I’m angry, sad and touched with self-pity. None of these emotions were invited over, but the only way I know how to kick them out is to acknowledge their presence in my living room and shake hands with each. It just doesn’t work for me to ignore them. So here goes.
I keep waiting for the joy to return, now that Sifu has declared a restart to our relationship. But I’m realizing that the joy I used to feel upon merely walking into the building is conditional. It was based on love and freedom. I currently lack both.
I don’t have the warmth and affection from my students anymore, because they’re no longer mine. Aside from the ones who were promoted at testing last week, I haven’t even seen them. I miss being around them. The earnestness and energy of little kids trying not to fall down or look goofy while working hard to perfect a move – to say nothing of their happiness at a job well done – can keep my heart warm for days on end. For now, that’s gone.
So is freedom. Not just to practice any form when and where there’s space to do it, but the freedom to just be, without walking on eggshells, without worrying that any gesture or lack thereof will be considered disrespectful.
This too shall pass, I know. But in the meantime, I’m a bit chafed about what’s been lost, what feels taken.
I’ve been sure to be quiet about this in the guan. I’ve only let the feelings hang around in the safety of my living room.
So, that’s that. Handshakes given. Now, I can send them on their way.