Wednesday, November 06, 2013


wow.  I am 47 years old today.   (note: in case you didn't get it, the picture is brought to you by the number 47 - kthxbye)

Every year, I like to make a special blog post for my birthday, so here it is.

The question I have been thinking about today is:

"How do I feel?"

GRATEFUL.  I think that best describes it.  I have had (and still have) an awesome life.  I have my fair share of challenges, which is as I would like it, but I am (reasonably) healthy of body and mind, surrounded by loving friends and family, and doing work I feel passionate about.

Furthermore, this year I realized a dream I have had for more than 5 years - I was the first person (so far) in Japan to test and pass our Kali Majapahit black belt test and qualify as an instructor.  My students were there, my wife was there, my teachers were there, many friends were there --- it was a magic moment celebrating my commitment to Kali Majapahit, and my achievement so far. My martial arts journey has gone on for more than 30 years, and I am so proud it has led me to this point.  I am profoundly GRATEFUL to my teachers, students, brothers and sisters in the martial arts.  You complete me.

I remain (thankfully) married to the most amazing and wonderful woman in the world, my wife Sanae.  Her wisdom and strength has helped me through so many challenges, and her support has always kept me going, even in my darkest hours.  I would have avoided many of the troubles I faced if I had followed her advice more and been less stubborn/more patient.  She alone knows all the ghosts that haunt me, and finds a way to love me anyway, even when I hate myself - which I find amazing.  I have learned so much from her, and hope I will continue to do so.  Of all the many wrong decisions I have made in my life, marrying her means I got the most important decision 100% right.  Sanae, I love you so much and I am so GRATEFUL for your love in return.
Thank you for never giving up on me.  I promise to keep trying to be the partner you deserve.

Likewise, I am GRATEFUL for my handsome and wonderful boys (who thankfully look a lot like their mother).  I have learned so much from you, and you never fail to challenge me to do and be more than I ever thought I could.  You fill my life with boundless (noisy?) energy, but I would never wish for anything else.  You have both grown so fast, absorbed so much, and you are truly the best things to have ever happened to me.  I am so lucky to be your father.  I know you will continue to make me proud.

I am GRATEFUL to have my job.  I went through nearly 2 years looking for the next opportunity after I "retired"from investment banking.  I wasn't sure this job was it, but my boss and my co-workers gave me such a warm welcome and have really made me feel valued and respected.  The past year has been hard, harder than I ever could have imagined, but having all of you by my side has made me want to hang in and do my best every day.  Thank you all for being with me on those late-night calls.  Thank you for believing in me.

It has been my life in martial arts that has allowed me to achieve the many goals I have set for myself.  Despite my frequent setbacks, the training has helped me become the person I want to be.  I have developed my confidence, learned to control my fear and uncertainty, been able to trust myself, and been willing to stay the course even when it has been inconvenient.
Martial arts has given me an unending feeling of GRATITUDE for my life.
I am especially grateful to be sharing it with you.

Thank you all for your constant support.  

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