Monday, April 21, 2008

You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby

(The Smiths are good for moping.)

Shifu did not call my name yesterday during the certificate ceremony, and I cried like a fuckin' baby afterwards. And then I got upset at myself for getting upset because I equated tears with showing weakness, but realized that isn't necessarily true.

I am disappointed and sad, and I'm allowed to be, dammit, but can I be really be so upset with the whole situation? (Cue in music by The Smiths.)

This testing thing, this not passing only takes on the meaning that I choose to assign it. If I let it be all-encompassing, then that's the end of this post, isn't it?

I could say to myself, Shifu thinks I suck. I think I suck. I should just give up and not go on.

Or, I could say, Jeez Louise, 'playa, you've come way too far to give up now. It's nothing but a hiccup. A sign from Shifu that you're not quite there yet. You just haven't earned it yet, baby. But you will!

And it's true...looking honestly at myself, have I completely exhausted perfecting what I know? Not at all! In fact, just the other night, Shifu sent me to kung fu kindergarden. Although I am proud of the progress I've made since injuring myself almost 7 months ago, and hell, the progress I've made since Day 1, there is still so much work. I know I can work on endurance. I know I can strengthen my legs for jumping. And stop that damn skipping. And perhaps some day I'll work up the courage to do ceshoufan on the other side.

And I can continue to train my mind....

Rather than spend time wondering what Shifu is/was thinking for me, and whether this is all part of his crazy plan for me, I choose to focus on what I am thinking for myself. What is my plan? And my plan is to TRAIN HARDER.

The point is, I don't necessarily see this as a failure from which I need to rise. It is merely an evaluation of where I am as of now, which is helpful as a reference point to see where I'll be in the future. Heng Yu reminded me of that feeling that I'm sure a lot of us had when we started at Temple -- that great sense of awe and slight intimidation, and wondering if I'd ever be as good as those guys wearing those orange uniforms, and here I am, on the cusp of being there. I might be limping a little, but I am just a wee bit behind. And I will be there soon, maybe not right now, but soon in the long future...

And once I've earned it, once I do get to Level 2, it will feel so good...

In the meanwhile, I know some things for sure -- that because of training at Temple I've met some really awesome folks. My friends who've supported me throughout this entire crazy endeavor, I know I will be able to always count on you for support regardless of whether I pass or not. And that goes the same for those non-shaolin folks, too. After leaving post-ceremony dim sum and the dorks, I went to a seder for Passover at Bestest Boy's mom's house, and had a fine meal and a fun time, and these people had no idea that I didn't pass earlier that day. They don't define me as a non-Level 2-er, and neither should I. They see me as Qbertplaya, and nothing more nor less. And so in the end, that is perhaps a most important part of my training as well -- learning to open my heart and mind in a way so I get to know and love some very fine people...including myself.


  1. Hey you really inpired me when you came back and train with you're injury, I love who you are at Temple and outside, I didn't got call either and I took it as a complement he expects more from me that's it and I trust him, I do, because I trust myself now.

  2. I'm with you QP (both about moping with the Smith and what testing means is up to each of us.)

  3. It is cute to think about M's mom thinking of you as Qbertplaya...