This was the easiest blog for me to write, but the hardest to publish. Easy to write because Ernest Hemingway was right when he said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.” Hard to publish because turning pages are happy times, but they can also hurt. By pushing send, I commit to myself and my readers the path forward.

In this piece, you’ll learn about what has put me in the dark, how I perceived my 25th year on earth would be and you’ll hear a little bit from my younger self. Ultimately, despite the challenges I’ve faced, I am filled with hope for the future. My intention is that this piece resonates with someone who may find themselves at a similar crossroads.

A Note to Self

One month ago, I turned 25 years old. When I was younger, I used to believe that 25 would be the prime of my life. I imagined being in the best shape, flourishing in my LPGA career, and thriving in my personal life (marriage, friendship, family, etc.) It was my perfect plan, and as an optimist, I never doubted that it would turn out that way.

However, the truth is that the past couple of months have been incredibly challenging for me. In January, I received the news that I have nerve damage in my C5-6. We followed up with an MRI in March to check for any herniated discs, but the results were clean. After the MRI, I met with a pain management doctor. He determined that the nerve damage in my C5-6 is a result of damage in my brachial plexus, where C1-6 all connect.

He followed the diagnosis with the piercing words, “You can do physical therapy, try Botox or Lidocaine for temporary relief. It’s an overuse injury that will only improve with rest. You can continue until it becomes unbearable, but I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do.”

As I sat in the exam room, those words echoed in my head, and tears filled my eyes while my dad tried to comfort me, saying, “Let’s see how we can manage this.”

“Manage” is exactly what I’d try to do. I competed in two more events and trained as usual, trying to ignore the numbness, tingling sensations, and burning in my bicep. Yet, it wasn’t just the physical symptoms that affected me. It was the emotional toll and the impact on my heart and soul that truly knocked me off my feet.

To be honest, I’ve been battling internal turmoil for the past few months. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me, and I blamed myself for not being able to take control. Life on the road and chasing my dream is already challenging enough, so how could I handle something as heavy as this?

It took my husband and dad coming to me and saying, “Stop. Stop putting yourself through this pain. Take a break. You’re such an inspirational person that seeks joy in life. This is removing all of that from you. Go find joy again.” “

It sounds simple when put like that, but it’s hard to swallow. How do you set aside a dream you’ve pursued for nearly your whole life? Golf has been a significant part of my identity for 16 years, and it feels like a piece of my heart is being ripped out. Yet, it has come to a point where I have no choice.

Recently, I went back home to Pennsylvania and reconnected with my roots, the things I love, and what made my younger self’s soul ignite. While temporarily walking away from something I held dear as a child, I found it therapeutic to reconnect with my younger self.

I realized that my little Brynn dreamed of playing on the LPGA, winning majors, and fist-pumping for Team USA at the Solheim Cup, and there’s no denying that. However, she didn’t know about the difficulties and sacrifices that come with pursuing those dreams. She didn’t know about the time spent away from loved ones, the lonely nights in hotel rooms, the deflating defeats, and the hollowness of a pursuit that is mainly self-rewarding. Most importantly, she didn’t know that she would face a significant roadblock in the form of an injury. Younger Brynn would have been proud of how far I’ve come, but she would have also understood that maybe there’s another plan that I cannot see. Taking a step in that direction was going to take faith and courage.

Faith is something I sometimes left behind while on the road chasing my dream. Without faith, it’s nearly impossible for me to find peace and purpose in an uncertain future that I cannot fully grasp. During those days at home, I started to feel a sense of calm that had been absent from my life for nearly three years. Instead of tightly gripping the steering wheel as we do with a golf club when we are trying to steer it to our target, I was learning to let go and accept a plan that went beyond my own understanding.

I’m uncertain about what lies ahead in the coming days, months, and years of my life. If my body, heart, and mind heal, then I will play professionally again. When will that be? Like many things in life, I don’t know. And, if it never ceases to happen, golf will always be a part of my life. It has been one of the great loves of my life, and I will never let it go. I hope it continues to serve as a vehicle for me to share my purpose and inspire others. After all, just like in life, we never know what the next shot may hold.

And that’s the ultimate lesson I’ve learned through it all. Out of the darkness, there is always light. We have to stay patient, keep pushing on until the slimmest crack of sun light comes shining through. In this time, I’ve grown to appreciate that while we may have our own plans, His plan is often different.

As I enter my 26th year, the year I had always anticipated would be my prime, I’m open and excited about the uncertainty that lies ahead. Perhaps it will still be my best year, but in ways I never imagined.

During my time away from competitive golf, I’ll take the opportunity to reflect on the amazing experiences, lessons, and relationships that golf and life have provided me. I’ll share them in my newsletter, Words on the Walk, and I invite you to join me on this journey by subscribing and sharing it with your friends too.

I hope this has met someone at a crossroads and inspired them to move forward. Lastly, a belated Happy Birthday to me!