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Hello, I am YFAT or Lo. I have been writing on Journal Scape for eight years now, working on my ninth. How the time flies! This journal chronicles my random thoughts, high moments and sometimes low, throughout high school, college, and now beyond, into the world of "adulthood", whatever that means.
2010-02-01 8:13 PM
It is amazing the power of a simple gesture. I feel touched right now in a quiet way, very thankful.
My self-defense instructor gifted me. It was a small thing, a cool keychain attachment that is essentially a metal spike with two smaller spikes off the side, meant to be held in a fist. It is very very cool and I can see how it might be used. But it wasn't so much the item itself as for the fact that it was given. The true importance of a gift is what it symbolizes and for me it was a powerful and unexpected physical recognition from my sensei: you are a friend, I thought of you and I care.
Evie, my partner in crime and fellow Self-Defense dedicate was also given one of these same objects. Her reaction was to show it off. Mine was humble acceptance, taking the meaning of it to heart. I feel...really thankful and unexpectedly emotional. It was unnecessary, unexpected and a token of the relationship I have with my instructors. My work is not taken for granted, it has paid off and in the process I have gained a friend and mentor. I feel very fortunate. It means that much.
I am not the best at self-defense. I never expect to be. I will never be the one to show off my kicks in front of the class as Evie can do with her jump kick that she performs so easily.
Thinking about Evie in contrast to my own self I think we are dedicates for different reasons. For her it is to enforce her own already pervasive, easy going confidence and bad ass image. She is animated and comfortable, tattooed and dark, the one of run for the hug, get that daring piercing. It is just part of who she is and self-defense enforces that.
For me...I think the goal is different. It isn't about saying "I'm a bad ass" outright. If I am thought of as a bad ass it is in a much more quiet fashion where Evie just wears it when you look at her. No, for me I think it is about the journey, about the progression, about knowing I can and will endure enough to make myself stronger. I am empowered but the purpose for persuing it is deeper. While I have fun in a class that is the reward of being better, of relaxing. The class is almost a like job with dedication, one in in which I slowly dive deeper into the awareness and understanding. The more I do it the more I understand myself and what I can do, where I go. The more I do it the more I understand my environs, people, the body as a whole. Awareness and understanding are also the payoff. At this I am reminded of Treebeard in Lord of the Rings when he said he could just spend days breathing...just to understand and experience the air. The class for me is an art form, more than just "beating someone up" and having fun.
For me there is even spirituality. But isn't that the way with the things you love? A piece of your spirit wraps around it, become part of it, and keeps you hanging on even when the days are hard? It runs deeper than the surface and into the make up of your being? The spiritual road is a journey, it is The Way, a path you walk, tokens of good points and bad set as markers as you walk. There forever stretches the endless of steps ahead and though steps may falter and slow the true love of the going never ends. Perhaps that is the real love of the present.
Maybe this is why the martial arts has on a subconscious level always appealed to me: the journey is endless and you can always find a place for your feet on the path if you wish it and alongside it goes teaching, a limitless sky of understanding in itself.
I think I just went places I didn't expect. I think I understand a greater part of my being, what I feel, what I believe, what I am, where I step next...and it started in a gift.
The places thoughts will lead you.
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