My current trial for TKD is going very well. I'm extremely happy with how this school is balancing "it's ok to not be perfect" with "but if you want to be perfect, you need to fix that." The black belts are very knowledgeable, the school has a good energy, the master is good at the why of TKD, the fundamentals and the exercise aspects. Mondays he likes to make people sweat, but sometimes he runs out of time, so he lets anyone who can stay late and work out. It's Kian Taekwondo in Salem, NH. I'm in the 3rd week of my 4 week trial and I'm looking forward to handing over my 6 mo. check next week!
Some people like to say that people don't change, but entering into this, I know I've changed a lot. I'm still very in my head, but I can let go and just do things when I need to now. I know the difference between the practice mind set and the performance mind set and how you have to let go of the mistakes in order to perform.
Inspired by Honk (and because of my ongoing addiction to buying musical instruments), I took a chance on an exceptionally cheap set of marching tenors (quints, toms). They're making me quite happy. Now I just need to translate taiko into marching drumming.
It's about a year since I officially decided I needed to quit taiko. I have three more weeks of teaching classes and I hope to still perform as a shinobue (flute) player over the coming year. In some ways I already miss it horribly. I LOVED being a gigging musician. I loved going all these different people and sharing taiko, which has a magic of its own and leaving the audience happy and thrilled. I loved the people and teamwork and loved moving and making big booming sounds. But on the other hand I am so much less stressed now. I was breaking, mentally and physically. My hearing is also still reminding me that it wasn't so happy with me either. We did a HUGE block of school shows in October (17 shows in 11 days for the whole group, I personally did 11 of those shows and had to get up at 7am, which for me is painful) which also reminded me of both what I love and what I can't really do any more.
So looking ahead... I so want to get back to taiko, but right now it's not looking like a good thing. The reasons I've quit still exist for the most part. The group is still reduced the amount of performances it does and my physical issues aren't great and I'm still not that resistant when it comes to stress. But every time I think "no, really, this can't be the end of that wonderful chapter in my life. I had so many of the things I've wanted for so long and still want."
I'm hoping that TKD can help with some of that. There are a few people at Kian who are as driven and passionate as I like to get about things. I just hope I can find healthy place there as I get good enough to contribute.
I'm still working on the harp. In some ways I love it, it feels very comfortable. I love noodling on it. In some ways I miss the amazing, in your face excitement of taiko. I guess I need to play with my effects pedal more and work on that "in your face" harp sound! I haven't had much chance to play with ableton. Someone asked me recently what I've been doing, and I couldn't quite answer. I haven't been sitting around, but I have been catching up on things that I had been putting off, like dental appointments* and alike.
I am going to enjoy the holidays as best I can. Part of the reason I quit taiko is that I was too stressed and depleted to be able to go up for Christmas last year. After the holidays, I'm going to see about starting to write some android apps and I might check out "The Real School of Music" for vocal lessons and maybe some chances to perform.
* I got a white filling in a molar and it has been months and it's still a bit cold sensitive. I didn't realize this was a draw back of white fillings. The dentist says as long as it's getting better... I also got my first dental cleaning in like 25 years. That's the kind of things I've been doing since quiting taiko.