Last night I dreamt about flying side kick.
The first time I attempted it I landed square on my bottom in a pile of kicking pads. I had just gotten my green belt and joined the upper ranks in my first advanced class. Frustrated and embarrassed I was ready to give up. A year later and I’m looked up to by other students. I have this blog. I have my red belt, which is further than I ever got as a child over 20 years ago on the dusty lonely plains of west Texas. I still can’t do a flying side kick.
The kick I did in my dream was no Bruce Lee miracle. I wasn’t jumping over a line of trembling white belts or breaking 6 boards in a row. It was just me in the dojang doing a drill with my classmates like we always do. In my sleep I felt the technique start to “click.” I have felt it before with lap swimming and ballet, and it can’t be forced. I’m excited to go back and try it, and even though it will probably be a little hop with my floppy foot tapping the kicking pad it’ll be better than it was a year ago.
Sometimes I’m reluctant to tell people I do taekwondo because they probably have unrealistic expectations thanks to movies. I do what I can, learn a little more each day, and try not to repeat mistakes. I might just revert to fighting dirty if I’m ever in a real altercation. I might still end up getting my ass kicked.
I wonder how I’m measuring up to other expectations of me that people have. Before you jump in and say I shouldn’t care, let’s get real. We all care to some degree. My circle is just a lot smaller than others’. I truly care about the opinion of a very select few, and it bothers me when I seem to disappoint them.
Here’s a secret: I don’t always practice what I preach.
Lately I’ve been talking about inner peace, embracing the now, letting go. Apparently I am not living up to what I promote. I have been scurrying around a lot lately, mostly cleaning and getting rid of things. I can’t sit still. This has understandably caused some tension with the people close to me. I’ve been told to relax, stop moving, to let go as I’ve been suggesting in the blog. Who would have thought my readers would hold me up to my own standards? 🙂
Part of the “un-nesting” IS letting go. My methods just don’t seem to be interpreted that way, and I could probably go about it differently. Over the years without my even knowing it I’ve become very materialistic, and it’s finally hitting me. I think I did this to please toxic people who aren’t even in my life anymore. I was keeping up with the Joneses. Turns out the Joneses don’t give a sh*t about me. (honestly the feelings were mutual) I think my priorities are shifting, and it’s a really good thing, as uncomfortable as that may be. I’m starting to remember that kid who didn’t care about the societal trappings of junior high and just wanted to listen to the Beatles and draw cartoons all day.
Look, I’m still going to drool over pretty clothes in magazines and raise an approving eyebrow at a fancy car. You won’t see me giving it all away and living in a shack in the woods. But I’m not going to chase external things to make myself feel better or to impress anyone. That’s a thirst that can’t be quenched. I’m not going to keep berating myself for not looking, sounding, or being perfect. I’m probably going to revert back to old habits a few times. All part of progress.
So should you look up to me as an example if I have this unrest going on? How could I possibly be a life coach or a black belt if I’m still wrapping my mind around my own life? How could I have the right to write about inner peace and letting go if I’m still taking baby steps towards it? How can I be a black belt if I can’t do a flying side kick? Am I a hypocrite?
Hell yes you should look up to me! Hell no I’m not a hypocrite! I’m human and I’m owning up to it, including my weak floppy flying side kick. Sometimes my actions haven’t quite caught up with my intentions. That’s part of being a perfectly imperfect human. I am going on the enlightenment (or whatever) journey and digging out all those dusty, uncomfortable corners and making positive changes while others stay the same as the years rush by. I am imperfectly awesome, and you can be too!
I was told I was “stupid” for wanting to buy a house as a single woman. I was told I’d “never” get a job in a certain field because I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree in that area. I was told I’d never make a man happy. Guess what I did? (And guess which negative a$$holes aren’t in my life anymore?) I don’t need to prove that I’m perfect. I just need to prove that my intentions are pure and I’m trying my best.
Luckily the few people I have left in my life see the soul within and don’t tear me down with negativity and hate. I hope my trusted few believe in me the way I finally do after over 30 wasted years of not believing in myself. If only they could see the progress. I might still be hopping off the ground to them, but from my perspective I am flying.
I am going to keep harping about letting go, seeking inner peace, appreciating beauty in quiet unexpected places, and believing in yourself even if I suck at it. I’m going to keep doing flying side kick even though I suck at it. I’m stubborn enough to keep trying.
I will never use a flying side kick it in a real fight. I will never use it in sparring. I will never use it for breaking. I will never be as quiet and content as some lucky few are. I’m fine with that. What I will do is master it to the best of my abilities just as I am doing with this wonderful wild thing called living.