Best Black Dress
So now I can wear a dress in public.
Last Saturday I passed my shodan test in aikido. It feels remarkably unreal. It's admittedly rare for someone to fail a black belt test in our system -- our senseis don't approve you for testing unless they're confident you'll pass -- but I have seen it happen. I was partially convinced that I was going to blow it as well, particularly because the test was coming up in the middle of some nasty crunchtime at work.
But the test went well. Hardly perfectly -- in retrospect it's kind of amusing how I managed to fill the gym with gasps by almost getting myself run through with a wooden sword. But I felt strangely confident during the test. I felt like I belonged out there. Completely unexpected. Completely right.
I'm taking a night off from aikido tonight. I haven't had nearly enough time with my son while I've been pushing to be ready for the testing. But when I go to class Wednesday night, I'll be wearing a black belt and the long pleated hakama pants that look like a flowing skirt. And my fellow students who were calling me "Chip san" will now be calling me "sensei."
For a change, everything feels different. Everything feels better.