn’t seem quite so bad.

I learned to depend on the good friends I had.

Now I like myself better since I started to see that I was lousy being great—I’m much better being me.

Tom Krause

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