Dreams

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.

Post-a-day 2021

Karate

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!!

Post-a-day 2021

Sound sleep

I enjoy waking up ridiculously early each day. I accomplish much before the hour that most people wake up, before they usually make it to work. And I love it.

I go to bed extremely early, too: by eight-thirty, usually. And I love doing that, too.

You see, when I get up so early, I have no distraction from the rest of the world yet. They neither reach out to bother me directly, nor distract me indirectly, as I wonder what they might be doing and if I shouldn’t be doing something similar. No, I know they are sleeping. Period. And that knowledge gives me immense freedom of focus for wherever I want to direct my attention. So, that’s what I do most days.

And then, later, when my alarm goes off at six pm to remind me to start getting ready for bed, I feel no sense of sadness, no desire to get out and do something, no need to fiddle around. I have done so much, I am truly satisfied with my day – I can go to bed with an easy mind and heart. I can go to bed not only excited about the upcoming rest, but also excited about the joy and focus that await me tomorrow morning.

Who would have thunk! I, the sleeper, who never even got to watch the good cartoons on Saturday mornings, because I slept too late…

P.S. Happy Christmas in July Eve!!!

Post-a-day 2021

Vroom, vroom

It took having to meet a friend out for dinner at a very popular place for me to get my scooter back into shape, at last. I do not risk stressful parking situations (which include valet parking), and so used to use the Vespa whenever parking might be difficult. It fits almost anywhere, and usually gets to park right up front, because it can’t really go in a parking spot and ‘waste the space’. Tonight, of course, was no different. They let me park right in front of the front door of the place.

Anyway, that got me going. I called the place down the street to see if they had an air option for tires. They did not, but the car wash across the street from them did for free, he told me. So, I headed on over. As I looked for the air location, the owner of the car wash found me and asked if I was looking for air. We got into conversation about riding frequency and how things have been weird the past several months, and so I never got the bike back into running shape after the freeze in February. He shared about the bike he recently ordered from Italy. He asked if I had ever washed the Vespa. I said how I hadn’t but that I had just been considering it, given the style of car wash place it was, and how it would be just right for washing a bike.

And so, he gave me my first wash for free, and helped me with the air in the tires himself. There felt like 15 different steps in the washing and priming and foaming and scrubbing and special water and wax and tire shine and all…., and it took a while. But it was a great feeling and a great result, cleaning that bike. It has wanted a good scrub and clean for some time now, especially since the cover was destroyed by the freeze with ice and snow.

I then immediately got much-needed gasoline, before going home.

And you know what?

I had been considering getting rid of the scooter, as I hadn’t been using it, and I had started to grow afraid of the dangers of it.

But riding on it this afternoon, after the air and wash…, it was spectacular, and it reminded me of why I loved having the thing in the first place.

Going out tonight with it, I was delighted to be riding again. I am grateful that I did this today, instead of letting it sit until I felt it just had to go.

Anywhere it goes, I hope it carries me safely on top of it – I love riding this scooter.

Post-a-day 2021

Encouragement

It always is very impactful to have somebody wholly unrelated to a situation share a thought, unbidden, on how something feels to her regarding the situation, and for that thought to mirror almost exactly how I have been feeling about the situation myself. Especially when that feeling seems somehow contradictory to what ‘would make sense’.

It always feels like a message from God and the Universe: Yes, you were right. That is the case. Now, hop to it. 😉

I love those messages.

And so, I did hop to it today.

Thank you, God and Universe and Cosmos. I am grateful for the tender encouragement and empowerment today.

Post-a-day 2021

Best friends

Preparing to spend time with my best friend tomorrow, I was exchanging messages with her this evening.

She sent:

Is there an electrical outlet in one of the rooms? And is there anything that would be helpful for me to bring for you/us that we might have lying around anyway, like a blanket for eating on, etc?

And I replied:

Both rooms have an electrical outlet available
I think even interacting with you brings me back to that space of being total idiots together. For some reason, when I thought about your other question, I thought, “Bring a brush if you want to brush my hair like monkeys.”
Because that is apparently something that we are supposed to do when we hang out…?

Her response to my last part was:


I love this
And i love you
Looking forward to tomorrow
Ya idiot
🥰❤️😂

We haven’t really been together in years, and our communication has been minimal the last year or two, due to life being demanding where we each have been, across the world from one another.
I expect tomorrow to be lovely. We haven’t done something like it, really, in a very, very long time.

Post-a-day 2021

Everyday nudity

I’m getting to have way more time than I’d like, sitting around in just my underwear this week. And it is quite likely to continue for the next month or two.

You see, I live in a converted attic space. So, it is a lovely little studio kind of space, but the awesome-looking vaulted ceilings are actually the roof. And this is Houston. And it is June. So, it is hot.

Because there is only a single window unit on each of the three floors, it gets terribly hot up here during the day, and it takes a couple to a few hours after sunset for it to be at a tolerable temperature, and another one or few to be at a sleep-able temperature. And so, after I take a cold shower, I sit in my underwear by the fan for a while, and eventually lie down on the bed, usually without sheets on me, aiming to keep myself as cool as possible in a not-yet-cool room.

It has been two hours now, and I finally was able to turn off the fan, but can’t put on my shirt yet.

And I might turn the fan back on a while longer…

Ugh…, but, at least, it is practice being with my mostly naked body, and being comfortable in it just hanging out, not feeling any kind of sexual tie to the nudity. It is just everyday nudity.

Post-a-day 2021

Roomies

And so, the universe converges, yet again, and it looks as though I will be living, once again, with one of my best friends, in a city I love so much…, but in a new area of it.

It is time to explore, and not just this city, but myself and what we can create together, this Universe and I.

I can hardly wait…

But I must. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Childhood parent

Today, I got to hear a recording of my mom when she was 15, turning 16. It was a tape recording of a phone call for fathers’ day, and her birthday was going to be the following day. The recording started with my Opa, her father, talking to his father. He then handed the phone off to my grandma, who sounded a lot like my mom sounds. Then my two uncles went on, in age order, and then my mom. I cried, and so did my mom, when she started speaking. I somehow felt myself wanting to give that little girl a hug…

I had never heard her voice other than how it had sounded in my lifetime. I had heard people mention that she had gone off to college (at Rice), and had come home sounding all snooty (versus the strong southeast Texas accent of where she’d grown up and where my grandparents remained, even after their children had grown up and moved out). To me, my mom has always sounded like the regular Houston accent. Whenever she is with her family, she always ends up talking just like they do. However, she otherwise speaks with the extremely neutral Houston accent. (Truly, even US Americans find it hard to believe that Houstonians are from the South, because we really just don’t sound like it. Only our use of “y’all” makes it clear that we are southern.)

However, on the recording today, I heard a bright-eyed, teenage, southeast Texas girl speak with delight. I almost couldn’t hear my mom in her at all. She most certainly was southern and from southeast Texas, but I was shocked at how little she sounded like my mom.

On the second listen, though – it was only a minute or so that she was on the call – I began to find her in the girl. The way she spoke, and the intonations, the cadence and emotion – those were all clearly my mom. But that accent and voice… I could tell she was a lifetime away, unaware of what life would bring her beyond age 16 and a driver license after her drive training over the next couple weeks…

It was bizarre, but I would love to hear more from her. The tape had a whole section of her and my aunt, who is younger, singing the songs from Godspell (my uncle was in the musical back then), and I really heard my mom there, in the singing. That was super cute.

Anyway, I am wiped, and on multiple levels, so I’ll go attempt sleep, now. (It’s set to 79° in here, because my grandma doesn’t have the body structure and function to keep the body heated anymore. Apparently, she even uses a heated blanket to keep warm enough overnight… with the 79° air…) We’ll see what happens…

Post-a-day 2021

Breathing through the pain

I woke up this morning, unable to walk. It was terrible. In intense pain, I struggled down the stairs to use the bathroom, then back up to see if I could sleep some more. I did sleep more, though it wasn’t as restful as I might have hoped (but as restful as I had expected).

Apparently, I have had some viral infection the past couple weeks-ish. I knew something was up. Stretching was miserably difficult each night, I was exhausted every day and sleeping poorly, and nothing seemed to give me the energy for everyday life, let alone to get through the workouts without feeling ridiculously heavy and incapable… Sure, menstruation has that kind of effect on my body, but only ever for a few days and only ever to a small degree – this was a whole different level of exhaustion and struggle. The kind that just feels like something is wrong inside.

And so it was.

I can finally feel things improving, now, as of a couple days ago. Each day is a little better, and today was the first day I didn’t feel heavy. Of course, it happened also to be the day that my leg muscles determined to be somewhat spastic, and not let me walk without intense pain in my knee/s…, but I’m hoping that will continue to subside overnight tonight, and I will be able to walk comfortably and capably tomorrow.

I didn’t get to exercise today because of that, and I am feeling that tomorrow might be the same. However, I have already scheduled a run with the weighted vest for Thursday morning (he day I usually do not go to the gym, as it is intensely knee-heavy), and a make-up time for the pull-up cycle work I missed this morning.

Anyway, I must sleep now. Goodnight, all… may we all rest deeply and effectively tonight.

Post-a-day 2021