A few years back I wrote a post about waiting for my turn to head off to Master’s Camp. For those who don’t know, I left teaching 2 years ago to work full time in our family business. We own a Martial Arts studio. I traded teaching reading, writing, and math for teaching self-advocacy, self-confidence, and character development (along with kicking and punching). Teaching has never left my life. I run our after school program and get to see all the marvelous things my fellow educators are doing in the classroom. I get to engage with students about how wonderful school is, outside of the classroom setting. I get to encourage them to never give up, to fail forward, to try and try again. And now I find myself at a crossroads again. I am 2 people. I am the martial artist striving to be a better individual. I am the educator, knowing that I don’t know enough.
Over the years I have seen and trained with many different people. When I started, I was in the back of the room. We line up by rank: highest rank goes first, lowest rank is in the back. Over the course of my 16+ years of training, many people have started, some have stayed and some have left, some even came back after some time. I have slowly moved up the ranks, moving closer to the front of the line. Until today.
My husband left this morning for Master’s Camp. He is testing for his 4th degree master’s rank this weekend. It is not an easy or quick process. He will test again next year at this time as well. The thing that leaves me contemplative and thoughtful this morning is this: he is the person in line ahead of me. He achieved his rank one year prior to me achieving mine. Which means that if he went this year, I could be going next year. This is both frightening and exciting. He and I share everything. We work together, raise a family together, support each other, and push each other. But in this, I have kept quiet. I want to share my feelings about what it means for me (selfishly) that he is going. I want to analyze what will happen to me as an individual within our martial arts world. I want the conversation to be about me, about feeling left out, about when he thinks my time will come, yet I have held back. This is his time. He gets to go and experience this first. (Admittedly, I am a bit jealous.) And I am here at home, waiting for my invitation to this camp. It may come next year, or it may come in three years. That is the thing, you won’t know when you are tapped to be invited. Until then, I will teach the classes, run the after school program, take care of our kids, and wait……and wait for my time to join him.