The best things in my life, have earned their title as best. Throughout my years alive, these things have kept me on my feet and have given me purpose and strength on the largest scale and the smallest. I share with you a short, but carefully thought out list of my top greatest things in life.
The top best things in my eyes are:
Friends and Family
Karate is my happy place. It’s a home I’ve built for myself, where serenity and hard work mold into one. I’ve been in karate now for a good four years. Prior to being in my karate class, I had been in an expensive, low-quality teaching “self-defense” class. Yeah, we wore gi’s, earned (aka paid a large sum for) belts, and learned basic kicks, punches, and blocks, but in reality, it was galaxies away from being anywhere near the dojo I go to now. The self-defense class was held at my city’s recreation center for 45 minutes- strictly, every Thursday. I went to class there for two years, oblivious of the poor teaching and my weak skills. In that class I had been one of the best students; believing that one day I could be sempai to the sensei there. As I climbed the ranks, I was told I should start entering competitions and tournaments. At that time, I thought I was pro, going to represent and enter in competitions like strongest punch, fastest breakaway.
Dear lord was I gullible and ignorant. I never did attend one of those tournaments and I am grateful to not of been apart of such a wasteful and deceitful cause. This all changed because during my last couple weeks of 6th grade, my Mom and Dad had found a dojo near our area that had been open for about two weeks. The pricing was a lot more reasonable than the current one we were going to, so my parents wanted my siblings and I to try it out. I was furious when I found out. How could my parents be so cruel and ask me to leave the self-defense place? I was nearly a brown belt and had such a good representation there. What would my sensei and friends there think? Was I at all…disloyal to them? I attended one class at the dojo my parents had found, constrained. I kept repeating to myself, “I don’t belong here; my family is to the self-defense place.” I had also vowed that I would not respect this new sensei, as I had my old one, because I would be disloyal.
Looking back, I was a thick-skulled and uniformed of the harsh realities. Fast forward four years and here I am. I am no longer with the self-defense place, but with my dojo, my home. Instead of strict 45 minute sessions, one day a week, I vary from 1-3 hour sessions 3-6 days a week. Instead of petty “everyone’s a winner” tournaments, I compete in real competitions with kata and kumite (sparing). Instead of buying belts and rankings, I’ve earned my spot as one of the three brown belts and sempai. Instead of hating the man who taught the karate place, I respect him and love him as though he were my father. Karate is one of my bests. I have a piece of mind, discipline, and a strong grasp of who I am, when I do karate.
Writing is my craft. It has become my haven to express the smallest details of myself and relieve the weights that keep me from myself. Writing is like karate, in that I know who I am when I write. I have a strong sense of myself and my direction. I’ve been writing ever since I learned my letters.
Although not stories, when I did not know how to spell words, I would fill up pages with letters, hoping that I would spell a word out. I remember on one occasion, I showed my mom my notebook and she smiled saying, “Look Katrya, you spelled the word brand“. I remember this scene so distinctly, because I felt as if I had truly become a master of the English language. Soon enough, I learned how to spell words and I remember writing stories ALL THE TIME. I literally have books filled with my stories about anything and everything.
I was convinced that I, Katrya, would one day become some great award-winning author. I still “wait and hope” (wink wink Count of Monte Cristo fans). As I got older and learned how to type, my stories evolved and got saved on Word documents. The fonts was now crazy and in different colored inks! I went so far as to even make my own little book with drawings and pictures and chapters. As I entered my middle school years, I would write short stories, usually about school life.
Around that time, I also entered several competitions for writing and I didn’t do so bad. High school came around and my freshman year I entered a writing contest to write about a theme I got. Surprisingly, I ended up getting first place and beating out the upperclassman who had wrote a story. Before I knew it, my story was competing at different levels and eventually I attended a banquet for the other winners. It was one of the best feelings ever to have my writing be recognized, and I even got recognized by Baron Banner, my school’s news team. Now, a sophomore, I am proud to call myself the co-news editor of 2014-2015 in Baron Banner.
I am writing more than ever now and I love every second I write. Writing has become a best for me because I can use it in my happiest and saddest times. I can use it while I’m angry or even when I’m not sure about a topic. Writing has crafted me into the person I am today. I’ve been edited and re-edited and I don’t think I will ever be finalized, because like all writing, there may never be a final copy.
Friends and family are my support. Without them, I would not be able to fully enjoy karate or writing. With their concern and genuine care, I am able to pursue the things I love. My family teaches me right from wrong, while my friends “crop and crow” my ideas and actions. They receive the shortest amount of writing, only because their stories cannot be told in one blog post. Their stories live on inside me and in my everyday life. They live on in our pictures, our videos, and our moments captured by the best camera in the world- our eyes.
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”