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[personal profile] transient_orange
So today's headache is brought to me by Tension - meaning frustration and just stuff.

My frustration is stemmed by the people questioning me. Questioning my commitment to Sparkle Motion™. Sparkle Motion™ could be anything in life, but it makes it more colorful to put that in the place of X. My commitment to anything is a very personal thing. I failed at being a Christian, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite (you can ponder that one for a bit). I failed at dating, 'cause I didn't want to string someone along. I failed at x, y, or z, because people questioned my motives, my choices, my commitment too goddamned much. And now I realize, fuck 'em. Let people question what I'm doing. Not my problem, because those questions aren't mine. I know what I'm doing, however well or badly I'm doing at it. It's my choice to do it, and whether not I become the best Sparkle Motion™ dancer is between me, myself, and I.

See, it's one of those things. I'm not hurting anyone else by my choice of this commitment, it's completely mine. Sparkle Motion™ right now is sword. Yes, I realize I don't practice enough. I've never practiced enough at anything, but I'm trying. I'm giving it a chance. I'm not the best at physical things, I know this and realize that anything I choose to do is an uphill battle, but it's my fucking battle. No one else is going to suffer, if I suck at it. No one else is going to be sitting there with a bokken, while everyone else has graduated to steel. No one else is feeling like an idiot when I fuck something up. And it's glorious.

I used to play piano, and gods it was a struggle. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, and I'm pretty much tone deaf. I can read music, but I'm not so hot at timing, and yet, I still try. Yeah, right now I haven't played in awhile, mostly because anytime I have tried to play, E immediately wants to jam together. I appreciate his fervor and interest, but honestly, despite years of trying, I still suck. I play for enjoyment, because I can't play in a band or even really do well enough to do a recital. It takes time, energy, and desire for me to get a piece right and when I do, the pleasure is mine. If others want to listen, awesome, but my father made me shy about it, because every time I hit a sour note, he made sure to tell me. It got to a point that I'd tell him that he could play the goddamned thing, if he thought he could do better. That shut him right up.

Knitting, on the other hand, I can actually do better than almost anything else I've tried my hand at. For some reason pointy sticks and lengths of yarn can become something beautiful and useful. My own attempts at creating things have ranged from decent to gods awful. I love trying to make toys, but my attempts are hideous at best. I have a fuzzy green Cthulhu peanut-shaped thing with a red fez on - he's hideous, but I love him, because I made him. With time I might be able to create beautiful things, but at the moment, I still flounder.

Another thing I'm passably good at is picking out flavors. I attempt to cook, and sometimes it comes out awesome. Other times the idea was good, but the execution belongs in the gallows. I'm not so hot at the cooking part, which is why I'll point E in a direction and say, "Please, try this!" When I ask, usually the idea comes out pretty darned good, but when I do it, there is a 50/50 chance that it may end up awful.

So yeah, I'm not so hot at doing stuff. I try and somethings I'll continue blundering through until either a light bulb finally goes off over my head, or I decide that it is purely for my own enjoyment. Sometimes I quit, because well, it wasn't really my thing to begin with, and I realize that there is nothing wrong with that.

What I have gotten out of going to the dojo that is useful is amazing. Little things like opening jars for myself, being able to avoid tripping over things, being able to get off the couch without having to use my arms, actually being able to do a push up, and slowly upping my catching reflexes. These things are good, and things I notice. Do they really help others? Maybe in little ways, mostly time saving. But if this is the trade off I get for feeling like a three year old with a really large stick, then maybe the way I'm doing things isn't so horrible. I don't know if I'll ever be hardcore or a black belt, but that wasn't the goal. My goal has been to learn balance, to get in better shape, and finally defend myself, if I need to. I'd much rather warn someone off, than actually whack them with a broom, but if the situation presents itself, I know that I can at least get a good one in, before I run like a little girl and find someone bigger to help me.

Date: 2011-09-14 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If someone is not paying you to do the job - and these don't sound like jobs, to me - I don't see why they should have some say in it.

My son's pediatrician told us that ASD children, because of motor control issues, did "well" in karate, Tae Kwon Do, or, at the other end, soccer.

So, I and my six year old went to Karate together. And I ended up being the only adult in the kids' class as a student.

He was enormously frustrated because *all* the other kids zipped past him, in obvious progress (belt colors), when he had been there the longest. And that? Was heartbreaking, for me. I didn't take the tests until he was judged ready to take them, so I stayed at his belt level.

But I would remind him, time and again, that some people are better at physical activities than others, and some are genuinely natively talented -- and that we (he and I) were not among those people, but that it didn't matter. There was no rush. It didn't matter if we learned the kata in one week or in two years - as long as we focused on learning it, on slowly getting it right.

No one was going to starve, or die, or get fired, if we took longer than a couple of months. But if we gave up on everything because it took us longer, we would never do anything.

The point wasn't about how other people did. It was about what we did, and how.

And at the end of two years, although it was still hard for him sometimes to deal with that pang of being left behind, he was a lot better about it.

Date: 2011-09-14 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Full disclosure: I'm the 'E' in the above post, just in case.

One of the wonderful things about martial arts is that 'you have a whole lifetime' to figure it out and get good at it. My friend Tennis, who is an amazing swordsman and jujutsuka is very fond of reminding me of this when I mumble something about not having a technique just right.

It's a personal path, really, as with anything else, and as such you end up seeking fulfillment through your learning and not from someone else's praise (though a bit of that always helps in keeping you going.) You seek, or accept guidance from others who are more skilled or who have some insight you may have missed, but they're not the ones who define where you are going.

Taking the time to get it right is more important than just breezing through and superficially understanding it or making it 'look pretty.'

Date: 2011-09-15 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Don't forget your skills in applying that sense of taste to booz. You're Mixmaster Sam for a reason.

Also, your encyclopedic knowledge of roughly the first decade of MTV.


You're awesome, and keep being so.

Date: 2011-09-15 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Right on. :)


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