Life as a Black Belt
This is part of the You Write the Title series, and was suggested by MattHall.
This post definitely wasn’t my idea – because to me, that title suggests that I am now what I had hoped to be, and I’m not. It also suggests that I want to brag about something, when actually, I’m sort of shy about discussing it.Â But you say jump, I say how high. So here goes.
I’m less likely to shy away from intimidating things.
I know I can do them because of what I’ve accomplished.Â That might sound odd, because I’ve accomplished things before, of course. But the difference is, those were things that I had a bit of confidence in already. Achieving in school or work wasn’t utterly shocking. I’d been working at that most of my life, and it’s where my natural talents lie. Doing something that required athletic persistence and skill and talent was brand new to me, and it meant more because of that.
I’m less likely to care what people think about what I care about.
I’ll be very blunt: Some people connect tae kwon do with something that chubby, uncoordinated, hyperactive kids do who aren’t good at anything else. And some schools churn out little pre-teen black belts when their parents pay enough money for enough lessons. While good training can do wonders for kids, that reputation can make it a weird to say, as an adult, that it’s something that you do. It sounds oddly childish and almost embarrassing. Now, though, I’ve made friends who are so spectacularly talented in the sport that I’m amazed just that I get to train with them, and I’m okay with it if you don’t get it. After all, I don’t understand much about lots of things that my friends do, but that doesn’t make them any less great at them.
I think differently now.
Every now and then I’ll be somewhere and I’ll think about how I would get out of the situation if I needed to. I’ll size people up. I’ll pay attention to who’s around me. This sounds like the “Why would I know that?” scene in the diner in The Bourne Identity; it’s not all Hollywood drama, but it is a little bit like that. It’s just being aware to a degree I never thought about before. As a single female who’s pretty independent, it’s a new way of thinking that I appreciate very much.
So, that’s my life. Not very different, and yet different in some very important ways.