I trained at Aikido West in Redwood City again tonight. I've noticed that I'm always more tired after an hour there than I am after 90 or 120 minutes at Berkeley. I thought about how I was moving and doing techniques, and I think the reason is that I'm nervous. Not only is it an unfamiliar place still, so I want everyone to like me anyway, but I train in the later, more advanced class, so most of the people there are black belts, so I really want everyone to think I'm good and competent and everything, so I tense up and move too fast (partly to keep up--they seem to do things faster there generally, including one guy I trained with who was about my level who seemed to think irimi nage should be really fast even if you're not entirely understanding it [I can't describe it, but irimi nage is a very powerful technique that can send you down to the mat with a lot of force]). So I have to learn to relax while I'm there, and I can do the same aikido as I do at Berkeley.
You know you've found the right teacher when you train at other places and you realize how much your home dojo and teacher are the absolute right things for you. I like learning different styles, but I love the essential-ness of our flavor of Iwama (our dojo's style); the way we practice bigger, slower movements en route to smaller, faster ones; the outbursts of laughter; and the emphasis on Big Aikido and connection between you and your partner, constantly bringing up the fact that aikido is much more than techniques.
My body is vibrating strongly these past couple days.
Someone told me last year that when I was hugging them, they felt a kind of calm or harmony or something when I sank into the stillness inside. I would like to give that to more people. They need it.
I had a nice day at work. We had our team meeting today, where Rob the Uberboss got cranky because my project is running a couple days late, but according to Jerry (my boss) he just does that sometimes to blow off steam, since he deals with all the political crap, and the past couple weeks haven't been fun for him and apparently my team is now somewhat high-visibility across Kensington and its sibling and parent companies. We committed to having my project deployed by Monday morning, and then Rob said, "So, Jerry, I'm gonna put you on the spot, is he as good as we thought he was when we hired him?". Jerry said I had "exceeded expectations", which is the first real bit of feedback I've had on how well I'm doing since I started. That's not wholly unreasonable, since until now I hadn't really done anything, but here we are and I've churned out a bunch of working, elegant code, and I'm glad to hear they like me.
Jerry and I didn't have The Conversation about hours spent in the office--too much work to do. I'm sure it'll come up again if it's a problem.
I was talking to him earlier in the week about how glad I was to have found a job--I was explaining what the past couple years have been like and how I got by--and how great it is to have job security, and he said that Acco, the parent company, is counting on us to be the growth company, so in three years if we haven't grown our earnings enough, who knows what will happen...notwithstanding that they'd let me go long before him, I had to explain that my planning horizon is rarely longer than six months out and I can't imagine being concerned about three years into the future.
Life is still a little fast and blurry, but it's good. I'm very...here.