My living room is too small to do my particular taijiquan form. When I come to the part of the form called Fair Lady Works the Shuttle, this fair lady has plowed herself right into her entertainment unit several times. So I have taken up the habit of going to a park each morning at dawn where I have the room to do the form properly.
I could cite several reasons for going out at 5:30 in the morning instead of later in the day. I could say that it has to do with my schedule, the flow of earth energy, or the harmony and beauty of nature. However, the real reason for my going at such a hideous hour is that I don’t want people watching me practice. With the exception of a few dog walkers and joggers, there few people in the park that early. My friends and family already think I’m fairly eccentric — I don’t need the entire neighborhood becoming an audience to my odd pastimes.
Thinking back, I realize that I never used to care so much about what people thought about my interests. Many years ago I took up bellydancing as a cardio routine. I had a blast and was not embarrassed to let people in my life know what I was up too even when they thought it was unseemly and strange that I was shaking my backside and banging my zills.
When I decided to go back to school and finish degrees in history and humanities, I did not care that these subjects were not considered practical by some for career advancement. “What do you do with a degree in History?” Or better yet, “What the hell are Humanities?”
So what has happened? Why have I gone into hiding? I have never really been a shy person, yet I seem to be now. Have I just become too tired in defending myself against the naysayers in my life? Does aging do that to a person? No, I don’t think so. In fact, aging should make us don that purple hat and say and do whatever we want. I just need to remind myself of that fact from time to time and not let the negative people in my life put a damper on the expression of my interests and hobbies.
Just wait until I take the taiji sword class someday. Then I will really give them something to talk about.
ljgloyd (c) 2014
(If you want to read about my experience with bellydance, please visit the Lemurian Hermitage to access an article I wrote there a number of years ago).