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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.
2010-07-21 1:47 PM
Journey ahead, journies behind
I drove for the third time today. Mom had me drive from town back out to home. It wasn't that bad. Driving on a main road is relatively easy- as mom said it's just a matter of keeping between the lines.
As with horseback riding I tend to prefer a slower speed due to caution. I was going about 10 mph under the speed limit for the journey and was passed a few times but it's about being comfortable. Despite having traveled the road countless times in the past sixteen years it was pretty new actually driving the road. People forking WHIP down that thing! But I made it. Once back in the neighbor I practiced turning a bit more, which is waaaaay easier without dogs freaking out in the back seat. I am getting a better feel for the steering, remembering to turn my blinkers on, perfecting the feel of the road itself.
I definitely need to get out and drive more. I am fortunate in that I live in the country so traffic is minimal when I am practicing.
Mom says she gets nervous as a passenger but is glad that I do break when I turn and err on the side of caution.
When I got out of the car this time my legs were tense from nerves but my upper body was relaxed. I am settling into the seat, becoming familiar. I starting to breathe more when I drive. The more I do it the better I'll get and relax further. It is easier than I thought.
Riding horses you never can predict what your mount is going to do, really have to experiment with pressure and use your strength. You have to have the right equipment, use the whole of your body and balance and concentrate, train train train.
A car is like "Here are these buttons. Use them correctly and be aware of your surroundings and laws and you'll be fine."
What should be fun is learning how to parallel park. Oh. Joy. And doing more complicated turns.
Maybe when I'm in Vermont the Tall Matt family will give me further lessons. Should be fun, driving those back woods mountain roads. ;-)
And on the topic of Vermont I am slatted to see Tall Matt in a week and a half. I am definitely excited and anxious. I dreamt the other night that I was meeting him there and my uncle Scott was driving me and my Nanny was in the back seat yelling because all the crazy twists in the road. But when I finally got to Matt he basically ran out to hug me and the feeling of his cheek against mine was just soooo real.
The dream then proceeded to the usual craziness that is my subconscious state. Roller skating and pushing shopping carts through a grocery store, entering an evil lair, interpretive dance in a high ceiling, powder blue and white dust, room with broken pianos through out of it that we had to dance around. When it was my turn to dance I danced aggressively, used my martial arts moves.
On the note of martial arts I have found a local studio which I really believe suits my tastes. This makes me extremely happy.
While my self-defense instructor at Wells keeps telling me I should join his dojo I have been averse to it- 1) It's like an hour and a half away. 2) I don't like him that much despite being a dedicated student. Kevin is cocky...like really cocky and I've had multiple issues with his class and the way he teaches "self-defense." Some of the moves are just soooo impractical and I can't count the number of times I've walked out of that class infuriated. He makes short and unfit women feel completely helpless which is completely the opposite of what you want to teach in a forking SELF DEFENSE class. I don't think Kevin has a true comprehension of what it is to be helpless, what true fighting is. He kind of makes it some machismo thing, gruesome but not "real." It's always been a turn off to me.
The new instructor, Chris, I've found is really cool. He isn't cocky. He makes me genuinely laugh and he is nasty and realistic together. He teaches a kung fu style, Wing Chun, that was developed by a woman and works with a woman's body. He tells you what is legal and what isn't, gives good feedback. He tells you to aim low, to be truly nasty, like using open palm strikes. He doesn't like katas. (And here I must pause to freak out from happiness: omgz omgz omgz you have no idea! Katas are the bane of my fucking martial arts existence and yet we spend the last two god damn weeks on them in Kevin's class. Two years of learning the same kata and I still suck at it and hate it with a passion.) Chris believes in partnering against people so you can get used to using the real force necessary. In my case I learn best that way. Usually I prefer to bottom first. I have much faster comprehension when I feel it being done to me. The man I worked with last Thursday for my first class understood my learning style quickly and I picked up the moves much faster after he did them first.
In the class I went to Chris's group of students was doing basic knife work. I have a great love of weaponry so I absolutely thrilled. The style of martial arts is different, particularly the block he taught me but I think I'll adapt. I was extremely pleased when we got into locking and trapping. Aside from weapons it is my favorite thing to do. The man I was working with could feel I was much more comfortable and confident when the knife work involved trapping the arms.
Something that is great for me is not having to be so "careful." I believe I've talked about partnership a few times and the importance of that trust and understanding in the martial arts. Those in a real martial arts class, who are really invested in it, know the value of pain and following through. In beginning self-defense I tend to hold back a little bit because some of the women in that class just don't know the concept of really taking pain. They are fearful and as much as I want to be strong against them, or more so, them against me, it just won't happen.
The people in Chris's class are all invested martial artists. I have to remind myself to follow through without hesitancy. It's refreshing.
I am looking forward to class tomorrow. I'll only be able to go three more classes this summer but even that small experience will be worth it. I know once I get home again in December that I'll have a good studio to go to and then can pick it back up again in the summer.
Ugh, that reminds me, my buddy Paul M. isn't going to be back at Wells this year. He was the best partner ever despite leaving huge bruises on my arms after punching drills with him (but I think I just bruise easily at this point). Again, someone that has previous martial arts experience and amazing body control so he's always a delight to work with.
My hands are back into weaving. I am working on placemats on my loom. I took a scratchy sheet and made it into a piece of work. I just gained a bunch of free material yesterday so if I get working like crazy this week I could pop out four of them before Matt gets here. I really want to make them into a larger rug, possibly give the first one away as a dog bed.
Mom also informed me that I can do some business by making macrame plant hangers. I am a pretty good knotter and lately have had greater interest in learning and trying new things with knots. I saw a photo of a man making chair hammocks at the Renaissance Faire and thought "I want to learn how to do that!" and was disassembling his technique in my brain. Some time I really would love to do an internship or apprentice along side a textile crafts person, be it weaving or a type of knotting art.
The other day at a garage sale I saw these woven lawn chairs and I looked at them and thought "I can totally see how that's done. I want to do it!" I told my mom and she couldn't believe it. Then I began explaining to her. I am now on the look-out for an unwanted fold up metal lawn chairs so I can cut out the plastic stuff and weave what I saw at the garage sale (which looks way more comfortable, I might add).
Soooo many projects I want to do! Agh!
I am a woman of my hands. As much as my mind is strong I think I really have a great amount of intelligence and strength vested in my hands, an intelligence that no longer has as much worth in the modern culture I live in. It saddens me.
I think I'll stop here. My left hand is becoming a bit peckish "Woman! You should stop typing and go do one of these projects!"
I will try to write again later. There's an impassioned essay I really need to get off my chest.
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