Daily Post 006: Doing Better

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Written yesterday, posted today. : D


 

Things have been going better.

I went to sleep fairly early last night, but again, I had a hard time falling asleep, so when my alarm went off this morning at 6 am I already knew I was going to sleep for another hour or so.

Before I did I messaged Big Bad. After our brief exchange, I was able to doze for a bit. I had a dream about going to the beach. It wasn’t a beach I’ve been to before. There was a big hill we had to drive down to get to the water. And I say we because I know I wasn’t alone, but I  don’t remember who I was with and the other people weren’t really important. The road down the hill was lined with cars, parked vehicles that belonged to the other beach goers. It was hard to find a parking spot, but I guess that really didn’t matter either because we were walking down the ramp. We had parked along the road at the top of the hill. It was just something I happened to notice, how there seemed to be no space.

There were a few houses lining the hill going down to the beach as well. They were farther off in the distance and I really couldn’t see much of them. Just enough to know they were two or three stories tall and that they seemed “small”. They weren’t sprawling mansions. They were tall but narrow and it gave the impression that there wasn’t really much living space.

When we got fairly close to the edge of the surf I noticed there was a truck in the water, floating as if it were a boat or a jet-ski. It was a white pickup truck and it didn’t seem odd in the dream for it to be out floating in the waves.

As I watched I heard other people talking about how the tide was coming in. I watched the truck bob up and down, riding the surf. The next wave that came in hit me around hip level. One moment I dry, the next I was wet. I remember walking back up the hill wondering what was going to happen to all the cars parked so close to the rising water.

I wasn’t worried about the water. It was natural. This swelling up, the rising. It was supposed to happen. The cars, the houses, they shouldn’t have been there because the tide doesn’t change. It always rises and it was foolish for people to think the tide would stop or alter itself simply because humans had built something or felt that nothing would happen to them.

I know water represents emotions. I’ve had several dreams in the past in regards to oceans and my subconscious. The truck was new, so I looked that up. Pickup trucks are supposed to represent hard work.

Since I woke up feeling relatively secure and stable I’m taking it to mean that I have been doing well with my emotions. I have been working hard to understand them and to exist harmoniously with them even though emotions are just as uncontrollable as the ocean. You have to work with them, rather than against them or trying to force them to take an alternative route.

And just like the tide, sometimes they swell up. They rise and can cause havoc if the surrounding land isn’t prepared for what is ultimately a natural event.

Maybe it’s a reminder to me. I remember in the dream someone saying that the tide was coming in early, and so most people were surprised.

I find it reassuring from a conscious standpoint that even though the tide came in early, and even though there was some concern from others, that I, personally, was ok. My car wasn’t going to be messed up or swept away because I had left it on higher ground. My house wasn’t going to be damaged because I didn’t think it was a good idea to get a house so close to the water. I also didn’t think I would like a house where I didn’t have the space I felt I needed. And even though I got wet, I wasn’t submerged. I could still stand and even though it was a bit harder, I could still walk. I wasn’t panicked. I accepted that the ocean has its own rhythm and that I needed to back up some until the tide had moved back out.

Overall, I am reassured by my dream.

I think a lot of that has to do with the past few days. I have been doing better in the days since Friday and the belt testing at the dojo. Since Saturday and my mostly impromptu evening with Big Bad.

After writing to mom Friday night I felt better, more at peace with myself but still unable to fall asleep. I ended up taking NyQuil at 4 am since I was determined to go to the dojo in the morning, but knew I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t get at least some sleep.

I ended up sleeping through my alarm and didn’t wake up until 11 am. It was hard at first not to feel awful about sleeping “so long”. It felt like I had wasted the day away. I had already missed attending the jujitsu class. Later during the day, I realized I got a full seven hours of uninterrupted deep sleep. It was actually some of the best sleep I’ve gotten in about a week, so the initial icky feelings were eventually quelled.

The first thing I did when I woke up other than checking my phone and freaking out about missing one of my classes was continue to freak out because I was supposed to buy tickets to a concert Big Bad and I want to go to and I was worried I had missed being able to get the seats we wanted.

We plan to go see Ghost BC when they perform in Tampa with Iron Maiden. Neither of us are really interested in Iron Maiden, but Ghost is a pretty cool band and while we were having lunch Friday afternoon we agreed to go together. He even gave me money for the tickets with the explicit understanding that he at least let me drive, which will include paying for the gas, which is still woefully under the money he gave me for the tickets. I’m going to see if I can worm my way into paying for food, too. I need to do something to make it fairer.

Anyway, I was able to get the floor tickets we wanted, which started easing over what at the time felt like my “morning fuck up”.

Left Brain: Nothing is horribly messed up. You got the tickets. If you skip coffee you can make it to Muay Thai. Chop chop.

So with the tickets taken care of, I dressed and dashed off to the dojo, letting Big Bad know that I would talk to him in a bit.

The class was good. Intesnse, but good. Before we started training I sat with Paul, Akib, and another guy I later learned is named AJ. He actually became my training partner during the class, so it was nice to talk to him a bit beforehand.

While we were all sitting on the mat waiting for the class to begin Paul told me that during the after party for the seminar Friday night they had been talking about me and one of the sparring matches I had on Thursday.

It was my last match of the class. I was put against a guy I’ve seen before but have never sparred with. Honestly, I don’t care for his personality. He’s cocky. He talks loudly though what he says isn’t all that meaningful. It’s like a frail layer of arrogance that he’s using to cover up insecurity. At least that’s what it feels like to me.

We were matched together. It didn’t feel the same even from the start as what my other matches have been. This felt more personal. He wanted to take “me” down rather than taking an “opponent” down. I’m not sure if that really describes it well enough, but feelings are hard to put into words sometimes.

I feel like for him it was a mark of honor. He was going up against a girl. He couldn’t lose against me, against a girl.

Well… sorry dude but if I’m going down your going down with me. That’s the mentality I have with my training. I know I’m not the best, but that doesn’t mean I’m bad or that I have to lose. I’m definitely not going to lose just to preserve someone else’s ego and / or masculinity.

There was one point during our match where he went to do a one-legged takedown. His arms were wrapped around my thigh and he was trying to get me off balance. I was doing alright, but I couldn’t figure out what I was really supposed to be doing to change my position to one of advantage. I haven’t learned counters or techniques for the position I was in.

From the sideline, Paul called out, “Sprawl, Jen! Sprawl!”

So that’s what I did. I stepped my free leg back as far as I could and I basically crashed my chest into my opponents back, forcing him to go face first into the mat. My arms wrapped around his midsection while his hands were forced to the floor to keep him from falling down. He was basically in a downward dog type position with most of my body weight on his upper back.

Sprawling like that keeps my opponent from being able to force me backward or really pushing any sort of advantage. They have to go through all of my body weight to do it. If you’re paired up against someone who’s pure muscle then yeah, it can be done, but that’s not what jujitsu is about. It’s about technique. So yes, while powering through my weight is doable, it isn’t really the best thing to do. And my opponent wasn’t able to do it regardless, so we were locked in that position for a while.

I don’t remember exactly what happened but we eventually broke away and came to standing positions again. He looked at me, hands raised in a guarded stance and said, “You know I’m toying with you, right?”

I said, “Yeah. I know,” but in my head, I was thinking, “It really doesn’t feel like you’re toying…” It felt like he was going at it pretty hard, and I was going at it in equal measure.

Well, Paul was saying how during the party they were standing around with a bunch of people and Peter, I think that’s the name of my opponent, said something trying to be big and macho, and Paul brought up that match and how I basically turned him into PacMan with how I made him eat the floor. So for the rest of the night, everyone made PacMan wacka wacka sounds at Peter.

I told Paul about the brief exchange that had occurred during the match, about how Peter said he was toying with me, and Paul said that made the story even better. Paul said he could tell Peter was frustrated at the end of the match. He said Peter hadn’t been toying, that he had wanted to win.

The story made me laugh and feel good. It made me feel wonderful to know that even though I had skipped out of the party that I was still “part of it”. It makes me feel like I’m part of the dojo because there are stories that I’m part of. Good stories worth sharing with others.

It made me feel praised because Paul said it had been awesome to see me pull the move off and hold my own. I guess it was an exciting match to watch, at least if you’re into stuff like this. So even though I don’t have a stripe yet, I’m doing well. It’s something that I know on a conscious level. I’m getting better with the techniques. I have better stamina. It still meant a lot to hear direct praise from Paul. Validation and all that jazz.

Jim was complementary after training as well. He said he wants to start showing me how to do triangles, which is where I use my legs to choke people out or do arm bars and stuff. Pretty sick and brutal stuff that looks amazing when I see other people pull them off. Since I have long legs and good hip flexibility he said he’s pretty sure I would do well with them. I’m always down for learning new things.

Right Brain: Thunder thighs!

After the dojo, I went to my car. The day was going better. I had lunch I needed to get to since I had told David we could meet to talk about his logo design and website. I had another message from Big Bad that I needed to reply to, as well.

He was concerned with me not being able to sleep and asked if I wasn’t feeling well. He jokingly asked if I needed an intense beating that night.

I replied saying I was feeling better. Emotionally Friday night had been rough, but I had written and that helped. Getting a full night sleep had helped as well. I also teased that getting a beating at Soul Calibur could be nice.

Big Bad: Can you talk to me later about what has been bothering you?

I’ve wanted to. I want to voice my feelings to someone, but the person I would always call is mom. She was my confidant. I talk to a few people every once in a while but for the most part, I kept my emotions to myself and her, and I suppose I also kept them to my writings. I don’t like reaching out to other people when the emotions are painful, sad, angry, overly intense, pretty much anything other than happy “positive” emotions because I know most people don’t know what to do or say and so then they just feel bad that there’s nothing they can do when all I want is for someone to understand.

Empathy. Connection.

There isn’t a problem. I don’t want solutions or advice, I want to be heard and to be told that I was heard. That my emotions aren’t crazy. I want to know that someone understands why I’m feeling the way I feel and that it’s ok because I second guess and question my emotions all the time. I guess I’m looking for reassurance when I talk to someone because I know I’ll figure it out on my own.

Mom always got it. Maybe that’s because she raised me for 27 years. I haven’t been able to really open up to anyone else. Like I said, there are some people I’ll talk to here and there, but no one consistent and that might be part of the issue of the sadness swelling up recently. No outlet.

Big Bad’s offer to talk warmed me yet at the same time it made me slam all of my walls up the nanosecond I read his message.

Right Brain: Talking to a significant other about emotions…? Let me Nope my way right into Nope Town.

I knew the wall reaction was because of my past, and I knew deep down I really did want to talk to him and explain what was bothering me. I want to open up to him and work through the borderline phobia I feel I’ve developed in regards to being emotionally open with the people in my life. I don’t feel it’s fair to cast all people in the same light simply because I’ve had negative experiences in the past.

At the same time, wanting to be open doesn’t make the self-preservation instincts of, “This didn’t end well last time. Don’t do it,” magically go away.

Big Bad and I agreed to meet later in the evening, and I agreed to talk about my emotions with the warning that I might cry. He said if I did it would be ok, which induced warm fuzzy feelings of reassurance.

Lunch with David was good. I think we made headway in the design department. He didn’t really have anything for me to do by the end of our meeting so I told him to let me know if / when he required me and left it at that.

I ran home to switch the wash and give Scarlet her meds then went over to see Big Bad.

We talked for a while. I told him about the seminar at the dojo. I told him about the story. I told him about missing mom, and he held my hand while I talked and told him that I still miss her. I told him that I feel bad talking about it because I don’t want to make other people feel sad. I said how I know being around sad people is hard and I didn’t want to bring anyone down with what I feel.

He squeezed my hand and said it was ok to be sad.

That one line, that one action, made me feel accepted and like it was ok to be me. It was ok to feel. I didn’t have to pretend or hide. I didn’t have to fake anything.

We played Soul Calibur and I still got thrashed at it. We switched to Tekken which was really cool. Devil Jin is my man in that game. Total ownage. We quit when it was 17 to 15.

That’s right. I’m the master. Totally won that round of gaming. /flex

Big Bad and I got pizza again for dinner and he watched me play a bit of the new Tomb Raider game. He said he had gotten it for his daughters but they never got through the first section of the game. I haven’t played much of it, but I got further and he said he enjoyed watching me play. I think we’re both similar in that regard. We don’t mind watching games be played. We like seeing the story unfold regardless of if we’re controlling the character or not.

I slept extremely well that evening. We both slept until 7:30 which is late for us. It was nice, though, being lazy, being sated physically but also emotional and spiritually. I like that about our dynamic. We both feel something deeper than skin level.

We had our cups of coffee. We talked more. We had a slow, relaxing morning. We made plans for, at the time, Monday night, which is now tonight. We agreed, reluctantly on my part, that Tuesday morning would be arm day for strength training. When I left we kissed goodbye and wished each other good days.

Sunday was completely and totally lazy. The most I did was load and run the dishwasher. I cleaned out the fridge, too, but I didn’t sweep or vacuum or any of my normal chores. I cuddled with Scarlet most of the day.

I feel solid today. I’m about to head to the dojo for jujitsu. I have dance class later tonight. And then I have another evening where I get to fall asleep with my head against the chest of someone I care about, listening to their heartbeat.

After the dojo I plan to come home and attack my chore list and be productive. I think I’m handling things well. I think this recharge is the result of surviving the tide. I’ve made it through the night in my internal forest where I felt lost and alone. Daylight came back. I know there will be other nights, other tides.

I’m doing well, and I like how I can say that, type that, and believe it.

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