By: Blanca Izquierdo
Almost four years ago, I was offered a life-changing opportunity that would allow me to study while playing the game I love. So, I moved to the United States and became a student-athlete. Certainly, one of the hardest, yet best, decisions of my life. I do not recognize the person I used to be anymore. That is what I called the magic of getting out of your comfort zone; something inside of you changes and there is no way back.
April is here, which means the end of the semester is near. However, part of me doesn’t want school to end. I will be graduating in May and I have absolutely no clue of what comes next. A good friend of mine told me, “Life will take you exactly where you need to be”; but this idea doesn’t make it easier. In the immediate future, there are important decisions to make and way too many emotions.
The last few days have been especially hard. I miss Madrid, even the chaos and the traffic, and I miss my family more than I can express. Usually, during times of confusion and sadness I pray—and I always received an answer. I am sure everybody does, you just have to be willing to listen. Scrolling down my social media, I found an article about the American Eagle and its unique regeneration process. Mother nature has a very particular way to teach us lessons.
The Eagle has the longest life-span of its species; they can live over 70 years. However, when it reaches the age of 40, the eagle has to make a difficult decision. Its nails have become flexible so it’s hard to hunt. The beak has grown sharp towards its chest, and its wings are now very old and heavy. The eagle has two options then: die or going through a painful renovation-process that will last over 150 days.
During this process, the eagle flies to a high mountain peak and nests there. It will start hitting its beak against the wall until it falls off. Then, it will use its brand-new beak to rip off its nails one by one; and once its new nails have grown, the eagle will use them to remove its old feather. Five months later, the eagle renewed can take its “flight of rebirth” and live 30 years more.
Now, I understand my pain. I am in the middle of a rebirth-process. I am letting go of a part of me so I can begin again. We’re constantly going through changes. Some of them are very unexpected and caught us off guard; others are just part of the different stages of life. Change is the only constant, and I am, like the eagles, ready for my rebirth flight.