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As I sit here at my computer, I can only think of one thing, and it's been on my mind non-stop for about a week. The more I think about it, the more anxious and excited I become. I keep making mental lists, but that isn't good enough, so I resort to the pen and paper kind. Something like this is just too important for imaginary lists. I need something tangible.
At this time tomorrow, I will be in a car heading towards the unknown. Sure, I know my destination, but I don't really know what to expect once I get there. By now, I will probably be so nervous that I will have made my stomach all upset! At least I am carpooling with a couple other people, so I can sit back and relax (or at least relax as much as I allow myself too).
Tomorrow night is the beginning of a new experience for me. I will be treading on new ground. I will once again become the anxious, timid and scared girl that I once left behind (or so I thought). Nothing will seem familiar or safe in this new environment and when I look around for someone I know, more often then not, I will not find one. The only reason I am here is because of a burning desire that can only be quenched by one thing. Aikido.
Now that I got the dramatic part over with, I can continue on sans drama. As you already know (since I'm assuming you read from the top down), I am attending my first seminar tomorrow. It is a weapons seminar with Mike Flynn up at Eugene Aikikai. I am very excited, but also a bit nervous. I'm sure I will be fine, but I always get nervous with things like this. The only good thing is that I seem to handle my nerves rather well. The way I tend to deal with nerves is by preparing as much as I can.
Because of my obsession, tonight will turn into an entire evening of preparation. I have already started making a list, but that won't get finished until later tonight. I still have class tonight, which will both help calm me down and get me excited at the same time. I have to pick out the weapons that I am going to borrow from sensei to take to the seminar. There is one aspect about tonight that will force me to quiet my mind and calm down- folding my sensei's hakama. Usually when sensei travels, he has a student fold his hakama. It has sort of become my job. The term job is actually a horrible word choice because I actually enjoy it. Each time I fold his hakama, I try to do better then the last. Unfortunately, it never turns out as nice as I am hoping for. His hakama has lost many of the creases, so I do my best to fold everything in place.
Once I get home, I will probably try to relax for a bit, get something to eat, shower and then I will begin the first stage of packing. Just trying to get everything gathered up for me to see. It helps when I have everything in front of me because I quickly realize (most times) if I have forgotten anything. Since I am being hosted at another aikido student's house, I am left trying to figure out what I will and won't need. Do I pack quick breakfast food and snacks and take money for lunch and dinner or do they expect me to eat with them? Do they stay up late or go to bed early? Do they smoke? Am I sleeping on the couch or in a spare room? Do they have pets? Are they friendly? All of these are questions that I simply do not have the answers to.
Because of this, I am left with one choice really. Pack everything I may need and if I don't need it, then I am not any worse off. At the same time, I am trying not to pack an awful lot either. I don't need to lug around a huge suitcase full of my crap. So, how do you pack everything but bring little? ::sighs:: This isn't going to be easy. I mean, gi's aren't exactly packing friendly. They take up a lot of space in luggage. I am aiming for one duffle bag and my guess is that I am going to fail; miserably.
So far my list consists of:
~ Shower stuff/ toothbrush/ toothpaste
~ Medicine/ vitamins
~ Athletic tape/ tiger balm
~ Water bottle (no idea if they will have water at the seminar…..)
~ Sleeping bag/ pillows
~ Phone charger
~ Book (in case they go to bed really early)
~ Weapons (sensei will transport them for me)
~ Towels (not sure if I need these or not)
~ Hairbrush/ elastic hair bands
Tomorrow should be interesting. I am riding up with a yudansha and her husband. It will give me the chance to get to know them a bit better. :O) I actually don't know if I will be training tomorrow night or not. Tomorrow night is actually only for yudansha, but sensei said I may be able to train depending on the amount of people there and what is being practiced. If I can't join, that is fine too. It will give me a chance for observation training and I find that to be just as valuable. Sometimes it is easier to see the whole picture when you actually take yourself out of it. Then, there is the whole going to stay at a stranger's house thing….
All in all, I'm looking forward to a weekend of wielding a jo and bokken to the best of my limited ability. We will see how it goes. I will blog about it sometime Monday I'm sure.