I’m just back from a weekend stalking Rory in Scotland + hanging out with some of the coolest people I know, who are very cool indeed. As per usual with this kind of event, lots of stuff has been thrown at my brain which I now need to process + integrate, so you get the dubious benefit of second-handing my brainfarts. In no particular order:
If you need to know about time management, ask a time management expert. If you need to know about passion management, ask your friendly neighbourhood astrophysicists. Turns out I was looking at my life balance issues completely the wrong way round. I don’t need to try and crowbar other stuff into my writing; that’d just make me hate whatever the stuff is, and resent myself for interfering with my fun. I need to corral my writing time, and then have a good think about what I want to fill the resulting time gap with.
Corollary: People miss out so much by not looking at what goes into making people functional experts. Someone who’s a genius at mathematics and takes care of him/herself and has a wonderful social and home life is a lot more than an expert in their subject matter. Being a genius requires talent and dedication; being a functional genius requires a myriad life skills and the inner strength to apply them.
I can and will tap experts for info on their field of study, particularly if they’re good at explaining things to laypeople, but I’m infinitely more interesting in learning how they’re managing the rest of their lives. The same applies to experts in all fields, including self-defence. Most people just want the techniques and the war stories. I don’t get it.
When thinking about stress, I think in terms of fear/anxiety. It never occurred to me that anger could be a cause or a result of stress. In fact, anger is one of my go-to emotion when I try to avoid feeling fearful or overwhelmed. That’s messed up, and it’s probably messed me up in the past, and I wanna cut that shit out.
A lady came up to me in a takeaway shop. I thought I’d recognised her face, but I couldn’t recognise any other part of her for the simple reason that she was unrecognisable. Turns out that she’d attended Rory’s seminar last year, when I said some stuff. That had spurred her to make a lot of changes and she wanted to say thank you. My first reaction was, as per usual, “oh shit oh shit I affected another human there may be ripples what did I do time to panic now.” My second reaction was to be super stoked about it, because she looked damn amazing (lady, if you’re reading this, you seriously do). My third reaction was to wonder why I can unfuck other people, but I haven’t been able to unfuck myself yet.
Thinking about it during the drive home, it could be that maybe it’s because the other people do the work.
Corollary: if someone does or say something that makes things better for you, fucking tell them. Chances are that they don’t know, because they’re not telepathic and very few people ever come back with success stories. They just go off to have awesome lives, which is great; but given that in this particular field we’re constantly dealing with awful stories, something cheerful can really make a difference.
My back didn’t hurt. Not a bit. After 4 yrs of oscillating between being very uncomfortable and severely incapacitated, I’m now relatively ok (aches and scars don’t count; they’re the price of having an interesting life). And this is the first time I went into a self-defence seminar afraid of getting hurt. That changed everything, and it sucked. People who have played with me before noticed the difference, even though they’ve known me since the back accident. I’m worse now than I was when I was struggling to put my shoes on. The only drill that made me feel like me was the baby drill: I just put the baby down and proceeded to lay into the guy who was rolling with me, because in that setting I didn’t matter. That’s important.
I’ve never particularly felt that I had anything to lose, in training or in life. In real life in particular, I’ve always gone into sticky situations knowing that I was probably going to lose, and determined to do as much damage as I could on the way down. I don’t have a problem with any of that, but in a very real sense, that’s not self-defence. There’s nothing defensive about that attitude. If self-defence happens, it’s just a handy side-effect. Now my headspace has changed. I’m tussling with people who’re not even interested in hurting me, and I’m scared, and I have no idea how to manage that. (I also have no idea how to manage my resulting opinion of myself, but that’s another story.)
I kinda feel that I ought to go up to everyone I’ve spoken about self-defence with in the past and apologise, because I had no idea what I was talking about. Mostly I feel like killing this fucking thing, because it’s not me and it’s hobbling me and I hate it. Only the latter statement is a load of nonsense. Either way, this is something I have to deal with.