Works (of art and of grace)

I went to a different Mass than expected this weekend, but it was the one toward which I had had a sort of tug earlier this week. I had planned to attend a different Mass, and had this one as a back-up plan, and the back-up almost didn’t even happen – ate crappy food, and felt horrible all afternoon today, like I was about to pass out from exhaustion or hurl from the food at any given moment. But, despite feeling crappy in my belly, I knew I wanted to go to Mass this weekend – something about it just felt right, despite my body’s feeling so wrong today.

So, I sucked it up, and made the Mass happen. And, you know what, I not only saw someone who made me smile, but, after seeing that person, this absolutely gorgeous guy I’d met a couple years ago came walking in, and he sat the row behind me. (Eek!)

I felt like a high school girl, I swear. Lots of letting go of eekiness alongside all the emotions I experience throughout a beautiful Mass… silly, but also fun. I didn’t get to talk to him or anything, but we acknowledge each other’s presence both when he arrived and during the peace offerings. I told my mom that it was both exciting and slightly upsetting, because, yes, he was there, but he was there only at a distance, in a way. She said it was like a museum: Enjoy and admire the beautiful art, but you can’t touch it and you can’t take it home with you. Very true, Mom. Very true.

What I will say about his presence at Mass, though, is that it felt like encouragement, like a small reward, for my being there, that it was, indeed, the right place for me to be. Like God said, ‘See? Good things show up when you go where you are called.’

And that part felt very good and loving and encouraging. For it all, I am grateful. And, of course, I am very open to seeing him more regularly, God and Universe. 😉

For now, though, I thank you both. You hold my life and my heart with such grace and tenderness, and I am grateful. Please, help me to continue to step forward into what is next for me in this life, that I might be the love and creativity that I am here to be, to my full ability. Thank you, God and Universe.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021

Cyclical Figlical

Anyone else have a sort of cyclical draw to certain foods or beverages? I just noticed that dried figs are quite cyclical for me. When I eat them normally, they are good, regular dried food, sometimes even unnecessary-feeling. But, when I start semi-craving them (just before and during early menstruation), and I bite into them, they always seem to say, ‘Aah… here’s that cozy hug you didn’t even realize that you needed or wanted.’ And I do agree with them.

Post-a-day 2021

80s Day

In the shop today, they had a theme of “80s workout”. Suffice it to say that I was best-dressed, and by far. And I only just threw something casual together last night. I had worried that I would be crushed by the competition, considering what pieces would make amazing 80s workout outfits, leotards included. Clearly, however, that was not a problem. 😛

I even lent my whistle to one girl who went for an 80s/early 90s gym coach look. It was super cute and the whistle definitely completed the outfit. But, aside from her, no one else had dressed to the theme with much success.

So, I might have just looked a little ridiculous and like an 80s-loving hipster, but at least I actually am an 80s-loving hipster.

Post-a-day 2021

Loving boys

I told the boys in last period today, before class started, that I was exhausted and that I was rather borderline in tears, and requested that, therefore, they aim, please, to be a bit more gentle in class today, be kind, help me out. They seemed stunned, and some even openly asked what was up for me. I just told them that there were just a lot of things with which I am having to deal at present, both in- and outside of school, and I’m exhausted.

And, though they are very young and forgetful and ridiculous and lacking in self-control, they actually did a very decent job today. Several of the boys helped keep others in check, such that I didn’t have to tell them each to hush so often as usual. It was still tough, but much improved from usual, and their genuine sweetness shone through. It made me love them even more… which made me want to cry for a whole ‘nother reason! 😛

Post-a-day 2021

The fittest

Sometimes, I think nature is unfair. The Darwinism inside of us thinks only of certain degrees of fitness, when it evaluated those around us. It cares little for whether someone is emotionally available, or anything like that. It cares almost exclusively for the breeding power of the individual. And so, every time I ovulate, I get a terminator-style analysis presented to me of every single male I cross, declaring his ranking on the scale of positive breeding potential…, with absolutely no concern as to whether I actually want to have such an analysis… on any of them, let alone all of them.

But such is life, it seems.

One plus, I suppose, is that I would be well aware of whom to seek out, should we have a population crisis, and we needed to rebuild the population ASAP. 😛

Post-a-day 2021

Speaking of friends

Talk about friendship… I just sent this message to someone who has only more recently entered into my life:

Please, take this the best way possible:

1) I purposely fully undressed before brushing my teeth (before showering) tonight, because I felt like you would be proud.
2) I likely will think of you close to 90% of the time I walk around without underwear on from now onward.

Just wanted you to know 😂

Clearly I love and trust her.

Hold

Some days,

I just want to hold some

Body.

Some days,

I just want to hold

Myself.

And some days,

I just want some body

To hold me.

But most days,

The first and the last

Are on hold.

I’m growing weary,

So often being on hold.

I’m growing tired,

Of being all I have to hold,

While on hold,

on my own.

Post-a-day 2021

Breathing

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.

Post-a-day 2021

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