It has been a very long time since I last posted to this blog. There are a number of reasons for this. The first reason is that I took a trip to Japan over the summer to aid in the tsunami relief effort. I spent a month over there and it was pretty life-changing for me. There is nothing like helping other people. Truly. It changes you. I would go back right now if given the chance. They still need a lot of help over there.
The second reason I stopped writing is because school began right as soon as I got back from Japan. This semester was my first semester as a university student. Being a music major, my course-load has been crazy. Ten classes. 30 hours. Rehearsals, practice sessions, concerts, performance requirements, more rehearsals...my life has been school with a little bit of karate sprinkled in.
The third reason I stopped writing was because Martial Arts Refinery, my school, closed. That didn't mean the end of my karate journey, but it meant the end of something great; something that changed my life and helped me discover who I am. It was too painful to try and write about all of the feelings that came with my school closing. To be honest, it has been really hard to face up to the emotions that have been brought to the surface. Sensei Frank and Ammar and all of the kids I helped teach...they changed me. Training with them has been the highlight of the past few years of my life. I don't think I've ever learned more about myself than I had while I was training at the Refinery. So I'm experiencing a mixture of emotions right now, as well as some grief.
A few days ago marked my two-year karate birthday since I started training again. I haven't trained since the last day that our school was open. I miss it. But I'm unsure as to whether or not I want to train anywhere else right now. I have many options; I can start virtually anywhere. But I sort of feel homeless right now...and I think there's a time for that. And I think my time for that is now.
I have no doubt that I will continue training. I want to. I miss it so much. But I need to take a break first and reflect on everything that I've learned over the past few years.
Therefore, martial arts is now on a temporary hold. It won't be there for long because my body is itching to get back to training...but I will take this time for my mind to come to terms with the situation. It's been hard; I loved training at the Refinery. In many ways, training defined me. Going to another studio right now would be unwise; I'm not ready to move on yet. I would be preoccupied with thoughts about the Refinery and my training would suffer for it. I will return to karate when I can do so peacefully and with an open mind.
But I WILL return. I have to. I just need time to heal.