Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” blasted through my car’s radio speakers as I exited the highway on the way to taekwondo class. I narrowed my eyes to slits, gripped the steering wheel tighter, and willed myself to have a good time in tonight’s class. I couldn’t shake the weight of my weekend worries, everything that had happened so fast and had come crashing down so hard that I was still covered in emotional debris.
I walked in to find the dojang buzzing with energy. Two adult (ADULT!!!) white belts were at the barre facing each other and slowly, tentatively practicing front snap kick. My instructor was leading white belts through exercises and of my adult compatriots, a blue tip was standing on the sideline coaching some of the white belts with their blocks, and Grandmaster was working with some other students. I met the two adult white belts in the back hallway. “She’s getting her black belt in October,” said Grandmaster, pointing at me and beaming. I blushed and danced after the white belts, begging them to stick with it since we needed more adults.
We had a good class with maximum cardio and minimal teenage idiocy other than when my instructor had to get onto one of the teen black belts for skipping out on classes. The preteen blue belt I mentioned in the post about sparring widened his eyes when he heard about the second class on Wednesday night. “I’d gladly go to two classes in a row!” he said breathlessly. I smiled at him with protective pride. He was a little disappointed that it was for red and black belts only, but we reminded him that he’d be a red belt in just a few months. I like seeing promising, serious kids like that.
And then I came home and reality came crashing down again. Reminders of my current situation wrapped their hands around my throat and sent their chill into my bones. Looks like it will be another sleepless night of stress, sobs, and a sore back from curling up on the couch. I remember those hard crying sessions when something traumatic or sad happened, the kind that have me doubled over and barely able to make a sound while slimy tears run down my face, the kind that paralyze me and make me think that things will never get better, that all hope is lost and my heart will never be whole again. Like a scary Texas spring thunderstorm I know they eventually end, but the torture of sitting through them is truly a nightmare.
Once again I’m up pacing the house at 12:30 in the morning (except this time I have an early morning alarm, yuk). My brow is furrowed, my eyes are wide, and my mouth is fixed in a contemplative frown. I still can’t shake the knowledge that I attracted this situation (I was a “vibrational match” as my LOA friends would say)—everything leading up to it over the past few months, the past year really. I saw it coming and couldn’t do anything to stop it. I certainly couldn’t wish it a way. I have been blamed for the situation, and it’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing the blame. Now it’s all I can do to keep the final moment from replaying on a constant mocking loop in my mind. What’s even worse is when I am haunted by the good memories, the times that make the pain that much deeper and remind me that things will never be the same, that the fading memories are all I have left. I almost like that I can’t eat or sleep. It keeps the pain alive, real, visceral.
Right now I am broken. I have lost hope and the pain is sometimes so unbearable I wish everything would end, that I could just go to sleep and make everything go away. As much as I don’t want to go to work tomorrow I’m sure getting out of the house and having some distractions will do me some good. I know I’ll have to come back home to the low-hanging storm clouds and icy rain. I am covered in bruises from last week’s sparring and hand-to-hand combat. That’s nothing compared to what I feel inside. I want the pain to end. I wonder if it ever will.
I’m a little fascinated by it all. Why did things happen this way? Is it for the greater good? Is it to help me ascend to the next level of being? Some say that others are a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and people treat us the way we think it’s OK for ourselves to be treated. Is that how I think of myself? Where is my black belt confidence when I need it?
And even in my darkest hour I can’t help but think of another Jay-Z song about determination: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” “Ladies is pimps too, go on brush your shoulders off…you got to get that dirt off your shoulder…” That’s right, I’m a pimp! A lonely, heartbroken, deeply sad pimp, but a pimp nonetheless.