Last night I went to class after being absent for a week. I had spent the past several days focusing on another important aspect of my life that needed attention. It was exhausting and anxiety-ridden and ultimately very beneficial. Focusing so much attention on that aspect of my life, however, made me wonder what the point was of the other areas on my life wheel. Ever since I had too much thinking time on my hands at the last belt test I’ve been in a mini existential crisis. I’ve probably also been under the influence of a bonus mini depression, but that’s just par for the course. Needless to say the last several days I’ve been under a lot of emotional and physical stress.

It would have been so easy to stay home Monday night in my sanctuary, my fortress of solitude, and huddle up on the couch with leftovers and Netflix. It’s finally getting chilly in Texas, and nothing beats a chilly night like a warm blanket and someone to snuggle with. My partner in crime was feeling the same way, but we’re also pretty good accountabilibuddies when it comes to our martial arts, so he went to jiu jitsu and I went to taekwondo.

At first I was a little discouraged at the small number of students and wondered if I was better off at home with my TV. As usual it turned out to be fun and a great way to put my mind on pause and do something that flips my frown upside down within seconds…even doing those f-cking awful duck walks. Sometimes I stop and observe myself from the outside, jumping around in a white uniform, kicking and screaming, and usually the only adult among a group of kids. It is both hilarious and awesome and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Oh, you had a hectic day at the office and got stuck in traffic? Fabulous, go do a flying snap kick and see if that doesn’t shift your focus.

A reader reminded me that I challenged the world with the question “Are you a taekwondo person?” I was really pointing that question at myself. Lately it has been so tempting to give up on everything (and I mean everything), shut down, and just coast through the days on autopilot under the hazy smog of depression. It’s not a pleasant state of mind to be in, but it’s comfortable. It’s also not very fun. I’m looking forward to going back to class soon. Hopefully my short hiatus is over.

I don’t feel like I am out of the dark woods of the dark night of the soul yet. What’s comforting is that I have more coping tools than I’ve ever had before.

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