I am eccentric in every meaning of the word.

For starters, I am a 5’8″ tall Chinese Woman, Full Contact Fighter, Athletically Built, I have muscles in ways I should actually be delicate, born and raised to be a Martial Artist, who began an athletic career competing in Figure Skating, which I grew to big for and my name is Tiffany.  None of it makes sense, none of it would seem to fit.  If you introduced this character for a movie, I would be to much of a fictional character to even be considered a plausible kind of reality.

I don’t know fear in the way most people understand it and I crave adventure by exploring the unknown, which is usually most commonly found in people.  I love to understand them and I often make the mistake of believing people for what they do tell me and what they make a point of exhibiting through various kinds of behavior they wish for you to judge them by.  Sometimes I feel I am fooled by people, but it could also be my fault from judging from the innocence of my perception, for the “performance” they have displayed for me.

I enjoy testing limits, not because I deliberately want to push anyones buttons, but because when I get into friendships I am always “all in” and by my standards, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for a friend, but most people aren’t friends from the same way of thinking.

I find that people idealize me into being this extension of the Grandmaster and are excited to explore my father through me and sometimes use me to try and gain a closeness with my father.  There’s nothing wrong with this, but I have my way of testing sincerity and it’s not even deliberate, it’s just my trained response developed over the years to the lingering of intentions that don’t always seem to stem from the most authentic kind of foundation.

I was greatly influenced by witnessing the brotherhood between my father and his classmates, these were the relationships that taught me what true love and friendship are about, my blood family on my mother’s side I didn’t have much of any experiences with growing up, even though we all live in NYC.  So the meaning of love and family extends far beyond blood for me, family are the people who commit themselves to you, the way you do to them.

Growing up learning from my father’s kung-fu brothers and witnessing this bond with his teacher’s family, which I always felt was blood growing up, was how I learned that blood and love don’t go hand in hand and it was a lesson that makes me look at anyone I have in my life, who makes it their business too, to be a part of my life, to simply be my family.

We spent an enormous amount of time with Mrs. Cheng and her family.  My Aunt Marina was closer to me in my heart and memory than my blood aunt and uncles on my mother’s side.  My Aunt Marina’s children were closer to me than any of my cousins growing up.  This isn’t to say anything negative about my blood family, just that they are just relatives and Professor Cheng Man Ching’s family was actually my family.  We spent weekends together and took little trips together.  Aunt Marina was adoring of me the way family makes you feel and this was so important to me.  When dad issued the challenge on behalf of Mrs. Cheng, it was about family honor and a son’s love for a mother, nothing more, nothing less, this is how I learned about family to be.

There was always a bond I felt from the everyone in dad’s life that was such a soothing balance and sense of security that I was always surrounded by, because our Tai Chi School, is our family business and more than that, it has always been my extended family for my whole life.  Actually, everyone from my father’s martial arts family, was simply, family.

This unconventional idea of family would always stick with me.

Unless my mother threw birthday parties, I never saw her family and unless it was the holidays I never saw her family either, they were just different and not family in the way I understood family to be, just blood relations.  They are just family they way they believe in family and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The people from my father’s side were the people who remembered birthdays beyond parties and holidays without invites to our “family” gatherings.  I felt closer to these people and I love them.

I think having this separation of mom’s family and dad’s family always had me in this strange state of “limbo” when it comes to meeting and experiencing new people.  I just believe that the new people who come into my life to be new possible family members all the time, because of the example set by the people from my father’s standards of life, living, friendship and family.  When I meet new people the excitement of this new friendship always feels like the meeting of a new family member to me.  This is usually where there’s a lot of disappointment, because I am in America, I am not my father and people aren’t from old school days of martial arts integrity.  Most people today are seeking things entirely for themselves and when they seem to speak from the heart, it’s usually from a very different kind of heart than the one I was raised with.  More hearts today are on the surface, for some kind of personal satisfaction and don’t exist with the depth required by having an actual soul.  This is what happens when a society becomes ruled by the mind and looses the connection with the brain, there’s no sincerity, because there lacks the ingenuity of feeling which is kept intact by a soul’s integrity and dignity.  Most people today wear their eyes too high on their head and even if the tell you how much they love your friendship, it’s more about how the vanity of this new friendship makes them feel about themselves, more than how friendship is about how you really connect with another person.  It’s another level of narcissism that has somehow evolved into people acting selfless because they are so selfish and then exposing their actual selfish intent, when their feigned selflessness causes them to display the repellent characteristics of the narcissist, who somehow seem to think they really are fooling everyone, but they actually don’t care as long as what they think about themselves, is what they believe about themselves.  This is a way where the eyes are turned inwards, but not in an enlightening sense, or reflective manner, just selfish.

As much as I love achieving Balance, I do also enjoy exploring the imbalances of life and the thing about imbalances is they are all really self imposed, I know this, but I also enjoy surrendering to it.  It is during these periods I meet people in the most interesting ways and I also learn about them in the most intimate of ways.  I know in the process of my crazy, I definitely can drive the other people in my life crazy.  The best thing about this, is that, the real friends stay, the fake ones always take themselves out of the equations, but never in a way that’s direct, it’s usually actually a direct reflection of the facade they initially had put on such display.  Over the top consideration and humble performances I know they aren’t even comfortable in the performance of, but I watch and I observe, I take it in and I enjoy testing the actual limits of their performances.

The anthropological study is unbelievably intriguing and always, the path back to achieving balance and returning to your true core people is just so satisfying.

I learn a lot that I apply to teaching, I discover a lot that I apply to learning.

I discuss it time to time with dad and it is also interesting when he observes my interactions with these people and they mention noticing dad watching, but they rarely ever realize, he’s not watching me, he’s about to warn me about them.  It’s an interesting synergy, the dynamic I have with my father, we always have each other’s back for life.

Although I am my father’s daughter I do push the envelope for learning my lessons in real life and real time.  It’s a fun puzzle and interesting maze that people love to move through.  I just still can’t figure out why people just can’t be who they are from the beginning.  No matter what, I don’t know how to be anything but me and I while I always seek to respect boundaries, I am so curious to understand why people enjoy pushing the boundaries, when they have no intention of living within the limits of the boundaries they seem to have wanted to extend.  Maybe too, it’s just me and the inability to understand that people rarely ever do mean what they say, so, I just do me and watch their actions over their often times, very lofty words.

Actions are so deafening, I can never remember the waste you made of words.

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