Underneath my yellow skin

Moving on up

badass asian chick with sword!
Shaolin Sword. Different, but still cool.

For the first time in two weeks, I feel like a semblance of myself. I said when I first started feeling punk that I’d rather have a few days of intense sickness and then get over it then to have something that lingers forever and ever. When I was first sick, it was a low-level, but pervasive exhaustion that sapped my will to do anything. Then, I had three days of concentrated crud, which, while it sucked, was bearable when I got marginally better the next day. Then, yesterday, Monday, I felt significantly better and went to taiji for the first time in weeks. We took it easy, and we did a little of the Sword Form, which always makes me feel better. I was careful not to overdo because I know myself. Like many people, when I start feeling better, I’d go hard at whatever I was doing and make myself sick again.

You’d think it’d be easy to tell myself, “Remember, just because you’re starting to feel better, it doesn’t mean you’re completely better.” Well, it’s easy to tell myself that, but it’s harder to truly embrace it. I’m a pretty low-energy person in the first place, but being sick makes me almost completely immobilized. When I finally can move without much exhaustion again, I want to go hog-wild (which for me means going to TWO places in one day rather than one).

I left taiji feeling a bit tired, but not excessively so. It felt good to go to class and stretch my limbs. It also felt good to see my teacher and classmate (there’s usually only the two of us on Mondays) after being absent for a few weeks. I still did my daily routine, but I learn so much in class that I don’t like to miss it. In addition, we’re going through the Sword Form with refinements and slight tweaks, and as I’ve said a million times, THE SWORD IS MY JAM. I love it with a passion unmatched for anything else. I would sleep with my sword if I could (well, no, I wouldn’t, but it’s always in my heart), and I could do sword for hours on end.

Why do I love it so? I can’t fully explain it, though I’ve thought about it more than once. I’ve told the story before of how once I ‘graduated’ from the Solo Form, my teacher mentioned the Sword Form. I vigorously said I didn’t want to learn weapons (oh, I was so young and naive back then), but she gently persisted. Finally, one day, she pressed her wooden sword in my hand, and as soon as I closed my fingers around the hilt, that was it. I was born to wield a blade, and I haven’t looked back since.

I know some of my classmates are envious of my Sword Form and how easily I learned it, but I can’t take any credit for it. It just came naturally to me, and I practice it frequently. I do something with the sword every day, and I practice the Sword Form about once a week. I understand my classmates being a bit jealous, but they don’t see how diligent I am with the Sword Form. I get a bit tired of having to play down my ability or biting my tongue from saying that I’m good because I practice. I mean, yes, I have natural talent. I’m not going to downplay that because it’s true. In addition, I’m good at learning stuff. Well, usually. When I’m not, then I don’t do that thing any longer. I’m not proud of it, and it’s not a good thing about me, but it’s the truth.

I’ve always been good at school, and it’s been true with taiji as well. I can learn the basic postures fairly easily, and my memory is still really good. That doesn’t mean I can master the postures–movements now–quickly, but it does give me a good base to start with. So, with the Sword Form, something I immediately liked, learning the movements were not a problem at all. Teaching myself the Left Side was fairly easy (though I haven’t done it in a month or so), much more so than the Solo Form (which I haven’t completely done yet. In part because my teacher’s teacher keeps changing it, so I’m waiting for the final form before learning it. While in my head I know it’s not a waste to learn any form, my heart is not happy with the constant changes).

On the health front, it’s time to get serious. I know my temptation is to overhaul everything, which is a recipe for disaster. I can make it work, but I’ll be resentful the whole time. It’s better to give up one thing at a time, adjust to that change, and then try something different. It’s been a year and four months since I went gluten-free and dairy-free. It’s been a month or two since I drastically cut down my caffeine intake to one cup of tea a day (one cup meaning 12 oz). I’ve given up chips, but I’ve gone back and forth on that, unfortunately. Right now, I have pretzels and mjatans BHUJA snacks–the cracker mix. I bought a bag of spinach today, and I’m going to try to eat a serving a day. That’ll be my next challenge.

My dad asked me if I felt I was a patient person (it made sense in context). I immediately said no, but I think I’m getting better at it through age (too old to get worked up about shit) and with the help of taiji. He agreed, which irritated me. I have good reasons for being impatient with my parents, but I didn’t get into it with him. I’m trying to just let shit go, but it’s not easy.

Mainly, I’m just focusing on getting better these days and not having a relapse.

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