Core belief 3: You are what you decide to be

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that “There are no second acts in American lives.” That’s completely false.

America is full of second acts

Don’t know if I mentioned why my bone is chipped in my right hand; it’s because one of my students whacked it with a sword a few weeks ago. The doc said rest was the best thing because of how it was hit.

So I spent the week continuing with spring cleaning.  Finally felt good enough to go back to the gym over the weekend.

Coach: There’s always something wrong with you!
Me: But I keep coming back.
Him: This is true.

I woke up one day years ago and decided to be a fencer. And now I am one.

Just like I decided one day to be a lawyer after being a network analyst.

Not that long ago, I decided to be a wrestler.

There’s this famous quote from the fella that wrote The Great Gatsby that goes: There are no second acts in American lives.

I’ll add it to the list of things that have the air of truth without any actual truth to it.

Because that’s pure hogwash.

It’s one of my core beliefs – and the truth – that America is nothing if not an endless series of new beginnings. My heroes inevitably tend to be examples of second acts, like the amazing Hedy Lamarr.

People decide to start on their second acts all the time. But the only difference among them is that some press on and others do not.

There’s this rather sentimental saying in the Brazilian Ju-Jitsu world that a black belt is merely a white belt that kept trying.

But unlike Fitzgerald’s saying, that one’s actually true.

And so, injured knee, injured neck, torn muscles, and fractured thumb, notwithstanding, I keep showing up. For no reason other than I choose to.

I’m finding that alone is makes all the difference.

Her: I asked my dad what he did about his arthritis.
Me: What did he say?
Her: He said he takes glucosamine and is more careful doing things. (pause) Oh, and he says he tries not to get whacked by swords.


Location: my room, which is about 100000 degrees
Mood: ambitious
Music: what I want and what I need, can finally be the same

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