Well, some stuff happened, some stuff shifted, and some stuff was removed entirely. And, you know, I feel loads better already. I’ve gotten myself more out of my head in the first place, and it helped even further to have everything happen as it did today to shuffle things around. I put things into place today to help me prepare for some of the more stressful things over which I have control, and that has been extremely helpful. My brain is very tired right now, though, after so much having happened today, and I’m struggling to make sense even of these thoughts right now… alas, I shall sleep… I am grateful I set things up to get me to bed early enough for a decent night of rest.
I have gotten very, very in my head lately. It is just about time for me to allow it all to flow freely outward, to release the tidal wave that has been building, to be transformed into a mere splash as its energy dissipates in the release.
Many things are about to happen. As the dog in the book said today, this often means struggle for us humans. Living fully now can be extremely difficult, when we are expecting something big or something in the near future. I have multiple big things in the very near future right now. I want to be here for all of them…, which means I want to be here now, too. I will be with them when it is time to be with them. And now is not their time.
I got to see the boy again today, doing more amazing gymnastics with such grace and fun… and yes, the little girl in me jumped with joy. The woman in me was practically rolling around on the ground, laughing, but also fully appreciated the reasons for the little girl crush – that boy can gym. There’s no doubt about that!
I have a feeling that, whenever someone has hit the level of mastery in something, especially a sport, it is extremely attractive and, even, sexy to o serve that individual practicing that activity, showing that level of mastery.
I watched athletes today, and the younger ones were cute in their learned skills. But the older, much experienced ones, were something to behold. The little girl in me couldn’t seem to decide where her crush loyalties lay, her admiration was spread amongst all the masters. And they were obvious, the masters. They were the ones who didn’t look like they were doing something difficult at all, whenever they were actually doing it, yet they did it with such grace and ease, my jaw wanted to drop in awe.
Harry Potter Day, as it was Harry Potter’s birthday and the beginning of almost every book, is tomorrow, 31 July. I suppose he would be…, well, I don’t know. The first book was released 26 June of 1997 in the UK. Harry turns 11 at the beginning of that book (after the intro bits, that is). Worth each book, he was a year older, but the books didn’t release each year… so, based on the release of the first book, we could say that Harry would be 35 now… However, at the end of the last book, he’s already all grown up and all, so that messes with that completely.
But the series is now over 24 years old…
So, let’s put it this way: This 31 July will be the 25th opportunity for the world to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. Let’s just enjoy that, then, shall we? 😉
I was discussing yesterday with a friend how I never had a favorite color as a child (and still have none). I knew I needed an answer to the question that almost everyone posed to me, so, I took stock of the favorite colors I knew of the people around me in life. One neighbor girl was really cool. And so, I figured her favorite color would be an acceptable one to have as a favorite color, since she was so cool. Her favorite color was green. So, whenever anyone asked, so was mine. (Though, I regularly forgot this fact, unless explicitly asked for it.)
In my Duolingo lesson today, I was reminded of this conversation and that time in my life. Nowadays, I just tell people that I have no favorite anything. But most of my childhood involved the green answer. And so, it felt as though Duolingo knew all about me when t ave me this phrase to learn and practice:
Do you ever have so much that you want to say and share with the world that it just feels like it would take far too much time and effort, either for yourself or regarding the other person’s time and patience, and so, you just say nothing at all?
Or when, simply out of some degree of fear, you just don’t say what you really, truly want to say in a given situation?
I wonder how many wonders in life are lost that way, how many friendships never discovered nor deepened…
Perhaps it would be a service to all creation, if we were to start asking people directly and openly what they would like to share with us today, each day we meet them. And then, if we actually listened to what they had to reply each time.
A couple years ago, a certain job opening was made known to me. For years – maybe ten? -, it had been my dream job. But, on that day, when I was stressed at learning of its becoming available, I had a great talk with my cousin to help me sort through what was going on inside my body and mind.
As it turns out, I didn’t want the job anymore. Who I was was beyond the job. I had outgrown the dream. And I don’t mean in age. I just mean that who I had become at this point in time was more than that dream, more than the person who had had that dream ever imagined she would be. I had outgrown that person and that dream.
And, though it was a tad stressful at first, it turned it to be a wonderful thing, much better than the dream the job had once been.
Today, walking the running/walking trail loop at the park, a girlfriend and I were nearing the area with pull-up bars. Growing up, and even as an adult, I had always dreamed of being one of those guys – as I only knew guys who could do it – who could walk up to a pull-up bar at a park and just do a pull-up, like it was no big deal, and then continue on their way, returning to their different reason for being at the park in the first place. They weren’t there for pull-ups. It was just fun to do a pull-up whenever a bar was around like that, right?
I longed for that for myself in life.
I doubted that I ever would reach such a goal, but I never gave up hope entirely. When I finally got myself sorted emotionally, and had joined my current gym, my doubt lessened, at last, but did not disappear.
Now, remember how we were about to reach the pull-up bars on our walk today? Several years ago, at those same bars, a different girlfriend wanted to attempt a pull-up. She absolutely could not do it, so I told her to bend her knees and let me assist. I might have assisted in lifting her more than her own arms did. It was comical, but still satisfying for both of us, because she had experienced her first pull-up of any kind.
Those same bars always remind me of that friend. (She had joined the gym with me, but she moved out of town after about a year. At that point, she and I both almost could manage a real pull-up. Depending on whom you asked, we both got it. But I don’t really count it. 😛 ) So, on a whim today, I asked the friend with me to do a video for me, so I could send it to that other friend.
We went to the bars. They were super hot. I had to adjust my palms to the heat of metal that had been baking in the sun all day. After a matter of seconds, though, I figured I could stand the heat enough, and we started the video. I grabbed onto the bar, dropped my feet from under me, and did a few pull-ups. Four was all I did, as I doubted another was in me at the time. I said as much, and we laughed about it, as we headed back into our walk.
It wasn’t until I was thinking about it later, after the walk had finished, that I realized that, well, I had just achieved a dream of mine. And not just any dream, but a long-time, doubt-filled dream of mine.
So, why hadn’t I noticed? Why was I more excited about remembering that I had even had a dream, than achieving the dream itself?
And I realized: because I had outgrown the dream.
At the gym, after every work-out, I do a maximum effort set of pull-ups. From the day I got my first pull-up (though I did two rounds of that one rep), I have done this. For a long time, that max effort was one rep. Then, it became two. Then, it was two or three. Then, it was mostly three. Then, it was four or three. Today, after the morning workout that had had 45 reps of banded pull-ups (in sets of nine) in it, it was five.
I once dreamed of being able to do a single pull-up at any time, anywhere. After a few months ago, though, that dream transformed into ten pull-ups at any time, anywhere. So, doing a single pull-up in the park was no big deal for me today. But it was a big deal for me for most of my life.
So, where do I go from here?
Forward, just like my kakizome for this year says.
You see, I think dreams, rather than merely being a destination, are really just a starting point. As we grow in who we are, so do our dreams grow. What seemed colossal at one point in life, suddenly seems minuscule later down the road. But the colossal dreams we have today would have been too much for us back then. We needed those earlier dreams in order to help us become who we are today, to help us create these new, even larger dreams. Without the relatively small dreams, we never would have made it to the big ones of today.
So, yeah… I think dreams aren’t a destination. They are a starting point.
In the tournament today, my age and belt level had only three women, so, the black belts set us up to spar one another, with one girl having a sort of bye. So, I was put against the one girl who had shown up specifically because her instructor wanted her to spar me. The winner of our match was to spar the other girl next.
I was that person.
I won that match, too.
It was very cool.
However, the videographer for my matches totally blew it with the videos. He shook the camera terribly at all the important moments, without clear reason. So, the videos are near-useless for evaluating how I did from an outside perspective. (And he was the same one who did an amazing job last time on the video’s angle and stability! We will be discussing this, he and I. 😛 )
Nonetheless, I felt comfortable regarding the matches today. Though the advice is to jump into it as soon as the head judge says to go, throwing a kick or strike before the opponent has a chance to move or think, I didn’t really like doing that last tournament. It actually was much more stressful for me, and I was near-panicked at the risk involved.
I had seen how the upper belts, black especially, had tended to take their time in attacking one another. It was easy and casual to watch, though still exciting and filled with bated breath when they sparred. The action moments were frequent and awesome, but no one was in a hurry to dive into them as soon as the head judge said to go.
I was amazed by this. I immediately wondered at why I hadn’t done it myself. Then I remembered that the fast-hitting people always beat me in tournaments as a kid. So, I had taken a page out of their books. Those books apparently come from many instructors in the organization. However, not everyone does as he says. And, besides, that approach just isn’t my style.
In sparring in class this session, I took on seeing how it felt to be chill in my own skin in the ring, fully comfortable in patience and intention. When the head judge said to go, I prepared myself fully to receive an attack, but usually never had one. In those first moments, I learned much about the opponent in front of me, and I used it to my advantage. I watched how the person moved, reacted to blocks, dropped guards for certain movements. I didn’t wait long, but long enough to have an idea to use. And then I used that idea. And I usually destroyed.
Today was just the same. I watched my opponents in the eyes. I saw where they looked on my body, while keeping an eye on the tension changes in their own bodies. There was always a bit of a rise and a clench just before a move was made… and the eyes told me exactly where she had set her target. It was a mostly easy block, followed by a bit if pummeling from me. That is, of course, when I hadn’t already attacked her. Because, as a friend said upon seeing the videos this evening, I was on the offense (though the videos were messy, they were still clear enough to notice). Though I waited those precious moments at the beginning, or throughout as I planned my next moves and sought my own opportunities for points, I was still the one managing the ring.
And that was, surprisingly, not a surprising feeling for me. Frankly, it felt natural, as though it were where and how I always belonged: being in charge, running the show.
It was really, really cool.
I still have much, much room for improvement, of course, but attitude is everything in things like this, and my mind seems to have found its place beautifully.
Thank you, God and Universe. I a extremely grateful for all that was today. Happy Christmas in July and Kakigoori Day and, now, Titanic Day!!