(TW: mental health)
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Over the course of a lifetime, I have found interest in multiple fields. At one point or another my ultimate goal was to be a musician, then it was a tattoo artist, and also a therapist. Maybe one day to be a business owner, a teacher, a mentor, a chef, and even a fast, and very short lived idea of becoming an exotic animal veterinarian.
Though I’ve spent countless hours studying for these ambitions and taking on various employment opportunities to fund them, it always seemed that the more invested I was, the more miserable I became. Regardless, I persisted. Hoping one day I would cross a finish line with a large banner saying “Chelsea did it!”. One day everyone would see who I am and recognize the blood, sweat, and tears I put in. One day everything would be absolutely perfect and I would sigh out a giant breath of air that I didn’t know I was holding in. Only then, I would finally be happy. Deep down however, instead of feeling invigorated and inspired by this irrational momentary vision, I continuously felt like I was drowning and no one could hear me my cries for help. Or worse, they didn’t care.
Muay Thai came at a critical point in my life. To say I was incredibly lost is an understatement. My anxiety and depression was creeping up my throat and it became very difficult to manage my well being and emotions. All of my dreams felt so far away to the point that I didn’t even know what I was working towards anymore. The finish line I had been so determined to cross was getting farther and farther away while I stayed running in place. I was so scattered and shattered that I couldn’t tell up from down or what felt right from wrong.
So, in order to completely to avoid it the looming question of ‘what the fuck am I even doing?’, I overworked and over scheduled myself. I took on far too many auxiliary tasks at my jobs and filled the moments I had alone with doing social obligations. ‘I’m being productive! I love doing things!’ was easier to believe than to try to face the harshness of it all. Inevitably, juggling all if this led to burnout, exhaustion, solitude, and offered little in the ways of reward. No cheering, no masses, no banner. So I stepped back for some perspective. Took some personal inventory and could finally see the amount of harm I was doing to myself. After that, I made a vow to put my health first. My mental, spiritual, and physical health became my priority, and I was determined to create the best version of me.
March 2nd, 2018 – after being fed up with my roommate constantly shadow boxing at me and kicking me in our living room, I walked into Chicago Muay Thai and did what was undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to push my mind and body to do. What started as a good way to work up a sweat and get revenge kicks on my roommate, very quickly turned into a new devotion. As my body took a beating, so did my mind. I’ve spent the past 3 years learning new techniques and unlearning bad habits. I showed up, I sweat, I cried, I screamed, I laughed, I fell, but I always got back up and kept going.
Though my dreams of becoming an exotic animal vet were never accomplished (probably for the best), I managed to accumulate an abundance of knowledge in various points of my life. I may not be touring stages or opening my own tattoo shop, and I haven’t studied at Le Cordon Bleu, but those passions are still a part of who I am and it brings me joy to share them… along with kicking the crap outta some pads. Even if no one recognizes the work I put in, even if no one cares, I’m invigorated and inspired, and I found contentment.
To bring it back to the quote at the beginning, I do not claim to be a master of one. Life isn’t just a singular passion or strength; it’s a compound of everything you’ve done and will do. Giving up the idea of becoming a master of any one thing has allowed me to learn who I am by reflecting on my shortcomings. It’s made me re-evaluate on what is truly important in my life. So much so, that it’s motivated me enough to push to the side all my extreme self doubts and crippling fears and put it out on the internet for all to read.
As I continue immersing myself into the sport and community of Muay Thai, I will be documenting what that journey entails. However, this site is not only for those who train or who are interested in training, but for anyone who may be in need of direction. This is open to all who seek vulnerability and for those who are generally curious. In following along, I encourage you to see what I have to offer and to take what you need.
I am many things. A house full of experience and fascinations. Some doors have closed and some are still open. Some have yet to be unlocked, but they are all within me, and you can bet they’re filled with all the fucking emotions.
WELCOME IN, HELP YOURSELF…
Thank you for reading!