When I started writing this blog, just a little over two years ago now, I had no idea what I would end up writing about or what purpose it would serve. I wasn’t particularly writing for anyone else, I mainly wanted a record for myself to remember the amazing year I spent in Midorikai. Recently I thought it would be nice to continue writing about my experiences with tea, and last weekend several chance encounters with individuals who had never met me but knew my blog made me realize that other people actually have read what I have written.
Actually, that knowledge scares me a little. When I wrote my blog, in addition to being able to recording events for the future, it was also a very therapeutic way of dealing with the mental challenges of Midorikai life. For me, writing down what happened: my progress and my failures, my challenges with classmates and teachers, my health issues, became a way for me to step outside of myself and refocus to look at the bigger picture. Every day was a new challenge, and I did not always succeed.
Sometimes when I look back at what I wrote of course I am embarrassed at my behavior in certain situations or towards certain people. I am also shocked to realize how little I knew when I first entered the program, despite the fact that I thought I was well-prepared when I arrived. Foolish pride. It is an excellent reminder that we study chado, The Way of Tea, that this is a path that we always continue to walk on. Midorikai taught me so much about myself as a person, and I can definitively say that the experience changed me.