He may not have been the first, but it was certainly one of the most memorable. I started dating “JD” five days before turning 17. I’d dated one of his friends and when he broke it off, he tried to hand me off to JD. Well, it worked.
We dated for just over a year and I broke it off with him after having bought him a gold chain for our one year anniversary. I found out on my 18th birthday that he had cheated on me three, maybe four, times a few months earlier while I’d been in France for two weeks. I cried and went to the office to sign myself out for the rest of the day from school. I’d been signing myself out for almost a year now, but the staff never noticed. But on this day, I walked in and the principal asked me how I was doing. I said I didn’t feel well and that I wanted to go home. “You look fine to me,” he replied, my eyes all red and puffy. The secretary behind the desk asked: “Are you 18?, to which I replied, “As a matter of fact, as of today I am. Goodbye.”
I still let him come to my birthday party that afternoon, but most of my friends boycotted it since they didn’t think he should be allowed to go. A few showed up and we still had a bit of fun, and a short time later, I took him back…kind of. Within a few weeks, I got bored of him and moved on. A number of years later, we met up at a house warming party for a mutual friend of ours. By the end of the night, he cried and cried, claiming that I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he had screwed it up. I told him that it had been so long ago, that it didn’t really matter, but I guess it did. I haven’t seen him since.
This was a cover that I used for my second level Niei Chi
Saturday marked a real milestone in my life. It has been five years since I stopped smoking. It also marks 5 years since I graded for my first black belt.
I was never a very heavy smoker. A pack a day was a challenge. I averaged 7 or 8 a day and smoked ultra light menthols. I’d tried quitting before and it usually lasted about 6-8 weeks before I’d go back to it. I even had major surgery to remove my spleen and thought I could beat it. I tried acupuncture but because I could go for 6-8 weeks on my own, they said it wouldn’t do much good.
Taken one day after class on the East Beach in Toronto
In our organization, all black belts must sign their name stating that they are smoke free. I’d been promising myself each belt level that I was going to quit. But as I went through them, I kept smoking.
Grading for your black belt is a great honour and I regarded it as such, including the oath I took. The day I graded for my black belt is the day I smoked my last cigarette. A month later when I was awarded my first black belt, I smoke half a cigar in celebration and haven’t smoked since.
Since then, I’ve been to Hong Kong for 5 months, where everyone smokes like chimneys. I could have cheated but something a friend of mine kept me in line. Whenever I thought “Maybe just one; no one will know.” His voice would answer: “But you will.”
I finished university, go the rest of my shodans, went onto my nidans and about to start my sandans in the fall.