I did it. I got my black belt. It was the most physically demanding day of my life, but I pulled through with aces and spades.
I hurt my foot (again) and Shan had to practically drag me to Yosemite... the whole time I was replaying the test in my head and nodding off to deep and pleasant sleep. Poor Shannon had to drive the whole way there and back. I discovered the benefits of having a massage therapist friend, however. lol. She took good care of me and made sure I was able to walk and drive home.
The scenery was beautiful, but kind of a haze. Mostly I was looking at the sky and admiring my long time friend. The long drive up proved to be pretty steep, but the heights seemed like a slow fall compared to what I had just went through. There is a quote I came across recently, "When you are going through hell, just keep going." This is how I have felt the last 6 months...I just kept pushing, pulling and working. I had my goal set in my mind and nothing could deter me. El Capitan was impressive at Yosemite, but it really felt like nothing spectacular. Or maybe, it was the hundreds of tourists that deterred my enthusiasm. It was...like an unbelievable trip on mushrooms without the body aches ad visuals. My third eye was shining through.
We spent the night in my two man tent. A storm rolled in like nothing I had experienced in a long while. The sky was a deep black and the thunder echoed up and down the canyon and shook the ground we slept on. Rain came pelting down and I remember feeling...very human. The air was crisp outside of the sleeping bags and blankets. Luckily, we had a very comfortable night with the grace of having a tent with no holes. I closed my eyes and just tried to absorb all of it. The sounds, the moist cool air, the rustle of the bag, the bruises on my body, the presence of Shannon lying next to me, probably just as observant and weary. Every muscle in my body was relaxed. I was in a state of bliss. When I finally fell asleep, it was so deep and healing and I woke up feeling so much better. My mind was calm.
This calm lasted for the duration of the trip, up until I returned home the next day.
So I took the last week off from everything except work to regroup and determine my priorities. Now that I have stepped to this plateau, what do I do? Where do I go? Now that I don't have to lose any sleep over having quit something I would have regretted my whole life...what do I do? I mean. I worked so hard to get HERE, but I don't want to just stay here. I want to transcend. My soul is healing and whole, but it wants to fly higher.
So with meditation and patience I asked myself, and I got my answer. I must do what makes me happiest but keep my highest priorities. My family, work and friends still come first. Next to that, I feel the fight in me coming out and a new confidence blooming. I believe I am going to get better at Jui Jitsu, and I want to fight MMA. I will finish school and keep striving. I will teach and draw what I know. Maybe someday, someone will reap rewards from the seeds that I plant.
It's all the little steps, though. You start with what you can do and keep building. Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither is your body. Neither is your soul or mind. Have confidence my friends. You will get to where you are going, but you must create your map first. Where do you want to go first?