My mother finally went home after her 2-weeks-turning-into-9?-months visit ended. She spent the last week with me. When she got here it was still warm enough to kayak on the pond.
TKD turns out to be very good for me. It gives me several of the things I was hoping it would. It seems to be a better workout than taiko ever was and my body is feeling BETTER for it, which isn't usually the case with me and exercise. In specific, my knees are stronger (though still have to be careful), my back is more flexible and my neck is a lot happier. My mother bought me, after much waffling on my part, a water weighted kicking bag. So now I can kick things at home. My 6 months of searching for a school and my 10 years of taiko seem to have prepared me fairly well. So far I have been ready for every available belt test, though I'm definitely less prepared for this belt test than I have been for others. I'm still only doing simple forms, too. There's a blackbelt form that I've already fallen in love with and is the first real desire to get a black belt, just so I can do that poomsae. My Korean sucks, however, so that's been the most difficult part.
I'm still fairly involved in taiko despite having "quit." I've decided to add myself to the group as a "Guest artist" playing shinbue (Japanese flute.) I'm doing most of their non-YA gigs. Which is a great compromise for me, since I still get to perform, without all the stress of being in the group and trying to rebuild it to what I wanted it to be and the physical and hearing stress of drumming. Their building where they practice had some roof damage from the snow, so they've been practicing in a basement for the past few months and classes were suspended. They're back in the building (which has been shored up, but not fixed,) so I hope they get classes going again soon. I came back and guest taught the advance class because they were having some trouble with a line from the song I had last taught. Sadly every time I do drum for one reason or another (YA fill in, teaching) my neck and shoulder already kind of warn that, yes, this is a bad thing.
This makes me sad, because I do miss the awesome community and I miss taiko and I miss traveling everywhere and sharing it with people. TKD does not give me the performing I crave and, even though the people at the dojang are quite nice, doesn't give me the community. That might get a little better once I can attend demo team practices, but from what I've seen from those practices, I'm not getting my hopes up.
So I'm still seeking a new community of people working together to create something. I think I have to abandon any serious attempt at light spinning, because the community sets my teeth a little on edge. The fact that they're insensitive to using the word poi incorrectly and the fact that the stereotype seems to be either crunchy granola or raver. I realize I'm being picky by going by stereotype, but I've already been burned by finding an amazing community and then finding out that I didn't really belong as much as I thought. And since I'm unwilling to spin fire, which seems to be what the "cool" kids do, then I don't think it's the right direction for me. That being said, image poi still rock my world, so I might get them and then maybe learn TKD staff or even use them as nuchaku if I get good enough that I won't risk damaging them. (My TKD school teaches nuchaku as the first weapon.)
I've also been thinking a lot about anti-fatshaming advocacy. There is this very frustrating narrative on the Internet that normal weight == healthy, overweight == not healthy. This makes arguments very frustrating because there is a large part of the population that just believe that your weight is the important thing and you simply cannot be healthy and overweight. It's impossible to discuss anything with them, because in their brain overweight IS a disease. I want to make youtube videos that explain some of my logic, the most important being that fat-shaming, no matter what you believe, doesn't help people get healthy or lose weight. But it's such a rats nest of belligerent people, I'm not sure if I'll find the courage, especially since when I think I have a nice solid argument, even among my friends, I often find out I wasn't as clear as I thought I was. My brain and language have a weird relationship.
I'm still working on my harp. I keep getting delayed by various things, but I want to work up enough material for an open mic.
P.S. My birthmonth was weird for a bunch of reasons, including that I am now older than my dad ever was, but the party surprised me. So many amazing people showed up and I felt very lucky. It was likely one of the best birthmonth parties I've had.