I haven’t been to taekwondo in over 2 weeks.

My love and I went on a cross-country road trip to visit his family. I thought it was going to be a culminating test of the relationship, and commitment-meltdown and fender-bender notwithstanding, it was relatively drama free. While there weren’t any “ah-ha” moments, something shifted and solidified in the relationship.
“Do you love me today?” he said sullenly as we stared out the windshield, both silently fuming over an argument.
“I always love you, even when I’m mad at you,” I said, continuing to stare ahead as I reached for his hand. He took mine and said he hoped I would always love him. All my adult life my heart has lived in wind-blown shacks on a rocky shore, finding false solace in relationships built on ego and fear of loss. It’s pretty sweet to settle into a brick-strong foundation of love and friendship.

We’ve been back since Sunday and I haven’t been to class yet. I haven’t kicked or jumped, flowed through any forms, or mentally rehearsed one-step sparring. I had a brief conversation about sparring techniques with one of my boyfriend’s old jiu jitsu buddies, and that was it. I didn’t think about work, my family, or my home in Texas. While the mental break from work and running the home was a much-needed respite, I’m a little concerned about how easy it was to totally disassociate from TKD. I can see how easy it would be to fall into complacency and stop going. That would be the easy way out. That would prove my suspected notoriety of picking up interests and then putting them down when things become challenging.

I left relationships (or relationships left me) when things got tough. In hindsight those relationships were doomed and better off dead, but I could have handled them better. It’s easy to give up on people and sickeningly satisfying to play the victim when things don’t go our way. My flying kicks are pathetic. I seem to be a magnet for injuries. TKD is a reality check of my physical limitations. I actually lost weight while not exercising and eating heavy South American food for a week. It’s easier to shove my gym bag in the closet and watch Netflix.

But what’s the fun in that?

Going on this trip and taking a total escape from Life As I Know It made me realize some things:
1. This is the first truly mature, giving, and enriching relationship I’ve ever had. I never knew I could experience (or attract) love like this.
2. I’m going back to TKD, weak jumps, creaky hips, skinny wrists and all…in a few days.
3. I want to pursue my  dream of being a life coach. I’ve had a few opportunities to coach at work, and it is the only time I feel genuine. I’m worried, I’m attached to my money and my cushy job, and I have no idea how to get started. Reluctance and worry is White Belt thinking. It’s time to cinch up the Black Belt Attitude.

Sometimes it takes a break, a change of scenery, an unexpected opportunity to help us realize where our priorities lie. Maybe I got some sense knocked into me when the other car hit ours.

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