Wow it’s been a crazy couple of months. In December I finally received my black belt. The ceremony had been pushed back twice because of personal issues with Grandmaster and his family. I swore I wasn’t going to cry while thanking everybody, but of course, when I was addressing Grandmaster’s daughter, I burst into tears. She exemplifies everything I strive to be, a strong yet feminine woman who takes shit from no one. I expected to feel different when I got my black belt, and I do, but not in the way I expected.
First there was the anti-climactic nature of it. I really thought I would be thrilled and excited to receive it, but in fact it was almost the opposite. I think now it’s because I realize that the past three years were NOTHING compared to what is now expected of me. There was also hope that I would take a break, and I sort of got one over the holidays, but not really because I was busy cooking, baking, buying, decorating, wrapping, etc.
So the new year has started and I’m feeling as ambivalent as ever about Tae Kwon Do. Compounding this is my instructor training. I’m worried that I have convinced myself that I suck and don’t want to do it anymore. There are so many mixed feelings I’m having they are really hard to sort out. I still love being a student, for the most part (sparring still sucks), but I am expected to test every 4 months (or 6 I can’t remember right now). Not for full rank until the full 18 months has passed, but for Application Yi Dan and Provisional Yi Dan.
As far as instructing goes, it seems to have turned out to be so much more than I expected. Grandmaster is constantly (and I mean constantly) tweaking the school’s system and programs, and we (the staff) have side projects that we need to do on top of teaching and being students ourselves. It’s this that seems to be exhausting me mentally. It has also taken something I love and turned it into work, which for some people is a wonderful thing, but for me seems to be a drag. Between teaching and class I seem to be spending so much time at the dojang and I’m tired. It also seems that mentally, I’m always at the dojang, working out something I need to do for instructorship.
Perhaps I need a vacation, but I’m still not sure that will help. Seasonally, this is a very rough time of year for me and I will not make any major decisions for the next month or so because of that. I see now why we have such a hard time holding onto students after they reach Cho Dan. I don’t think I would ever quit Tae Kwon Do, but I do think I might need to dial it down a bit. How bad is it already that I almost hope for an injury so I have an excuse to back off for a while?
Compounding issues is that I’m finally starting to feel as though I need to get a job. Being a stay-at-home mom, I’m in a unique position where I have time to do so, and I would like to try to figure out how to turn something I love (like my spinning and knitting) into something with which I could supplement our income. I know, I know, it sounds suspiciously like turning something I love into work. Except I would be the one in charge. The only crazy, neurotic person I would be working for would be me.
I wish I had my old blog at my disposal to see if I was like this every January. I suspect I was. With the new year, I seem to always be looking for ways to get my house in order, both in reality and psychically. My head is currently cluttered with a lot of negativity that I need to clean out. The urge to insulate myself from everything for a short while so I can make those lists and plans, and execute them so I feel more in control.
A conversation with my husband is forthcoming. He always helps me see the forest through the trees.