Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A New Chapter (Part 2)

Check out Part 1 if you haven't already.

To recap, I've recently gone through some lifestyle changes. I imagine Dr. Seuss would have said:

Some changes are significant,
some changes are so small.
It's the changes that we learn from
that matter most of all.

It's amazing how a simple rhyme can sound profound (see: rhyme-as-reason effect). It's like I just gave a short graduation speech.

Anyway, let's get started.

I abandoned my flip phone.



This blue workhorse had always been good to me.

It woke me every morning with its sweet melody. It remembered important things like phone numbers and appointments. Through my busy schedule and all-nighters, this phone was a constant that kept my life in order.

When I neglected to charge this phone, it survived for an entire week. The phone willed itself to stay alive because it knew how much I depended on it.

However, I did not reciprocate the care my phone gave me.

I've dropped it more times than I can count. I've stupidly thrown it in frustration. I eventually stopped flinching when its battery ejected on impact.

And now I am putting down this workhorse like it has a broken leg.

I received an iPhone 4 from a coworker. By today's standards, this phone is old and sluggish. By my standards, it's the most advanced piece of technology that had ever touched the lint of my pocket. It does everything my old phone can do and more...

As long as I never drop it and I charge it daily, that is. The iPhone's delicate nature demands that I treat it with more care than I've ever given my flip phone in its entire life. I can only hope for the kind of reliability I've grown accustomed to for the past four years.

I'm sorry, old friend. I didn't deserve you.

I joined a new martial art.



If I'm not getting choked or locked in an arm bar, I'm unsatisfied.

No, I'm not into that stuff. I just enjoy martial arts.

The feeling had been nagging at me for months. I had been so focused on finishing school and getting a job that I neglected one of my favorite hobbies: Judo.

Unfortunately, the nearest Judo club was an hour away from my new apartment. Unless I wanted to commute a couple more hours a day, I would have to take a break from Judo.

However, this didn't mean I would have to take a break from grappling. I looked up other martial arts in the area and found a Jiu-Jitsu club nearby.

Judo and Jiu-Jitsu are sister martial arts. Both are grappling arts with their own distinctions: Judo focuses on throwing techniques and Jiu-Jitsu focuses on ground techniques. There is a lot of overlap between the two disciplines and many martial artists cross-train in both.

I decided to give it a shot.

After my first class, I knew I found the right club. The instructor is very knowledgeable, the students are supportive, I got my butt kicked, and I had a blast. I didn't find a martial art; I found a missing part of my life.

I could see myself doing this thing for a long time.

Turning the Page...



The past year has been one for the books.

The absolute biggest change in my life is my freedom to make decisions. As you've read, I've made a few big decisions already. I can only hope for more positive opportunities in the future.

My goals for the year revolve around growing as both a web developer and a writer. I'm going to make a solid effort to code and write more regularly. I would especially like to start putting out weekly blog posts instead of whenever-I-get-around-to-it posts.

After all, the only way to improve is to practice. Not a game—we're talking about practice.