Thursday is testing night at the guan, and it doesn’t matter to me at all. That’s a first since becoming a black sash.
I don’t have a family member, friend or student being promoted. I’m not running the floor or training the person who is. I haven’t been told to do a demonstration. And I’m fairly certain I won’t be asked to grade anyone who’s being evaluated. In short, my presence isn’t needed. And to my astonishment, I’m just fine with that.
The more I train in a warm comfortable gym that holds no drama, the more at peace I am with the change in my status at the guan. The more I compete and do well in tournaments, the more I prefer to pay entry fees not contract ones.
I don’t need to be in the inner circle anymore. I’ll happily climb back in if invited, because most of the school’s black sashes are still family in my heart, but I’m fine if the invitation never comes.
For I no longer feel like I’m being punished. I feel like the loss is theirs.