Well, this is awkward.

For me, the idea of working in sports is awkward. I never followed sports. I played them, sometimes watched them, but never craved them. I realized very quickly that Minor League Baseball falls under ‘entertainment’ more than anything.

You know what’s also awkward? Getting furloughed.

Getting furloughed in an industry that you never thought you would work in, somewhere that you never knew all the ins and outs on or the amount of people that were employed in the industry is awkward. For your sport season to be on hold due to a global pandemic, and for the season to officially get cancelled after waiting from Opening Day in April until the last day in June, awkward. To have the official cancellation statement go public a week after being furloughed, not having access to your email, etc., is awkward.

Working day after day after day after day, weekends included, coming up with and posting new content during a quarantine is awkward. Imagine creating content endlessly with your department not knowing when it was going to end, hitting every demographic possible. Day after day after day after day. Alone in your apartment. Attempting to keep people smiling and happy, while you’re trying to do so yourself. Awkward. (Here’s where I wanted to put the ‘ammmmiiiiritteee?’ but I stopped myself because I’m trying to be an adult)…

The uncertainty, the anxiety, the questions, the feeling of knowing no matter how much you do or how great at your job you are, you could be jobless in seconds. It continues to happen to people all around the state, the country,  the world. The idea of ever having to file for unemployment in your entire life is something that you think you’d never have to do. It’s awkward to have to file for unemployment at the age of 24.

I’ve gone back and forth a million times in my head, do I want to talk about this/do I not want to talk about this?  The more people that continued to reach out to me about the season, the more I felt like I needed to be more vocal about what’s not being talked about.

You feel lost… confused, yet also rejuvenated because you quickly become very aware of how much you did every day.

You have to use every piece of positive self talk that you’ve ever learned to build up the courage to continue to be proud of who you are and the things that you’ve done, all while knowing there are thousands of people in the same position with all different backgrounds, experiences and ages. 

Not everyone’s feelings or situations have been talked about or will be talked about, because it’s that awkward feeling of feeling shamed versus feeling ashamed.

How can they do this to me? Why is this happening to me? I never thought this would happen to me. All these small questions go through your head. Regardless of the answers you have, you still remain uneasy.

The random tears, they continue to come out of nowhere. We continue to get texts and messages from people reaching out, and we relive the hurt. It’s not tears you can control, they just fall. Sometimes you’re not even sure why. You have no control, just like we had no control of these current circumstances. There are SO many people in the industry in the same position.

The emotions are insane, yet incredible that they are there because it’s a reminder, that we shouldn’t need a reminder for; you are proud of who you are and you are proud of all that you stand for. 

If I learned one thing out of all this and same goes for you, it’s that you know what you deserve when times get rough. Let this remind us all that we deserve a lot, and it is our responsibility to continue to be ourselves and love ourselves daily.

Minor League Baseball and the Hartford Yard Goats has given me an opportunity that I never thought I would ever come across or that I would enjoy so much. I’ve learned that it is possible to hold a position and be in a role where you can fully be yourself and people will love you for just that (including yourself). Always ask the awkward questions, smile and laugh when you want to, do your job the best way you know how and continue to explain how you can create an impact and change, sharing how things can improve if you implement XYZ. With time, we’ll figure out what my future will hold with Minor League Baseball and the sports industry. It’s like waiting for a guy you like to text back. Will it be tomorrow, 3 months, 6? What if a better, more-well rounded, guy comes your way? Do you text back, do you say you’re not interested, do you tell them you’re kinda seeing someone else? 

It’s hard to know that the Minor League Baseball season is not happening. It is especially tough for those that continue to work, are furloughed (me, hi) or are laid off within the industry. I am walking away from this year’s opportunity that I was supposed to have where I would’ve been the one “running the show” … calling up to the production booth  pre, during and post game, overseeing our promotions team for a second year in a row and being able to meet thousands of people in 70 games in downtown Hartford, CT. I was going to be the one that people could lean on, feel comfortable with, rely on for smiles and support. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity some day, maybe I won’t. There is so much uncertainty, and every day things continue to drastically change.

There are so many of us that have not only lost the opportunity to work with our coworkers that were in place back in March, but also the opportunity to be around life-long friends daily. Knowing you’ll never be around your group of coworkers, the same energy and vibes ever again, all due to circumstances you cannot control. Awkward.

Using this time as a reflection of why I am who I am and what makes me the worker that I have been and will continue to be is exactly what I’m going to do. What the future holds… I have no idea, but I will trust my mentors, my network, my family and friends to lead me and continue to guide me in a direction where I am able to continue to be me, be happy and continue to love the life I live.

You can’t let them or this break you.  The person who you show you are right now, will make you the person that you are continuing to become. This isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you. Embrace the awkward.

^ Hi Ana, ya gurl has been furloughed effective June 27, 2020.

To the Minor League Baseball community, I’m impressed by your strength, dedication and commitment to the sport, to the fans, and to the sports industry. We’re all in this together.

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