Home > Friends, Judo, Life > Happiness only costs $1.

Happiness only costs $1.

It’s strange when you are able to remember exactly what you were doing on a specific day in your past, forcing you to reflect on how things have change as the anniversary of the day rolls around. Over the weekend, I realized that it was exactly a year ago that I ended a seven year relationship. I’m not going to get into specifics about the guy or the relationship–I’ll just say that it was something I needed to do and that it was the right decision.

Needless to say, though, ending something you’ve been doing for seven years is big deal and it was a huge transition. The morning after the break-up, I got up, packed up my gear, and went to Sunday judo practice because that’s what I did on Sundays. The El ride to practice felt like all the other El rides. Getting changed in the locker room was the same as ever. However, about 20 minutes into practice as my coach was instructing me on how to correct my tai otoshi, my head started swimming, my face started burning up, and I knew I had to get out of the room immediately. I went downstairs to the locker room and cried for about three minutes. Then I was done. But I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t really want to finish practice. I didn’t want to go back upstairs and tell my coaches I was leaving. I also didn’t want to just slink out the door without saying anything. So I just sat there, frozen, as I tried to figure out my next move.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, my assistant coach come down to check on me and make sure I wasn’t puking my guts out or had died. She asked what was wrong. I told her. She gave me a pep talk. I felt a little better. Then she said, “OK, let’s go back upstairs.” She didn’t offer me the option to go home. When we got back upstairs, everyone asked if I was OK, and I was too tired to lie. They were all really sweet and genuine. The next night after practice, the club was going to go out for one of our black belts’ birthdays. They’d done stuff like this since I’d joined the club, but I never went with them before, thinking I shouldn’t stay out too late and that I should get home. This time, though, I thought, what the hell? I ended up having a great time. I felt like a found a new family. It was a good way to start my new life.

Last night, we went out again for the same black belt’s birthday. Packed into an inauspicious $1 skewer shack in Chinatown, I learned that one of our guys is going through some life stuff right now. And like they all did for me last year, we gathered around our guy, and picked him up with a slew of disgusting jokes and sincere conversation. It was just a funny little moment for me–realizing that we’re always moving forward, but so much of our lives feels like a big circle.

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Categories: Friends, Judo, Life
  1. Beth Goldstein Huxen
    August 23, 2011 at 20:52

    Ray mentioned this blog to me today, and told me how much he enjoys your writing. I got on and read a few entries. I’m glad I did; they’re thoughtful, well written and insightful. I haven’t really had the chance to talk to you, although there has always been something about you that told me you would be a really great person to sit down and have a beer with. Now I feel like I have. And that I was right, you are a great person to sit down and have a beer with.

  2. August 24, 2011 at 21:35

    It definitely gives me a little peace to think that I am going through some things myself so that I can better empathize with someone else later. This is a great observation, Lori…thank you!

  3. Ali
    September 4, 2011 at 10:43

    i love reading your posts, lori.

    this one feels especially poignant on this sunday morning for some reason. you observe and document so articulately the best part of having friends and family in whatever form they come. as long as we’re all taking turns cycling through good times and hard, there will always be friends or family members who have the empathy and strength to prop us up. and we get to return the favor when they need the support. even if it is by telling dick jokes. πŸ˜‰

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