The Pieces Coming Together

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Do you ever feel like things happen for a reason? You can’t see why the puzzles are fitting together, you just know that they are. You can’t quite see what the puzzles are putting together because there are so many pieces yet to assemble. All that can be done is to just accept that there will be a bigger picture at the end of it all.

Although that kind of in its way explains the philosophy of faith (ie that virtue I was named after haha) I can’t say I trusted in it these past few weeks. I let the despair of my situation get the better of me. For the first time in my life I truly felt defeated. I can’t help but  feel a bit grateful of feeling that moment. As low as it was, I have a new understanding of myself. I actually do have a breaking point where my optimism and strength CAN falter. I am faulty and feeling like my whole life is falling apart was a big lesson in humility. I can’t say I didn’t actually need that..

And at the moment where my hope and faith was at its lowest… I figured it out..

I’ve spent my entire life having vague notions of what I want to contribute to this world. (Yeah maybe I didn’t quite become entirely humble.. I still feel I have the power to truly make a difference in this world.) I knew that once I figured it out, I would be great at it. I am pretty awesome if you haven’t noticed yet ;).

The next day, after posting that blog… I got contact from my husband saying he had been extended within the navy to stay in until his higher tenure.. not only will that mean he gets to stay in another year, but he’ll get a severance pay type deal when he does… In essence.. our finanical situation has been relieved… We have time to keep things afloat and cement a better financial foundation than we currently we have…

The timing can’t be a coicidence. I’m taking this as a sign that what I’ve chosen for myself is the right one. Finally I have enough puzzle pieces put together that I can see the bigger picture. Still working on completing it, but once you have fewer and fewer pieces to put into the work it gets easier to assemble.

Plan of Study….

Here’s Faithie’s definition of Irony….

Finally figuring out my plan of study AND not being able to pursue it..

I had two professors talk to me about doing various certificate programs to compliment my General Studies Associates.

One was my English Lit teacher who is also my advisor for Students Advocating for Gender Equality. She has mentioned it to me the past two times we’ve had to sign up for classes. But Women’s Studies didn’t feel like what I wanted to do career wise, so I was pretty noncommital..

Until….

I went to a speaker broadcast event for National Society of Leadership and Success. The speakers were Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn. They have a book out that I plan on reading called A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. One they mentioned was just how important love and general affection before the age of 2 was to the development of the brain. According to them feeling loved and well cared for and being hugged and cuddled was a better indicator for success than a child’s IQ.. Without seeing their research I can’t exactly verify how true that is… but it did make me think a bit..

What really stuck with me was at the end. We were invited to go and answer a few follow up discussion questions within a group. Everyone within my group were college friends of mine. All exceot an older gentleman. He had been in my group the last speaker broadcast, so I was already aware that he liked to talk and make all the questions about him. Which is fine to a degree. One of the questions was long the lines of “If you could advocate for only one social/economic change, what would it be”

The man instantly said children, and making sure they were well fed and provided for. Everyone else in my group instantly jumped in agreement and said that was in fact the best thing to advocate for.

When everyone had settled down I said that if I were to choose one specific thing to advocate, it would not be for children’s welfare but for women’s rights. Before I could even say much the man jumped down my throat saying I was wrong and how they had just proven why children were who we should be advocating for.

So I asked, “Primarily, who takes care of children?”

Which was all I pretty much got to say, and I since I was wise enough to know this was the place to debate nor was it worth my effort I won’t bore you with the details. He kept insisting I was wrong but I said this was a right or wrong question. That was my opinion and just stating I am wrong isn’t going to sway my thoughts. If he wanted to debate the subject I would and informed him it was a wrong move to debate me on anything. The others in my group laughed and agreed because they know me ;) haha I got street cred for my mad debating skillz

It got me thinking. There’s always been this nagging voice in my head that I am meant to change the world. Now we all know that’s an impossible task. But, wouldn’t it be worth it to try? To change at least someone’s world for the better? To fight for those who can’t fight for themselves? If I truly feel, and I still do, that empowering women has the ability to change the world, then Women’s studies is a step in the direction of making that change. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I guess I just needed that moment of clarity to commit.

THEN:

Yesterday I was working on a digital photography assignment and my professor came up to me. We talked about an upcoming project and then he told me that he thought the Graphics and Communications Arts certificate program would be ideal for me. I mentioned that I was leaning towards the Women’s Studie’s certificate. Then he said, why not do both?

Communications was something I was thinking of majoring in once I went to a 4 year college….Working in the tutoring center has cemented that urge so it would make sence to get a certificate in it… Graphic Design sounds fun (and beneficial to my blog)….

So yeah… Why not do both?

Oh yeah because I can’t continue on in college…

Fight!

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So I was randomly wearing this awesome new shirt I bought this week. It had a bunch of really super cool amateur fighters that for some crazy reason had been training for months to step into the ring this weekend. I ran into one fighter the second I walked into the event…

Who is his guy?!

Oh yeah!!! J!

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That dude that I tested with for my black belt!

He may have been behind in weapons and forms.. but this dude kicks ass in sparring..

I wish my phone battery hadn’t of died shortly afterward because there were other teammates I would love to recognize. I had another teammate K who was also fighting. Gosh I love her you have no idea. She is the one I praised here when I expressed the need to have a partner that is patient and willing to take the time to explain things. I’m not gunna lie.. My stomach was in knots at first watching her fight. But she was so Zen…. She was in her element and just dominated the whole event.

J.. well secretly I wanted to see him get beat up a bit, but I also wanted him to win..I got both so all ended well.

Although watching the fights is a little fun in itself, I don’t find amusement in it.. (does that make sense?) My two closest dojo friends are those that love to shout out what the fighters should do.. People REALLY get into fights. Like blood lust kill the opponent type hype. I on the other hand, am silent and nervously rubbing my hands together. I noticed that my Kyoshi was the same way. We both looked pale and miserable lol.I guess for me, this doesn’t seem a moment to celebrate. This is a moment to honor the fighter.. I don’t need to shout commands to them or that they got it.. They’ve been training for weeks.. if they don’t know what they are doing at this point.. little ol Faithie who hasn’t sparred since August is not gunna be the one miracle mouth that figures things out for them. lol.

All in all it was a great event that made me really miss my training. Congrats to those those that won, and to those who had the guts to get in the ring and pesevere!

Welcome November!!!!

Happy First Day of November! Not only is it the first day of November but it also the first official day of NaBloPoMo <~ take a moment to read that out loud. If you’re like me you’ll get a giggle ;).

November is also a month worth noting because it is the last full month left of this semester! I have like 10ish classes left in each course. It feels like this semester just started. How could we already be pass midterms? By December 16 I will be out……. Happy Sad and all that…

I feel like I’ve gone through all the stages of grief when it comes to the end of my college career. Denial, which happened before I posted about it on here. Anger which I did my best to keep internal but that did force some outbursts I can’t say I’m too proud to admit. Bargaining happened when all my friends were setting up all their schedules. I spent some time making this whole situation worse trying to see what my schedule could have been like. Now I am honestly kind of relieved that I won’t have to stress so much about school. I won’t have to study, write papers, or solve problems endlessly. I won’t have to help organize, delegate, or man anything school related. I won’t have to wonder “will this help me get a scholarship?”…. I’ve accepted that I am dropping out. Extraordinary is an exhausting lifestyle to maintain.

National Blog Post Month

It’s that time of year again! The time to commit to daily posts no matter how mundane or spur of the moment they are!

For those not aware, BlogHer is a great site for promoting your blog and getting ideas on how to keep it fresh. Every year they host their own version of National Blog Posting Month. Your goal is to post EVERY day. If you haven’t before, check the webpage out and join me in this fun writing challenge!

I’m actually really excited for this challenge because I think it’s the thing I need to really rev up my blog again!

Royler Gracie and Junior Brazillian Jiu Jitsu

Last week my children had a moment that will forever change their martial arts history.

They received their very first junior BJJ belt advancements.

But it wasn’t just any advancement.

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That pretty handsome older gentleman advancing my children is none other than Royler Gracie.

For those who are unaware, he is the son of Helio Gracie. Helio Gracie is one of the original two that adapted Japanese Jiu Jitsu into what is now known as Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. Since Helio Gracie has passed on, this is seriously as cool and honorable as it gets…

Now I am not an expert by any means, but I did hear the story from Royler himself: BJJ was adapted to be more useful to people of smaller stature. Can’t get any smaller than my little Miss. It doesn’t rely on strength so much as leverage (and dare I even say physics?). It also focuses a lot more on self defense when you are forced to the ground. I hear all the time in Krav “Don’t fall or get forced down to the ground or you’re done.” And for some that is the case… but if you do BJJ being on the ground can be a useful thing especially if you are smaller of stature (ladies hello…)

My kids have been excelling within the BJJ program and they have been counting down the days until they met Royler Gracie for months. It was like a special edition holiday that no one else, not even those at our own dojo, could understand. (Only 7 kids from our dojo take BJJ since it’s only offered at a different location)..

He was so great with the kids. You could tell that he loves what he does, and he loves kids even more. He threw himself on the ground repeatedly with such flare causing many shocked little faces. This also had the reaction of instantly making egos soar waaaaay higher than they need to be. He took great care to make sure that at some point in the seminar each child felt special and confident in what they were doing. The majority of kids at the seminer hadn’t ever tried BJJ before, so making them feel confident in some situations was a challnge I’m sure.

All in all, it was every bit of deserving to be seen as a holiday. Especially when they received belts they had been training since April to earn.

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It was such an honor.. and since I’m sounding fangirl already  I’m going to geek out a bit.. The kids and Royler Gracie all got together for a group shot and he let me touch his phone to take photos… ZOMG (please note this is sarcasm.. although I did infact touch his phone.. lol)

Faithie the Photographer

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This picture was taken of me during last week’s power weekend. That’s right! There’s a new select few of awesome peeps joining our dojo’s black belt family!!!! And even more advancing to further degrees.

I am currently taking a course in digital photography. I dropped General Psychology and took it on thinking that I deserved an easier course load this semester…

Holy smokes was I wrong. This is a very time consuming course and its the one that has stressed me out the most. This isn’t just remembering some stuff and or writing papers. This is every new week you have a specific purpose to acheive. I average 12+ hours a week working on my projects and am just barely getting by with a 90… That is just insanity, as I do have other courses to worry about AND two jobs AND a family to deal with..

As frustrated and stressed as this makes me feel, I do enjoy digital photography. It has allowed me to see things from a different point of view. I never really looked at the sky before. I mean REALLY REALLY looked at the formation of clouds. Or how they move and interact with the scenery they cover. I haven’t really thought to since I was  my daughter’s age. I’ve found mushrooms living in trees, termite infested trees still standing though their innards have been completely eaten away, and captured some really awesome moments of my kids.

But back to Power Weekend! It just so happened to coincide with action week at the dojo.. I couldn’t use the majority of these photos because they are too grainy… but I’m an amateur with amateur eqiupment.. now if I could only afford the $1500 lens I want… well maybe then I could produce some awesome pics…. (hint hint)

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I have like 300 more photos of the event but I’ll just leave it at this. I really liked making the weapons blur instead of just freezing the action…See I can be artistic when I want to be!  I also got really good feedback from the dojo saying they were some of the best of power weekend.. so that did boost my photography ego a bit… at least temporarily.. Mr. Professor the Perfectionist will squash it down again come Tuesday lol.

I am so proud of my fellow teammates doing such an awesome job during power weekend! My main partner, who I have dubbed Snugglebear went up for his blackbelt.

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I had made a sign (didn’t even take a photo what the crap) where I glued a bear on it and wrote Team SnuggleBear.Then had as many Team G (our location) peeps sign it.. Team G people kept commenting to me that no one from the other two dojos knew what Team SnuggleBear meant! haha.. Snuggle Bear became an enigma that we finally revealed when he got his advancement stripe.

Tonight are black belt speeches where each location honors the newest set of black belts. We feast, we mingle, we show our unity as we listen to each black belt elect speak of their journey. It’s a time for tissues and to inspire those who are still on their journey towards getting their black belt. I can’t say enough how much I love my dojo family and how proud I am of my team mates!