In which I hang up my belt
The day started with disassembling and then scraping all the dust out of the joins and velcro in the floor mats with wire brushes while wearing a dust mask. It ended with hauling large pieces of furniture to and fro. In between, I became truly filthy and very, very tired.
If I gave even a third as much cleaning attention to this apartment, it would be a very different place altogether.
This was my last gasp at the dojang, at least for the foreseeable future. I was beginning to feel that the training wasn't having the effect on me that I'd hoped; I wasn't seeing the changes in my body I wanted, and it was causing me stress even more than it was offering me structure. For some months, I had chalked that up to personal failings. But then my work schedule changed in a way that made it impossible to get to classes after work while I was consigned to riding the bus. With Master Fuzzy's help, I started working on getting my truck back on the road, but the process has been taking months. Meanwhile, I had to face the fact that I will be out of the country for about a month on a research trip that was going to make it impossible for me to hold up my end of the scholarship deal I had with Master F, in which I worked for at least three hours per week. And I'll be going back and forth to Urban Bohemia and other such locations more, too.
So, last week, I gave up and told Master F. that I'd have to quit, at least for now.
Today, after the cleaning and before the formal dismissal, he gathered the stragglers together and announced that he was giving me "honorable discharge" for coming and working as hard as I did. He hugged me and said that I was going to work on coming back at some point. That, as have many of my interactions with Master F., left me feeling guilty. I don't know whether I'll be able to come back. The scholarship deal was taking a lot of valuable time smack in the middle of a weekday--and sometimes the entire day, depending on what was needed. I was still paying about $70/month, even on scholarship, and I just can't afford to come back at full monthly rates.
Before I left, I said I'd keep in touch. I think I can probably manage to keep that promise, anyway.