The day finally came.
Last night, I got to take my test for fifth kyu. You may remember that I missed this test once already because of an injury, the result being that I was still sitting at sixth kyu two-and-a-half years into my aikido journey.
It would make for good reading for me to say I was anxious, sweating bullets, shrinking under the exacting stare of my instructor, but the truth is that I was ready. I was more than ready, in fact: I had essentially been training for this short test for a year-and-a-half. The excitement, the anticipation, the apprehension, and the doubt had all come and gone long ago. It was a little anti-climactic.
It isn't much of a stretch to say that I just wanted to get it over with. I'm ready to move on in my aikido journey, to start learning the stuff that the quitters who leave after a year never get to see. Couple that with my rather mixed feelings about rank in general, and you get a test that felt not so much like an important milestone as a formality, a cutting of red tape.
After the test, I called my wife. She was hungry and my daughter was crying. There were clearly bigger things to worry about at home than whether or not Dad was a fifth kyu. I didn't even bring it up on the phone. I hurried home to them, grabbing some dinner along the way.
By the way, I passed.