I love the word ‘discombobulated’. I have loved it ever since I first learned the word in school, which was, ahem, a long time ago. The first meaning of the word in dictionary.com is as follows:
Discombobulate: verb (used with object), discombobulated, discombobulating. 1. to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate: e.g. ‘The speaker was completely discombobulated by the hecklers’.
Now some of you who follow this blog or follow me on twitter, might have noticed that the Gerry Weber Open came and went without a single post from me. Roger Federer’s first tournament on grass this year, yet not a peep from moi. It’s not that I haven’t had the time to write; rather I haven’t known exactly what to write. Not because I have lost my passion for it but because, this grass season, or rather, the anticipation for this grass season has made me a bit discombobulated. I don’t know how I feel about it.
A part of me is super excited because Federer on grass is as close to perfection as tennis can ever get. But another part of me is so petrified of it because Roger, I, you, we, they have all been gearing up for this Halle-Wimbledon stretch. He didn’t go deep at the Australian Open: ‘no problem, at least it wasn’t in Wimbledon.’ He crashed out in the first round in Madrid: ‘well that was clay; wait till the grass season comes around.’ Well, now it’s here and it’s making me want to fast forward through it all because I don’t want to handle the stress. But then he hits those beautiful shots and shows off his nonchalant brilliance and I squeal with delight, temporarily forgetting all the worry and anxiety. See the conflict?
And that’s not all. There’s a third part of me too, the part that feels frozen. I feel like if I even talk or write about Roger’s upcoming grass season, I might jinx it somehow. The biggest lesson I learned from 2013 was to take it one match at a time. Somehow for this season, that lesson has gotten ridiculously and insanely intense in my mind. I feel like I shouldn’t even take the time to process each match and prepare for the next one. I am living in a heightened state of trying to be in the present so much that until the ball is struck in the upcoming match, I choose not to even think about it.
I am struggling, trying to manage my expectations while keeping my excitement in check and yet allowing myself to enjoy the season as well. With so much confusion and ambiguity swirling in my head, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think I can write a coherent post. My mind is definitely not clear enough for scheduled match reports so I didn’t do that for Halle and I have decided that I won’t be doing them for Wimbledon either. Instead, I am going back to the basics – just Roger and I, the way it began my fan journey. Only the sound of tennis balls leaving his racquet followed by the audience oohing and aahing in reverence will serve as commentary.
Speaking of commentary, I’m not sure if I already discussed this in my previous posts, so I’ll quickly mention it here: I don’t watch any of Roger’s matches with English commentary. I stopped doing that after the Rome 2013 final. That year was already tough but the commentators were not only merciless in that match, they were downright disrespectful. I decided after that day never to listen to commentary again for my own peace and sanity. So I either watch his matches in languages I don’t understand (i.e. any language other than English) or if I can’t find any non-English stream, then I watch in mute or very low volume such that I can only hear the cheers of the crowd. It has been over two years and I have never thought of going back. But enough of that tangent, back to the topic at hand…
I think I was able to enjoy Halle more without the additional self-imposed, pressure of writing posts. Given the anxiety/excitement I was feeling during the tournament, it was a relief that I didn’t have to make sense of my incoherent thoughts. I enjoyed each match as it happened and that was that. This tells me I should continue in this manner for Wimbledon. I will be on twitter with my streams up on my TV/laptop screens. I will clutch my pillow and rock back and forth with nervous excitement and Roger will glide across the grass like an ethereal spirit in white. Hopefully this will continue for 2 weeks at the end of which, Roger will hold up that golden pineapple while I will cry tears of joy.
I won’t be totally gone of course. I still might write random posts if the inspiration strikes me mid-tournament. I will also continue to update the RF stats pages of this blog. And as I mentioned above, I will be active on twitter as always, frazzling out 😀 I do hope to be back with regular posts soon. It would be great if you still remember this blog after this hiatus.
In the meantime, in honor of one of my favorite words, I leave you with a soundtrack also titled ‘Discombobulated’ that somehow goes perfectly with my conflicting and confusing moods for this grass season. Enjoy! Wishing the Maestro all the best! One match at a time Champ, you got this! I, we, us will all be there with every hair flick, death stare and roar – Chum Jetzt Roger!
***These happy pre-tournament photos are from the Wimbledon site. May we have such happy photos again in about 2 weeks***