Just to be clear… This work is crap in many ways… As an artist, there comes a time where we have to accept certain things. Money and stability can be a little scarce at times. As a martial artist… There’s always a weird smell, somethings bleeding, jammed, or you have to explain that your lips a little swollen not because of herpes. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This month I’m a proud hen beaming with joy as we’re having students that I’ve been a part of their lives for over a decade graduate college and move into their lives. They were kids and now they’re graduating college!!! The Invites just show up in my mailbox, and being able to go show how much these kids mean to me, well this joy seems like the most selfish thing I could ever do, all week I’ve been emotionally high as a kite. As the parent’s send their emails to me saying how much it means to them to have this training and mentorship in their lives, I always have to hold back a little, but still, I can’t help myself, their practice and presence in my life has meant so much to me too. Nothing has brought more purpose and joy in my life than these kids. Thank you.
Around 2002 I was a smelly musician/martial artist. Still am… Living mostly on tour and for myself. Things fell apart, then back together in an explosion as my new band received huge management, then working on signing record deals… As this work grew and it’s starting to look like I’m finally going to “make it”, I met these damn kids. They kept me accountable. More than my parents ever could. Parents can yell at you, or command you, but these kids were counting on me, if I wasn’t honest and present with them, their devotion and hearts were shattered. If my parents would have just looked at me and said “I thought you were coming home tonight, you promised” then tears… I’d probably have been a better kid. Not really, I would have walked all over them.
I left the music business in the way I was relating to it. It didn’t line up with the way that I was teaching. These young folks were developing strong relationships and learning to communicate… I was too. I knew how, we all know, but that’s nothing… Practice is everything. Now I had to practice living in line with my values and modeling that practice. I still use foul language, bad jokes, 80’s references, constantly on my toes though to keep the subject matter away from being unloving or fear based. These kids just kept showing up and coming through. I’ve still never missed a day of training, and now as time passes some of them are sharing their skill with others… What??? They’re tall, they’re grown, they’re so tall. Oi… Your success is inevitable, and thank you.
Even adults in my life are growing, grad school, new careers. More students more graduations, this is a crazy week. This is a great year. It keeps getting more and more human every minute. I guess that’s what happens as we grow. I’m in…